Newsletter Summer 2003









First Year Students went on a trip to the zoo in May.

We went to school and the busses collected u at 10.20. When we got to the Zoo we went to the information desk to get a map for the treasure hunt. After that we were allowed to go wherever we wanted to – but only in groups.

We saw he monkeys first – they were really cute. On the other hand, the gorilla was so fat that he could not walk we went on to look at the wolves. Some of the girls thought that this was too scary. The cheetahs had beautiful fur.

We really enjoyed the seals because they were being fed and were jumping up and down in the water and splashing everyone. We also saw the penguins being fed – they were eating like savages.

We saw animals that we had never even heard of in the “African Planes” area. There were animals like the Red Log – it was really ugly.

It was a great day for everyone and we would like to thank Ms.Lalor and all the teachers for giving us a day out.



Celine Joyce



The awards ceremony took place in the school gym on Monday, May 19th. The guest speaker was MARIA GLEESON. Maria is a past pupil of Mercy College. She is now head of the Department of Art and Design in the Liberties. Maria made a short and encouraging speech. She then presented the awards.

A huge number of students received awards. The main categories are as follows:

The outgoing head girl, deputy head girl and the senior prefects

The student council members,

The librarians

Those who got the best Leaving Cert. Results and the best Junior Cert. Results

Students with full attendance

Students with the best academic record in each class

Students who made a supreme effort

Trophies were awarded to the “Student of the Year” in each year group and the overall “Student of the Year” was awarded to Pamela Carr.

Special awards were made for outstanding contributions in the areas of Music, Art and Sport.

Other special awards were made to Amanda Evans for co-operation and commitment to helping at parent teacher meetings. Jane Butler was presented with a certificate in recognition of the fact that she raised E200 in the “Sponsor an Athlete” fund raising. The “Best Kept Room” was awarded to room 12 and the shield for the group with the “Best Class Spirit” went to room 6.

Room 11 were presented with an award for their care of the environment and for organising the bottle re-cycling scheme. Room 9 received an award for their work in maintaining room 13.

The final part of the ceremony was when the new prefects for the year 2003 to 2004 were presented with their badges – they are

Jamie Arthurs

Lesley Brant

Elaine Burke

Frances Caffrey

Denise Donoghue

Emma Fagan

Leanne Fitzsimons

Clare Hampson

Emma Kelly

Maeve Killeen

Leanne Lawless

Elizabeth Mulvaney

Sarah O’Connor

Tracey Wade.

The new head Girl is SABRINA WOODS.

The new Deputy Head Girls are CAROLINE McCALL and MARGARET HOGAN.

We wish them all the best of luck for next year.


Congratulations to all award winners.



Outstanding success on the club scene.

It has been a very exciting season for the Mercy basketball programme with outstanding success for the club’s senior team. The senior ladies, comprising past pupils from the school, won 4 major trophies. They won the Dublin Division 1 Title, Dublin Cup, National League Division 1 and the All Ireland Championships.

This resulted in the club being voted National League Division 1 “club of the year.”

Our under 19 team finished runners up in the Dublin League.

On the school front it has been a quiet year. This is due to a drop off in the amount of Third and Forth years playing. However we have a good group of dedicated players in First year plus we have established a strong link with Scoil Caitriona and most of these players will play next year. If we are to keep the excellent name for basketball in Mercy College Coolock, we must encourage more of our First and Second years to participate.

I would like to thank Annette Ingle, Eleanor Curran, Lynsay Peat, Mick Brew and Bobby Temple for assisting with the coaching and especially Ms. Maura Mooney who has supported the basketball programme with such enthusiasm.

We would like to extend our best wishes to her on her retirement.

Looking forward to next season



[Head coach, Mercy Coolock Basketball]



Mercy College Basket Ball has been enormously successful – especially over the past 12 years. Evidence of this success is on display in the school gym. A collection of photographs shows the main events and the people involved..

 Ms.Cassidy of the Art department has produced a series of striking wall hangings listing the achievements of the players.  Hopefully we will be able to add to this display in the near future.




Throughout the year, guest speakers were invited to address the Leaving Cert. Classes on issues concerning various careers. Many different career options were explored, for example, nursing, teaching and aspects of business - to name but a few.

Students attended open days throughout the year beginning with a visit to the R.D.S. They also attended the Irish Times Higher Options open day.

The links with D.C.U. continue to grow and many students have applied for the “North Dublin Access Programme”.

Many students have attended interviews for college places; indeed some have been offered places already. Others must wait patiently until the C.A.O. make offers for Universities or Institutes of Technology in mid August. Students, as usual, have chosen from a wide variety of subject areas.




