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“The Minister and her Department don’t seem to be listening to our pleas”

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St Brendan’s College Junior Cert student Daniel Murphy this week shares his thoughts on the upcoming State exams calling for clarity from the Dept of Education.

 

I have to admit in truth last year when we got the news of a few weeks off I, and my friends, were delighted. It was great and I had loads of time to myself. It started as a two-week holiday which later turned into four weeks – then into three months, and soon the summer holidays in the sun rolled in. Yes, we had our online classes with the work being sent out to us, but in those three months life was great. As a Second Year I had no worries about the Junior Cert at that stage.

But returning back to school as a Third Year in September after five and a half months at home, I began to realise that we should have been more focussed on our study last year. However, that is in the past and there is nothing I can do now but just concentrate on the future and what’s going to happen in the upcoming Junior Cert, which is the biggest worry a Third Year student has right now.

We know from those that have gone before us the daunting pressure that it brings. This year it seems to be really tough because the long absence from being in school itself has changed everything about preparations. Added to that are all the adjustments to school systems because of COVID-19.

It’s now five weeks since we were last in a normal school classroom, face to face with our friends and our teachers, and as the days to the State exams draw closer, the uncertainty and the anxiety has begun to set in. Our teachers have been fabulous with their encouragement and I think we have all become more used to using the online Teams App as our virtual classroom. But we could be off for another few weeks by the way it’s looking. The more time this goes on the harder it gets to keep motivated and engaged on your own with a laptop in your kitchen!

In the last few weeks Third Years all over Ireland are calling for answers from the Minister for Education, Norma Foley, asking that she and education stakeholders make more extensive changes to the Junior Cert now or tell us what they’re going to do about running the exams or asking our teachers to deliver predictive grading. It would take the stress off me and my fellow classmates. All we have been hearing in the past few weeks from the Minister is that the Junior Cert will go ahead, about the reopening of school and how they are safe – even though the rest of the country is told to stay at home. The Minister has said that three quarters of schools have not been affected by COVID-19 but that means a quarter of schools have been affected that is thousands of Junior Certs around Ireland that have lost more time than us which must make it even harder for them to be prepared properly and fairly. And the Minister and her Department don’t seem to be listening to our pleas to clarify if they are thinking of cancelling the Junior Cert.

Last Saturday night I attended a national Student’s Council Zoom meeting with students from all over Ireland and a common theme we have realised is it is getting harder to rely on a Government and a Department who don’t want to make a decision about our future and are not considering or looking at the situation from our point of view.
While we await such clarifications there is nothing for it but to do our best to stay motivated and engaged, to stay working with our teachers in our online classes while, for some, anxiety and worry build each day.

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Green light for teen accommodation

By Michelle Crean  Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead. An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment. The teens living within the premises […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead.

An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment.

The teens living within the premises will be supervised by applicant Eileen O’Brien who will live on the ground floor of the premises.

The two one-bed apartments on the second floor would either be rented out or used for independent living for the teenagers as they reach adulthood.

The two-bed apartment will be on the third floor. There are also plans for balconies at second and third floor levels.

The proposed apartment building is contemporary in design with a mix of stone and render finish on the lower floors and synthetic burned timber finish on the upper floors. The second floor is recessed at the front and the third floor is recessed at the front and the rear with a decorative feature on the front elevation comprising dark grey timber steel poles. The building will also have a flat roof.

Planning permission was granted subject to 14 conditions including a two-metre high boundary wall to be constructed on south, south-western boundaries of the site and there’s to be no overnight commercial guest accommodation.

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Fans return to Fitzgerald Stadium after eight months

By Sean Moriarty Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game. Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game.

Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the first game at the stadium since the 2020 Kerry Petroleum Intermediate Club Football Championship Quarter-Final when Glenbeigh-Glencar played Beaufort on October 4 last year.

Due to current restrictions only 200 fans were allowed attend Saturday’s big match. That will remain in place for Kerry’s opening Munster Championship tie with Clare on June 26.

“It had been more than eight months since Fitzgerald Stadium welcomed back fans to the venue,” stadium PRO Tatyana McGough told the Killarney Advertiser. “Everything went exceptionally well.”

She is hopeful that more restrictions will be eased on July 5, paving the way for an increase in capacity to 500 fans in time for the July 25 Munster Final.

“It is likely that from July 5 up to 500 spectators may be permitted to attend games. We hope this number will increase for the Munster Final. If it is a Cork versus Kerry Munster Final the game will be fixed for Sunday July 25 at 4pm in the Fitzgerald Stadium. The stadium’s staff are very confident in being able to host any number of fans that may be allowed.”

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Garda appeal to park legally at beaches and public amenities

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An Garda Siochana is appealing to the public to park legally in designated car parks and spaces when visiting beaches, beauty spots and other public amenities. 

The good weather has seen an increase in dangerous illegal parking at these locations across the country in recent weeks. An Garda Siochana wants people to enjoy the summer but do so safely.

Parking illegally can lead to unnecessary risk and dangers such as pedestrians being forced to walk along dangerous roads. It can also prevent emergency services from gaining access to these amenities a seaside locations which could lead to the loss of life. 

“We encourage the public to plan their journeys and think safety first when parking your vehicle,” the Gardai said in a statement. 

“The outcome of parking illegally could be far more serious than a FCPN or vehicle towing and puts others and your own life at risk. 

An Garda Siochana reminds and encourages the public to social distance and follow public health guidelines when attending these locations this Summer.

An Garda Siochana is also supporting National Water Safety Awareness Week (June 14th – 20th). Information on this campaign and general water safety can be found on Water Safety Irelands Website – www.watersafety.ie/national-water-safety-awareness-week/

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