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We are all behind the class of 2020



Just like any other year we describe the Leaving Cert as a marathon.
However, this year has been like no other as your training routine has been interrupted, you have been thrown the most mammoth of curveballs in the shape of the COVID-19 crisis.

You have been forced into only engaging with your friends, classmates, extended families and teachers at a distance, you have had to adapt to learning in a different way and to spend many working hours on your own. Well done on a super job! Your teachers have been working hard too and I know that they are very proud of your sustained efforts. Remember, we are all behind the class of 2020!

Starting the Easter holidays may be a lot different this year without the usual catch-ups, hobbies, social life and gatherings to look forward to, so let’s focus on what might help exam students at this stage.

Reflect – Think about all the hard work you have undertaken in the past three weeks and give yourself a giant pat on the back. You have clocked up many hours of valuable work, have kick-started intense revision, and you have stayed focused in a time of great uncertainty.

Recharge – Take a break! At this stage most students have kept a school routine going and in fact have gone beyond that, so it is very important to take a breather. The intense study and increased use of technology takes its toll on the brain, so taking some time away from the books will refresh the mind and re-energise you. This will help concentration levels during the holidays and in the final term. Regardless of the current restrictions, do more of what you enjoy and helps you to relax – play or listen music, exercise, read, watch films, draw, journal, cook, so some DIY work, etc., and get plenty fresh air!

Review – Take stock of what you have done at this stage. Make a list of all topics in all subjects under the following headings – Topics I know well, Topics I need to revise, Topics that need attention. For the next two weeks, focus your attention on the latter group. You now have plenty of time to give the topics that you have put on the long finger. De-clutter by getting rid of notes you don’t need at this stage.

Reset – Once you have taken a break (I recommend taking each weekend of the holidays off), refocus your efforts on working the equivalent of a school day or more if you feel the need to, and maintain a good study routine from Monday to Friday. Plan ahead what subject/topic you are going to focus on each day and try to vary the plan from day to day.

Keep it going – it will be worth it in the end!

Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore & PRO of Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors.
Any parents or students with queries can email Niamh on



Black Valley broadband installation gets underway

Works are under way to install a high-speed fibre broadband network in the remote Black Valley area of Kerry. The Black Valley was one of the last areas of Ireland […]




Works are under way to install a high-speed fibre broadband network in the remote Black Valley area of Kerry.

The Black Valley was one of the last areas of Ireland to be electrified but broadband in the region is expected to be live in the second half of the year with residents already able to pre-order their connection. 
“It is well known that Black Valley was one of the last locations to get electricity due to its remoteness and challenging terrain, so we are extremely pleased to be commencing the rollout of our high-speed fibre network now with a view to connections being available later this year,” said National Broadband Ireland Deployment CEO, TJ Malone.
“We are determined to ensure the rollout is as fast as possible and connection is made easy for Black Valley residents, and we have a plan in place to work around the location’s all-important tourist season.

“Black Valley is a symbol of NBI’s mission that no area will be left behind no matter how rural or remote and we are delighted that this beautiful location moves one step closer to high-speed fibre today, with all the opportunities that will unlock for the local community.” 

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Players of the year don’t duck a challenge

They never duck when faced with a big challenge on the field so it was safe to assume that GAA players of the year David Clifford and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh […]




They never duck when faced with a big challenge on the field so it was safe to assume that GAA players of the year David Clifford and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh weren’t going to shy away from the latest task on their home patch.

The two top footballers in the country teamed up to launch a charity duck race which will form part of this year’s St Patrick’s Festival in Killarney, where they both live.

When the working day was done, busy secondary school teachers David and Louise had some great quack and they got caught up in the spirit of the occasion along the scenic River Deenagh in Killarney National Park.

The reigning Player of the Year and Ladies Player of the Year award winner demonstrated their competitive streak when they expressed confidence that their own ducks will win The Deenagh Duck Dash on the same river at noon on Monday, March 18.

But, luckily, festival chairman Jason Clifford was there to keep the peace and he even threatened to cry fowl and brandish a card at the star players – with duck yellow deemed the most appropriate colour.

Considered by many to be the greatest players of all time in their respective codes, between them, Fossa hotshot David and Corca Dhuibhne star Louise have an incredible nine All-Star awards.

But they might be tempted to swap one if their duck wins the fun-filled race on the day after St Patrick’s Day.

All proceeds from the event will go to St Francis Special School in Beaufort, Killarney which provides specialist education for young people with learning disabilities.
Festival chairman Jason remarked: “This isn’t just a race – it’s great fun for the whole family.
“Picture the scene with a flotilla of vibrant rubber ducks racing down a winding river, their owners cheering them on and all in the name of a fantastic cause”.
Super prizes await the winners, the cost of a rubber duck to participate in the race is just €5 and they can be bought online at

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