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Mental Health charity urges Leaving Cert students to use its services tomorrow




Turn2Me, a national mental health charity, is urging students across the country to use its services when they get their Leaving Cert results in the morning.

The charity said it runs free support groups most evenings at 6pm and a free 'Thought Catcher' online mood diary every day from 2pm until 8pm where people can post about how they're feeling about their results. The charity stated that young people might be feeling happy, disappointed, or overwhelmed with their Leaving Cert results but may need support to manage their mental health during this period.

"Even if students are happy with their results and they performed well, they may still be feeling high levels of anxiety as they prepare for the next stage of their lives, whether it's first year of college, a year abroad, going straight into the workplace or repeating the year," Fiona O'Malley, CEO of Turn2Me, said.

"A period of significant transition in a person's life brings feelings of trepidation and uncertainty. Many people find this period overwhelming. Turn2Me offers free, professional mental health services 365 days a year for people over the age of 12 in Ireland. I would encourage any young person, and indeed, any parents, who feel nervous about tomorrow's Leaving Cert results to use our mental health services. Our support groups and our Thought Catcher services have no waiting lists, so people can sign up on our website,, and start using these services very quickly."

The charity stated that some students may be disappointed, but that there is always another option if young people aren't happy with their results - they might consider a different course, a different career path or even repeating. Turn2Me said that parents can struggle to support their children if they're unhappy with their results. The charity suggested that parents sitting with their child can be helpful, as they receive their results. Putting your hand on your child's shoulders or gently rubbing their back may also help.

Not the time for criticism

If your child is disappointed with their results, Turn2Me stated that immediate criticism isn't helpful.

"There's no point saying, 'you didn't study hard enough' or 'you should have done better'. It's not the time for criticism," Fiona said.
"If your child is disappointed, they will be in quite a fragile state, so giving out to them will exacerbate feelings of depression or anxiety. After a few hours of letting a young person take in the information they've received, gently approach the topic of 'Plan B' whether it's repeating, going to a study coach, doing a pivot course to another course, or considering another career path. It's important to emphasise that today, there are so many other options available to people. The Leaving Cert isn't the only gateway to success!"

Hard work should be acknowledged!

Turn2Me stated that most young people put a lot of study and hard work into the Leaving Cert and their hard work should be acknowledged. The charity stated that the results should be celebrated, and young people should be praised for all their hard work.

If you're disappointed, you're not alone

Turn2Me said that so many people are happy with their results, but there are some young people who will be very disappointed.

"If you're disappointed, you're not alone," she said. "So many people will be in the same boat as you. Please, please, please use our services if you need to talk to someone - we have amazing counsellors, psychotherapists and mental health professionals working on our site,, and we run 365 days a year. We offer free support groups on anxiety, depression, grief, and relationship issues most evenings at 6pm; we have a free 'Thought Catcher' mood diary which runs every day from 2pm until 8pm; and we have one-to-one counselling sessions, all available on our website. If you're feeling disappointed, please sign up for our professional mental health services - that's what they're there for."

Turn2Me said that going for a walk or a run, being around nature, mindfulness and writing down your thoughts can help people deal with disappointment. The charity also encouraged young people to spend time with a loved one or a friend, if they're feeling disappointed in their results.




Fossa School says ‘bonjour’ to French classes



Fossa National School is giving its pupils a headstart in learning a new language.

The school signed up to Language Sampler scheme as part of the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ initiative in primary schools organised by Post Primary languages Ireland in 2021. This is the school’s third year running the module.

Hélène Olivier-Courtney, the school’s French teacher and director of French For All Killarney School of French, covers ten schools in Kerry over the three terms.

The success of the initiative relies on an all-school approach and the active involvement of class teachers and management.

“The whole staff in Fossa certainly helped make this new journey a special and enjoyable experience for the children as we learnt French through art, songs, games and food tasting! This year, we also organised a catwalk on our last day. Our sixth-class students will have such a head start before secondary school and most importantly will have develop curiosity interest and love for the language,” said Hélène.


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Opinion: Silent majority needs to stand up and call out far-right hate



By Chris Davies

Last Friday’s Dublin Riots should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It has been bubbling under the surface of Irish society for a good number of years now. The actions of a small minority last week was a culmination of years of racism, hatred and misinformation shared online by far-right groups.

Late on Friday night a disturbing WhatsApp voice note was doing the rounds on social media where a far-right actor could clearly be heard encouraging violence on the streets of Dublin. 

“’Seven o’clock, be in town. Everyone bally up, tool up…Any foreigner, just kill them”

Watching the Riots unfold on social media brought me back to when I was working in Dublin a number of years back. My morning commute from Skerries to the city centre involved a dart to Connolly Station followed by a short trip on the Luas to the Jervis. Every week, without fail, I would witness at least one racial slur or attack on someone who didn’t fit the narrow minded view of what an Irish person should look, dress or talk like. I don’t know if it is the eerie silence of public transport that seems to amplify the situation, but that’s where I found it to be most common. The abuse was usually perpetrated by a group of youths or someone who was clearly under the influence of drink or drugs. The victims were always of colour, often dressed smartly enough to presume they were on their way, or coming from work. A far cry from the perpetrators who you could tell were roaming aimlessly around the city looking for trouble.

While shameful to admit, I would often look on and watch the abuse unfold, only to spend the rest of my work day thinking about the poor person who was told to “F*&K off back to your own country”. I would sit at my desk questioning why I didn’t step in and say something. There were one or two occasions where I did step in and call it out, but not nearly often enough.  

This disgusting behaviour is much more visible in our cities. Since moving back to Killarney I wouldn’t witness as much direct abuse on the streets but working with the Killarney Advertiser I would be tuned in to local news and some of the comments I read on our social platforms are far worse than anything I witnessed during my time in Dublin.  

There is a significant group of people in Ireland that I would call the ‘silent majority’. We are not as outspoken on issues we care about. We tend to observe and consume the news quietly, and only speak of our support or disgust on certain issues in close circles, too afraid we might offend someone. The problem with this is that we are leaving these far-right groups unchallenged, to become louder, more aggressive and more hostile as seen last week. 

The past week Sinn Fein and the Social Democrats have been busy in the media expressing no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris but I would suggest that there is a large percentage of the Irish population that bears some of the responsibility. We witness racism in our communities and online every day and we need to start speaking up and calling it out. 

On the issue of immigration in Killarney, there is no doubt resources are being stretched and our tourism industry is suffering as a result of an influx of immigration. Locals have also raised concerns in relation to the placement of so many male international protection applicants in one setting and we only have to look back on the incident in Hotel Killarney last year where a number of men were involved in a harrowing stabbing incident to see how that played out.  

However, being concerned around immigration is not the same as anti-immigration. It is important to raise these issues with local representatives and Kerry TD’s but also to separate ourselves from far-right groups who are only interested in encouraging violence.  

The anarchy we witnessed last week should never be the answer and research shows it is completely unnecessary. Harvard University have looked at hundreds of protests over the last century, and found that non-violent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns and that it only takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Let’s continue to protest peacefully for issues we believe in, but stand up and speak out against people and movements in our community that incite hate and violence. 

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