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The end is in sight for Leaving Certs

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

Well done to every single student in the Class of 2021! You have managed to navigate most of your senior cycle in the backdrop of a global pandemic, including undertaking over six months of online learning.

You have shown yourselves to be resilient, adaptive and committed to just getting on with things in spite of lots of challenges personally and educationally. Your families, teachers and society as a whole are proud of you so I hope you feel proud of yourselves.

After what may have seemed a long journey through times of uncertainty, difficult decisions around exams and accredited grades, the pressure of completing assignments, projects and assessments later than normal in Sixth Year, while also trying to study and revise - you are almost there now.

As you approach the final hurdle of the exams, keep in mind that while the Leaving Cert is an important exam and big milestone, it will not define you for the rest of your life. It may be hard to imagine that right now as you grapple with trying to balance last minute revision with the exam stress and anxiety that comes in as part of the Leaving Cert experience. Try to use that stress to drive you on rather than immobilise you.

After many years of supporting students before, during and after exams, I can tell you that regardless of what happens in each exam, you will have lots of options available to you and an interesting journey ahead. The following tips might help in the final days coming up to the exams and as you navigate your way through them.

TIPS FOR THE EXAMS

Stick to a good routine with a healthy balance in terms of revision, rest, fresh air, sleep and diet. Don’t be tempted to work late at night as it is usually unproductive and impacts on your concentration the following day.

Keep your social interactions with others to a minimum during the exams and encourage family members to do the same so as limit the chance of contracting COVID.

Have a schedule of the exams with the dates/time highlighted hanging up where it is obvious and visible at home and take a photo to save on your phone.

Set two alarms for the mornings of exams and allow lots of extra time. You will need to be in your assigned seat in the exam centre at least 30 minutes before the start of the exam on day one and 15 minutes before all other exams.

Don’t forget your face covering as they are required, so have a couple spare with any utensils needed for the exam.

Hydration is really important during the exams to help with concentration during longer papers, so make sure you have plenty water.
The first thing to do when you look at the paper is to read the instructions carefully, your teacher will have gone through these many times with you. Mark all the questions you are going to do and right out a quick time plan for yourself.

If you feel you are becoming really anxious, focus on controlling your breath to bring a sense of calm. Breathe in through your nose for two seconds, hold your breath for one, breathe out through your mouth for four seconds. Repeat for one minute.

Focus on exactly what you are being asked. The most common feedback from examiners is that students give a lot of irrelevant information so keep glancing back at the question to keep yourself on task to target the marks.

Try to avoid too much discussion after each paper. ‘Post-mortems’ of the exams are rarely helpful and can add to stress levels so once each exam is done, take a break and then move on to preparing for the next one.

In my eyes you are already achievers, survivors and future leaders for the brighter days that lie ahead. Go n-éirí libh ar fad, the very best of luck to each and every one of you!

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 follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. 

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Marie was “lovely, unassuming lady”

By Sean Moriarty Tributes have been paid to Marie Murphy of Aughacureen, who died in tragic circumstances on November 30. Marie was a member of the well known Murphy business […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Tributes have been paid to Marie Murphy of Aughacureen, who died in tragic circumstances on November 30.

Marie was a member of the well known Murphy business family in Killarney – her brother runs KWD Recycling and she was heavily involved in the business.

She was best known for involvement in the local GAA both as a county star and a member of Fossa GAA Club.

She was a third generation Kerry footballer, her grandfather Con and father John all played football for Kerry.

She was extremely proud of her niece Abbie, her brother Seán’s daughter, when she became the fourth generation Murphy to play for Kerry.

Marie played for Kerry in 1976 and re-joined Fossa GAA Club in 2010 when the ladies’ side of the club was re-formed.

She acted as a mentor for current group of ladies.

Back in 2019 when Fossa GAA Club published a book to mark its 50th anniversary she was one of the leading lights on that committee.

This year, when the club held its Night of Legends to raise funds for a new dressing room for the ladies’ club, Marie was one of the guests of honour at the INEC event and was interviewed on the stage in front of a capacity audience.

Only a few weeks ago she was one of the many club members who helped organise the Fossa Golf Classic and acted as official photographer for that event.

“The club is numb with sadness,” said Fossa GAA chairman Dermot Clifford. “She was a loyal member and very proud of the club. Our thoughts are with her family. A lovely, unassuming lady who will be sorely missed.”

Marie will be sadly missed by her brothers Con, Seamus and Seán, sisters-in-law Breda, Gennie and Anna, her nieces Shauna, Amy, Kate and Abigail, nephews John, Jack, Luke, aunties Mairead and Maura, cousins, relatives, neighbours and a large circle of friends.

She was laid to rest at Old Aghadoe Cemetery on Monday following Requiem Mass at The Prince of Peace Church, Fossa.

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Kerry Airport to get almost €1.5m funding

Kerry Airport is in line for nearly €1.5m in funding under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025. All five regional airports in the country will share a total of €21,100,051 released […]

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Kerry Airport is in line for nearly €1.5m in funding under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025.

All five regional airports in the country will share a total of €21,100,051 released under the scheme.

Kerry Airport will get €1,434,355 to put towards vital safety operations like air traffic control, fire services and security.

The CEO of Kerry Airport, John Mulhern, welcomed the funding.

“We are grateful to Minister Naughton, the Department of Transport and Kerry’s two Government TDs, Minister Norma Foley and Deputy Brendan Griffin for their continued support,” he said.

“The funding will help to ensure that Kerry Airport remains compliant with regulatory requirements in key areas, such as air traffic control, fire services and security.”

Funding this year for airports will total over €37 million building on the €161 million provided in unprecedented aviation supports during 2021.

“I welcome this funding which will deliver further vital financial supports to Kerry Airport with a particular focus on safety, security operations and air traffic control,” Minister Foley said.

“This funding reinforces the importance and value that Government places on the vital role of our regional airports and how connectivity directly supports tourism and enterprise in Kerry.”

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