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Key things to consider when choosing Leaving Cert subjects




By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

At this time of the year students in Third and Transition Year are being asked to choose the subjects they wish to study in senior cycle.

It can be a stressful time for students and parents who are concerned that choices made at this stage could have an impact on course and career choices after the Leaving Cert. My first piece of advice to parents is to make sure you attend the information meeting about senior cycle options in the school as you will get detailed information about the different subjects available, as well as guidance on entry requirements for the various pathways. Typically students studying the traditional Leaving Cert take three compulsory subjects; Maths, English and Irish (unless they have an exemption), and four optional subjects from the list on offer in the school. It can be difficult for students at 15 or 16 to know what career direction they would like to take after school, that’s very normal. Some may have an idea about a broad area of interest like science, business, health, engineering etc, while many have no idea at all. There are a few things that might help with making decisions about subject choice.

What to consider when choosing optional subjects

First think about the subjects you like and what you are good at as you will work hard on them and have a good chance of getting good grades. They are also likely to influence the choices you make later regarding college courses and other education and training options. Consider also subjects you really don’t like and struggle with, this is the chance to leave them behind. What you need to watch out for are the minimum entry requirements for various Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) as you will need to meet them in order to be considered for entry to college and universities when you apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO). Check what the requirement is around having a third language. You can check them out in the undergraduate section of college websites and on specific course pages. There is also a very useful subject requirement module on which allows you to check what courses require particular subjects such as chemistry or another laboratory science. There is an excellent course finder facility on where you can do a general search and use the filter to narrow it down to particular subject areas, locations and requirements. They also have a guide to the Leaving Cert subjects where you can explore the content of the subjects at senior cycle.

If you really don’t have an idea of what you want to do after school then choose a broad range of subjects so you keep as many options open as you can. Consider taking one option from the following; a language, a science, a business subject, and a practical or humanities based subject. Talking to your guidance counsellor in school is a huge help as he/she will be able to explore your interests, strengths, aptitudes and past performance in subjects with you as well as answer any questions you have about requirements for courses and colleges. It can also be really helpful to talk to subject teachers. Make sure to look closely at what is involved in the subjects you are choosing and that you have a genuine interest in taking it up or continuing with it in senior cycle.

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

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Wine, art and lots of catching up at popular fundraiser

By Michelle Crean Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night. Over 50 exhibitors gathered in […]




By Michelle Crean

Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night.

Over 50 exhibitors gathered in the Great Southern Killarney as the Killarney Rotary Club’s fundraising event – which is one of the biggest in the town each year – was back after a COVID break.

During the afternoon the artists and crafters, many who travelled from all over Kerry, Clare, Cork and even Waterford this year, organised their display for the event. Later that evening there were a lot of familiar faces but also some new people who absolutely loved the evening.

There were many wines available to taste as well as cheese and breads at the event which is run in conjunction with Daly’s SuperValu, Killarney and Killarney Brewing Company.

“There was a huge attendance and everybody was in good spirits to be back to normal,” President of Rotary, Rayla Tadjimatova, said.

“Many of the patrons were buying some art as Christmas presents and the members of Rotary were delighted to be kept busy packing these. A portion of all art sales goes to the fundraiser. One local young man, who is only 16, exhibited his beautiful photographs of local scenic areas. There was an auction of donated works of art and a Kerry Jersey. All one hundred percent of the proceeds from this auction goes to the fundraiser.”

Mike Neeson entertained the crowd on arrival and right until the end of the night.

“Mike is a great supporter of our events and we would like to thank him for keeping everybody entertained.”

The Irish Pilgrimage Trust ran the raffle and they had some wonderful hampers and gifts to be won.

Beneficiaries from this year’s event are: Coolick NS, Gaelscoil Faithleann NS, Knockanes NS, Holy Cross Mercy NS, St Francis Special School, Kerry Stars, Killarney Athletic AFC, and Killarney Cougars Basketball Club.

She thanked everybody for attending and everyone for their help organising the event.

Some, she added, had never been before and said they did not know what exactly the night involved but will definitely be back again next time as it was “so enjoyable”.

“We hope the money raised will help the beneficiaries to proceed with projects,” she said.

“We are delighted for Rotary to be able to help these charities, community groups and schools through our fundraising event.”

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Comedy drama ready for the stage

By Michelle Crean Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage. What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy […]




By Michelle Crean

Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage.

What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy father and a confused visitor to the dentist, all have in common? You’ll have to come along to the Killarney Avenue Hotel on Monday, December 12, Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 at 8pm to find out.

The popular drama group will present their three new comedies featuring the work of playwrights Brian Bowler, Ger Madden and Mary Quirke.Come along for a night filled with fun and laughter. Just the right beginning to the festive season. Doors open at 7.15pm and tickets are available at the door. All tickets; adults, seniors, students and children are €10. Don’t miss a great night out.


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