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‘Incredible’ response to fundraising campaign for injured Killarney teen

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AN IMPRESSIVE €118,574 has been raised in support of a Killarney teenager seriously injured in a cycling accident and his family.

The Ian O’Connell Benefit Fund was organised by Spa GAA Club and numerous other sporting and voluntary organisations, including anglers and golfers, on both sides of the Kerry/Cork border, also became actively involved.

Ian, aged 16, of Pinewood Estate, Killarney, suffered damage to his neck and spine after falling from his bike in the Muckross area of Killarney National Park, on August 16 last. He is currently being treated in Dublin’s Mater Hospital.

The St Brendan’s College student is a juvenile footballer with Spa GAA club, a hurler with Dr Crokes and also plays with Killarney Celtic soccer club.

Chairman of the Spa fund-raising committee James Gleeson said "something amazing" had happened in recent weeks and the amount raised had surpassed all expectations.

"Starting out, we thought around €20,000 might be collected, but the way the campaign took off was incredible," he said.

"It showed the extraordinary level of respect for Ian and his family. It also showed how effective the GAA network is and the feeling of goodwill on both sides of the Blackwater. Many other organisations and schools also became involved. It was truly staggering."

Speaking at a function in the Spa club, Mr Gleeson thanked all who supported the fund and the media and also said there had been significant anonymous donations.

Most of the money was collected through a special lotto fundraiser by the Spa club. Funds have been transferred to a trust fund to be administered by three trustees on behalf of the club.

Ian’s father, Mike, a driver with Leane’s Tool Hire, Killarney, is a native of Boherbue, Co Cork, and Boherbue GAA club also organised a special lotto.

Thanking everybody for their support, Mike said Ian is in good form and is in regular contact with his peers.

Funds are continuing to come in and a bank account has been set up at AIB, Main Street, Killarney:
Account Name: Ian O'Connell Fund
Account Number: 64056025
Sort Code: 936332
BIC: AIBKIE2D
IBAN: IE24AIBK93633264056025
 


 
Above: Spa GAA Club secretary Deirdre O’Sullivan Darcy, chairman Gerard Mangan and fundraiser chairman Jim Gleeson present the Ian O’Connell Trust Fund cheque to Michael O’Connell in the clubhouse.

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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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