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Students raise awareness about academic stress




By Michelle Crean

A group of local students have launched a new project to raise awareness about academic stress not only in their school, but nationally.

Young Social Innovators (YSI) from Killarney Community College plan to explore the struggle several students go through everyday either through exams or pressure from homework through 'Dedicated to Educated'.

Students taking part in the project are Tamika Heaphy, Oliwia Ochnik, Sophie Jacobi, Ona Moreno Font, Blanca Beltran Juan, Irene Rueda Mosserat, Angelina Kendel, Rabea Flugel, Chloe Herlihy and Dominic Czuluk.

"It is about raising awareness about academic pressure and stress for students as our goal is to raise awareness of the struggle several students go through everyday whether it would be over an exam or just pressure from homework," Chloe Herlihy said.

"A goal we are aiming for is that people will be able to understand academic stress does not just come from school, it equally comes from your surroundings and environment. From working with our guidance counsellor and interviews with teachers, we found that academic stress can affect one's mental health and how they see school. From our own studies carried out we decided to survey students and asked questions like “do you know what academic pressure is?”. The results from the whole school was that 72% of students knew what academic pressure was."

She explained that it was clear that the Junior years did not understand what academic pressure was.

"After handing out our surveys and calculating the results we came to find that just over 23% of students ignore their academic stress and do not try to ease their stress or do not know how. During our interviews with teachers, we noticed a similarity all the teachers talked about noticing the stressed students overexerting themselves, not being motivated to go to class and being not motivated to do homework. We want to change this for all students in the county and country."

Academic pressure can come from many influences, such as pressure from parents, but also from oneself, because one may compare oneself too much with others and stress all the time to be like others.

"We are working with our guidance counsellor to create a presentation for students on tips and tools on how to deal with stress from study. Once this is completed, we will be going class to class showing this PowerPoint. We also aim to work with and fundraise for Southwest Counselling."

Lorraine Crowley, TY Coordinator and YSI Guide, said these Young Social Innovators have shown such passion to raise awareness and create change when it comes to academic pressure.

"They really want to educate students on how they can limit their stress while studying at the same time.”

For more information email, Instagram: dedicatedtoeducated, TikTok: dedicatedtoeducated, YouTube: dedicated to educated, website:, or Pinterest: dedicated to educated.



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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