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Geraldine is no longer at your service

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By Michelle Crean

For almost four decades Geraldine Tangney has been one of the friendly faces in the Gleneagle Hotel but this week she decided to hang up her uniform.

It was an emotional day on Tuesday for the Duty Manager from Ballyspillane as she bid farewell to her colleagues and bosses after a wonderful career after 39 years there.

Geraldine started in the Gleneagle Hotel in 1982 first as a waitress before working her way up through to management.

"It was very emotional, a bit nostalgic," Geraldine said when speaking to the Killarney Advertiser this week.
"I was talking about it [retirement] for a while. It didn't even feel like 39 years. It hit me really for the last time crossing the car park going in to work on Tuesday."

Geraldine was 24 when she started her career in hospitality and has been behind many of the big events in the hotel over the decades including AIMS which would have crowds of over one thousand to serve over four days. She was also delighted to end her career serving President Michael D. Higgins after a recent stay at the hotel.

She said she has seen many changes during this time as the hotel grew.

She also worked for four generations of the O'Donoghues, first with Mrs Sheila O'Donoghue, Maurice and Margaret, Patrick and Eileen, and more recently their son Peter.

"I worked with four generations of O'Donoghues, they are a lovely crowd. I saw the INEC being built, and I have a lot of fond memories of the people I would have worked with. One of her colleagues she'll miss - but will see often is Maura O'Connor, who also has 39 years service with the hotel.

"Maura and I have worked together for 39 years, we started around the same time," she added.

Being retired means the 63-year-old will now have more time with her partner Ger, as well as a chance to visit her children and grandchildren more often including her son Bryan in Sydney and his two children, her daughter Valerie and grandchildren in New York, and she's very excited for the birth of her eight grandchild in Barraduff which her son Ivan and his wife are expecting any day now.

"I did the Ring of Kerry many times as well and I still have the bike so I might do that again," she said.

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It’s that time of the year again – New Year’s resolutions and plans to get the health and fitness levels in check.

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Important date reminders about CAO applications

The normal closing date for CAO applications is on February 1 at 5pm, so it is really important that any students applying from Leaving Certificate, Further Education or as Mature Applicants are clear on the deadlines and application process. Before you start make sure to look at the CAO handbook which is available as in […]

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The normal closing date for CAO applications is on February 1 at 5pm, so it is really important that any students applying from Leaving Certificate, Further Education or as Mature Applicants are clear on the deadlines and application process.

Before you start make sure to look at the CAO handbook which is available as in interactive flipbook or to download from www.cao.ie, which also has a lot of resources to help applicants and parents.

To register, log on to www.cao.ie and click on Apply, it will ask you first to input your personal and contact details along with the category of applicant you are. Once you create a password and submit payment you receive you CAO number which means you are registered. It is advisable to go through the Demo Version of the CAO form first which is available on their website in the ‘Student Resources’ section.

Applicants who register before January 20 at 5pm will be charged the discounted application fee of €30, which increases to €45 up to February 1. Once you have registered you have until February 1st to add and change your courses, free of charge. On May 5, the Change of Mind facility will open and you will have the change to change your courses, with certain restrictions, up to July 1 at 5pm.

Course choices

You have the option of filling in 20 courses in total – 10 choices on level 8 (Honours Bachelor Degrees) and 10 on level 7/6 (Ordinary Bachelor Degrees / Higher Certificates) and it is advisable to fill as many as you can to give yourself the best chance of being offered a place on a course you like.

It is essential though that you research carefully all the courses you are going to include. Often students are careful about their first couple of choices but don’t research the courses that are further down the list well enough. Don’t make this mistake. Every course you put down should be one that you are genuinely interested in and willing to do so consider all options carefully. The majority of level 7/6 courses have progression routes onto level 8.

Order of Preference

This is the golden rule of the CAO and a very common mistake made by students every year. Always put down your courses in order of preference, not in the order of the points from the previous year. Points for courses change each year and you will not know the points for 2022 until the day that the Round 1 offers are issued by CAO, which is usually a couple of days after the Leaving Cert results come out. Also you don’t know what points you are going to get until those results come out and it will be too late to make changes to your CAO application at that stage.

Restrictions for the February 1 deadline

While you will get the opportunity to change your course choices later in the year, there are certain restrictions to take note of regarding the February 1st deadline. If you are applying for ‘restricted courses’ they must be added in by February 1as they require some other form of assessment apart from Leaving Cert points such as an aptitude test or a portfolio.

Such assessments are usually carried out between February & April. Students who are applying for Medicine must apply to do the HPAT by January 21 on https://hpat-ireland.acer.org/.

Any students applying for the HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) or DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) schemes must have applied to CAO by February 1.

You then have until March the 1st to complete those applications and up to March 15 to have supporting documentation sent to CAO (see www.accesscollege.ie). In the case of mature applicants, most HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) require applications to be in by the February 1 deadline.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or email info@mycareerplan.ie

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