Connect with us


Third level supports for school leavers




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

The Higher Access to Education Route (HEAR) scheme is targeted at groups who are under-represented in higher education and as well as offering reduced points it also offers a number of academic, personal and social supports throughout the student’s journey in college.

To be eligible, applicants must meet a range of financial, social and cultural indicators. Students must meet Indicator 1 (low income) and a specific combination of two other indicators which include – medical/GP visit cards, means-tested Social Welfare payments, occupation status of parent of guardian (socio-economic group), disadvantaged status of the school (DEIS) and local area. Other factors considered include young people who are in the care of the State, HSE or TUSLA.


A number of places are reserved in higher education courses for applicants who qualify for HEAR. This means that it is possible for applicants to get offered a place if they have not made the cut-off points, however many HEAR applicants do achieve the required points each year. It is important to note that applicants must still meet the minimum and subject requirements for the particular course. Students and parents sometimes confuse the HEAR scheme with the student grant. Students who are eligible for grants, and who may or may not be eligible for HEAR, must apply separately to Supports provided to eligible students include an orientation, extra tuition if needed, study skills and exam preparation, one-to-one meetings with student advisors, social gatherings (when permitted), mentoring, and extra financial assistance when available as well as advice regarding grants and scholarships.

Deadlines and Application Process

Once students have applied to the CAO on by the February 1 deadline, they then have until March 1 to indicate that they wish to be considered for the HEAR scheme and to complete the HEAR form through their CAO account. After this, all supporting documentation must be posted to arrive with CAO by 5pm on March 15. All deadlines are strict and non-negotiable so it is important to start applications well in advance of the final dates, to avoid unnecessary stress. The supporting documentation required for HEAR applicants will depend on the individual circumstances of the household. It is important to keep photocopies of all documents being posted, put the applicant name and CAO number on each document that is sent, as well as getting proof of postage.

The HEAR scheme seeks to widen opportunities in higher education for students coming from a group that is under-represented in higher education. Supports offered through the scheme not only assist students to get into college but also help them to settle in and get through the course. This ensures that students who have faced personal and educational disadvantage and challenges get every chance to achieve their qualification and progress onto successful careers. Over the years I have seen the enormous benefits for students who avail of HEAR and other access routes and the support of staff in Access offices in the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) is invaluable to applicants and parents. For further details see,, and individual HEI websites.

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



The actor to play Michael Collins revealed

Killarney Musical Society has revealed that the renowned Keith Dwyer Greene will take the lead role in ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’. The society is in the final stages of […]




Killarney Musical Society has revealed that the renowned Keith Dwyer Greene will take the lead role in ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’.

The society is in the final stages of preparation  for  its March 5 to 7 performances at the INEC.

Final rehearsals are in full flight at the Heights Hotel and earlier this week Keith Dwyer Greene arrived in full costume.

He had spent the day with the army’s The Band 1 Brigade of The Irish Defence Forces, where he is a full-time flautist.

He is also co-owner and founder of The Bellevue Academy of Performing Arts.

Keith trained in music and musical theatre in University College Cork and The Cork School Of Music.

“He has performed with many musical societies and had many great leading roles. He worked with the late Bryan Flynn who wrote the book, music and lyrics of ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’. He has great admiration for him and says what he did with this show is genius. Keith says he adores the role of Michael Collins,” explained PRO Linda O’Donoghue.

Flynn’s book, music and lyrics can only be secured by two musical society’s each year.
Michael Collins A Musical Drama is a moving, dynamic, resonant piece of musical theatre.

It is the dramatization of a changing period of Irelands history. It brings to life The 1916 Rising, The War Of Independence and The Civil War.

“At the same time it is telling an intimate, human love story and how love and politics inflamed the period. This musical drama has war, heroism, love, villainy, tragedy and triumph all wrapped up. It has a distinctly Irish voice. Such numbers as ‘Fly the flag of Freedom ‘ will have the hairs standing on the back of your neck and ‘Every Heart Awaken ‘ will bring tears to your eyes,” added Linda.

Tickets available at The INEC box office and from a pop-up box office at The Laurels Bar, Market Cross from 12 noon to 4pm on Friday and Saturday this week.


Continue Reading


Gleeson Dental now offering facial aesthetics

Gleeson Dental, located on St Anthony’s Place, is now offering facial aesthetics. It is the latest offering from the town centre practice. Dr Susan Gleeson graduated as a general dental […]



Gleeson Dental, located on St Anthony’s Place, is now offering facial aesthetics.

It is the latest offering from the town centre practice.

Dr Susan Gleeson graduated as a general dental surgeon 27 years ago.

She previously worked in England and Cork before returning home to Killarney in 2009 to take over her father’s dental practice with her sister Katie.

“More recently, I decided to pursue my keen interest in facial aesthetics. Hence, I embarked on an intensive training course,” she told the Killareny Advertiser.
“This mentorship is under the guidance of Dr Sheila Li, a Harley Street based dentist with over 10 years’ experience in facial aesthetics. Every year following an interview process, Sheila takes on six trainees and I was lucky enough to get this amazing training opportunity.”
The course is a year-long process involving in-depth learning and hands-on clinical training days in Dr Sheila’s Harley Street clinic.
The course, also, extends to treatment planning cases with Dr Sheila, thus allowing access to her vast knowledge when planning treatments for Dr Gleeson’s patients.
“Therefore, I am now able to offer a vast array of facial aesthetic treatments at Gleeson Dental. These treatments include the use of Botox to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition to this, Botox has a wide range of additional applications, including the treatment of tooth grinding, headaches, gummy smiles, neck bands and excessive underarm sweating,” she added.
Dermal filler treatments are, also, available to treat issues related to volume loss while skin booster treatments such as Sunekos and Profhilo can be used to regenerate and rehydrate tired looking skin.
Facial aesthetics may conjure up images of over-filled expressionless people but Susan hopes to change people’s view of it.


Continue Reading

Last News