Principal Update to Parents

  27 October, 2022

As we approach the midterm, I wanted to give you an update on a number of matters regarding the school that I would have gone through with those present at the Parents Council Meeting held recently.  We felt that it was very important that all parents were made aware of the many projects currently in different stages of existence.

Science Laboratory Upgrade

Last May following a focus group discussion with 30 students we identified a number of areas that the Board of Management earmarked for improvement here in the school.  One of these was to upgrade our Science Laboratory.  Since then, we have completed substantial works to the Laboratory itself and also to its storage and preparation areas.  The science department have worked very hard to identify exactly what needed to be done.  We have purchased new equipment and teaching aids for the lab as well as a vast array of chemicals costing in the region os €10,000.   The lab is now nearing completion and is a very inviting, brightly presented space ideal for carrying out laboratory work with the classes.  Following the midterm break all classes from first to sixth will be able to make use of the lab for their course work.  As a school that provides the option of studying Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Agricultural Science to Leaving Certificate it is essential that we have the best of facilities for our staff and students to work in.  The staff of the Science Department are delighted with the work and we know the students will also be very happy with the finished article.

I want to thank the Parents Council for their donation of €3,500.00 towards the refurbishment.  These are the proceeds from our raffle for tickets to matches and concerts etc., held last year which was very successful as a result of the fantastic support from you the parents.  Many thanks.   We will now turn our attention to the next Science lab which we hope to have renovated in 2023.  My thanks to Ms. O’Connell, Mr. O’Dwyer, Ms. Ryan & Ms. McCarthy for their trojan work in getting the project completed.

Whole School IT Infrastructure Upgrade

Last May Mr. Carew, the schools IT Co-ordinator and I engaged the services of Tara Learning, an independent Educational IT Consultancy Group to carry out an audit of the schools IT infrastructure with a view to upgrading it.  Subsequently in June, an application was made to the Department of Education for a complete upgrade to our IT Infrastructure here in the school.   This would involve the following:

  1. Moving our servers onto the cloud and introducing Microsoft Azure Profiles for Staff and Students
  2. Upgrading the entire school Wi-Fi Network
  3. 30* New Desktops for the Computer Room
  4. 25 * Laptops in a Mobile Trolly to supplement the existing 35 laptops and trolly already being used by staff and students
  5. 32 * New Wireless Short throw Projectors for our classrooms
  6. 30 * Staff Laptops to work these projectors

The cost of this upgrade would be in the region of €130,000 – €150,000.  A decision is expected from the department in the very near future.  I will update you on the outcome of the decision.  Fingers crossed we will have a positive outcome.

Upgrading of Practical Subject Rooms

Our Practical Subject teachers, Ms. Quinn, Mr. Ryan and Mr. Halligan made an application to the Department for new equipment to assist them in teaching Applied Technology, Wood Technology and Graphics at Junior Cycle and Construction and DCG to Leaving Certificate.  A significant amount of new equipment including 24 dedicated DCG laptops specifically for teaching Graphics and DCG ,a state-of-the-art Laser Printer and Laser Cutter along with a vast array of other tools and equipment have also been sought to enhance the teaching and learning of these subjects.   This application is currently being processed by the Departments Furniture and Equipment Section and we expect to hear positive news from them in this regard in the very near future.  The overall value of the Application is in the region of €75,000.00 and will make a substantial impact to this very important area of teaching and learning.  My thanks again to the staff involved and I will keep you up to date on developments as they arise.

Astroturf Pitch

I am happy to report that our Golf Classic in conjunction with Arravale Rovers GAA Club and Ladies Gaelic Football Club, held in Tipperary Golf Club was extremely successful raising €15.000.00 towards our development.  We received huge support from the local community and from our past pupils who return annually to support their Alma Mater.  Huge thanks to the organising committee for their time and efforts in making the event a huge success.   Thanks also to O’Rawe Catering in the Golf Club for the fabulous food over the two days.

We also held a joint Metal collection recently and my thanks to Paddy Delaney, Bill Gleeson & Eamon O’Dwyer for their trojan work raising €6,500.00 towards the project.

Finally, we are now going to tender in the coming days to appoint a contractor to complete the project.  We hope to have this process completed before Christmas and works commencing in the new year.

River Arra Town Walk

Most of you will have noticed the new pedestrian bridge opposite SuperValu.  This is the entry point to the new River Arra Town Walk and Park.  The school sold three acres to Tipperary County Council to allow the walk to be developed.  Significant work has been ongoing over the last few months, and it is now really taking shape.  The school will have access to the walk, and it will be used by classes for many learning experiences from Science, Biology, Agricultural Science and much more.  We look forward to its completion in the coming months.

Renovated Driving Track

As a result of having to be moved to accommodate the town walk our driving track has been re-laid inside the fencing of the park.  The roundabout has also had to be moved.  The new surface will serve to enhance the experience of the students when they take their driving lessons with a certified driving instructor as part of their TY Programme.

Staffing Changes

Welcome back to Ms. Aine O’Mahoney and thanks to her replacement Mr. Mullins.

On Thursday next we welcome back Mr. Irene Ryan and again thanks to her replacement Ms. Burke.

Welcome too to Mr. Mike Heffernan is deputising for Ms. Joanne Flynn who is on leave at the moment.

Welcome also to Ms. Abbey Storan who is substituting for Ms. Eavan Ryan who is also on leave at the moment.

Junior Certificate Results

The Department of Education has confirmed that the Junior Certificate Results will issue on Wednesday 23rd November next.

Leaving Certificate 2022

Congratulations to the class of 2022.  They received their results in September and we are very proud of their achievements after what was an extremely tough two years for them.   They were delighted with their results and have now moved on to the next phase in their education and preparations for entry into the world of work.  Some have taken on Post Leaving Certificate Courses, some have secured apprenticeships in their preferred field whilst others have entered third level education to focus their studies in areas ranging from Primary Teaching, Arts Degrees, Finance, Business Information Systems, Agricultural Science, Business, Biomedical, Science, Journalism and much more besides.  Some have gone abroad to study and we want to wish all the boys the very best for their future studies, careers and lives ahead.

Future of Catholic Second level Education

Our thanks to everyone for their feedback last term when we sought Parents, Students, Staff and Board members views.  The process of consultation will continue this term up to Christmas when we will carry out the final stage of the consultation with the primary school parents.  Once all of the feedback has been collated and analysed feedback will be given to all of the school community.

Parent Teacher Meeting

All Parent Teacher Meetings this Year will be in Person in the school.  We want to encourage everyone to attend their son’s Parent Teacher Meeting and be as involved as possible in your son’s education.  Your involvement and support means a lot to him and to us here in the school.  The meetings will be ran off as efficiently as possible and it is a great opportunity to meet other parents of boys in your son’s year.

Dates for Parent Teacher Meetings are as follows:

6th Year                            Tuesday 8th November

3rd Year                            Thursday 24th November

5th Year & LCA 1                 Wednesday 7th December

2nd Year                           Wednesday 18th January

1st Year                             Thursday 2nd February


New Lunchtime Arts & Crafts Club

This new club was launched recently by Ms. Carey and Ms. King.  It will take place every Wednesday in the Art Room and we would ask you to encourage your son to attend if he is interested in giving his creative side an opportunity to shine.  Best of luck to everyone involved in this new initiative.

Recent Trips 

My thanks to all the staff who organised, travelled on, covered classes for those travelling to enable the following wonderful trips to take place for the boys:

Sixth years Team Building to Carlingford Lough

First Years to Ireland V Armenia in Aviva Stadium

Transition Years to The Rhineland in Germany

Third Years and Fifth Years to Manchester and Alton towers

Don’t worry Second years we will organise something for you later in the year!!

Parents Council 2022-2023

My thanks to our new Parents Council Committee members:

Chairperson: Carolann O’Neill

Secretary: Geraldine English

Treasurer:  Christine Marnane

I want to thank Mary Rose Kinane for her work as Chairperson in last year.  She was a great support to me here in the school and lead a fine committee in making a hugely valuable contribution to the school.  Much appreciated.

I wish to encourage new members to the Parents Council.  Your support and involvement is very important to us here in the Abbey.

Finally, I want to wish you all a very enjoyable Halloween Break.

We have much to look forward to in the second half of this term!

Kind regards,

John Kiely