The Sixth Years celebrated their graduation mass in St. Brendan’s Church, Coolock on Tuesday May 20th. It was a moving experience with both laughter and tears.  The Head Girl, LORNA HOWARD spoke of new beginnings. She wished the sixth Years to have courage crossing the threshold to a new phase in life. She hoped that all the students would be successful in their career choices.

Ms. Heron also addressed the students. She encouraged them to continue to show the generosity of spirit for which they were renowned during their years in Mercy College.

Well done for being such a great year group and good luck with the future.




Farewell to Xose.

A letter to Xose from his chief admirer.

Another school year has passed by so quickly. But this year I have something to remember it by and that’s you Xose. I am sure all of the Spanish classes would agree that it has been a great help to us having you over in Ireland, teaching us Spanish, telling us about the Spanish way of life and how you celebrate Christmas, Easter and other occasions. I can remember the first class I ever had with you and I know I will remember the last. You will always hold that special place in our hearts. I will finish off now by saying, on behalf of everyone in Mercy College, thanks for making our school year more enjoyable and we hope to hear from you in the future.


Lisa McLoughlin.




Two Fifth Year students, EMMA FAGAN and JENNIFER GOOD are going to France in late July to study French. The Board of Management is supporting them in their studies. We would like to wish them  “Bon Voyage” and look forward to their report on their experiences in the next newsletter.

Gaeltacht Scholarships.

Comghairdeas to the following students who received Gaeltacht scholarships of either E100 or E50 from the Board of Management

Sarah Cassidy 2.1

Orla Healy 2.1

Deirdre Mc Call 2.1

Jemma Kirby 3.2

Alison Harrington 3.3

Aisling Keenan 3.3

Jayne Howard 3.3

Fiona Healy 3.1

Louise Murray 3.1

All nine students will attend Irish Colleges in Conemara, County Galway, during the summer. We wish them an enjoyable and safe holiday. Go n’eiri an t-adh libh!.

The Irish Department is very grateful to the Board of management for its generous contribution.  Mile Buiochas.



The Summer Hockey League began in May. All students were invited to participate and over 100 names appeared on the list. The tournament was organised by Sixth years – especially LORNA HOWARD and ANGELA QUINN.  A Sixth Year coached each of the teams. The students refereed all of the matches. It had been hoped that all of these activities would take place outdoors, but because of weather conditions, many of the matches had to be played indoors. In the final league match, Lorna’s team were runners up and the winners were Angela’s team.

Ms. Mooney presented medals to both teams. The Hockey players were especially grateful since this was Ms. Mooney’s last official “engagement”.

The Sports Department would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Harrison for all of the time and effort she gives to the development of Hockey in the school. Sincere gratitude is also extended to Ms. Mooney on her retirement. She has given help and encouragement to the staff and students involved in sport in Mercy College.




Art classes for parents and members of the community continued after Christmas. The Scoil Caitriona and St. Brendan’s parents organised and recruited parents to attend an excellent course on quilt making.


Work on self-esteem is on going in the parents’ room. Rose Fitzpatrick gave a course in “Assertiveness”.


Ongoing drugs awareness courses for parents and students were organised between the Resource Centre, the Parish Centre, Mercy College and other local schools. Four talks took place and they were very well attended. The Drugs Awareness Programme is ongoing and is open to parents and students.


A meeting for the parents of new first Years took place in the school on April 7th. Teachers and parents facilitated workshops for the new parents. Special thanks to parents, teachers and students for their time and support.

Transfer workshops took place for the incoming first Year students. Some of the fifth Year students and some parents facilitated these workshops. Mandy Scully, a Drug Awareness co-ordinator participated in these workshops.

A sports morning was held in Mercy College on May 20th for the incoming students, special thanks to Ms. Whelehan, Ms. McGuigan and a great bunch of fifth years for making this a most enjoyable event.



The Local Committee continues to focus on self-esteem / health / drugs awareness issues. As a result of a needs analysis done in the local area by the Resource Centre it is hoped to get something done for the elderly. It is also hoped that the local committee will focus on providing support for the parents of special needs students and for parents and students who are having difficulty dealing with death or separation.


Two members of the Student Council attended the Local Committee. They contributed to a discussion on how we can out-reach to the needs of the local community. Members of the School Council will continue to attend these meetings and we look forward to their involvement and contribution.



Vincent Byrne, an Adlerian Counsellor continues to provide support for parents and students helping them to understand family life and the problems of young people in adolescence. He is available for parents in Mercy College Parents’ Room on Tuesday nights between 7.30pm. and 9.30pm. and  on Wednesday afternoons between 2.00 and 4.00pm.  All are welcome and the service is free of charge.

Vincent Byrne offers Adlerian Counselling in two ways; by having individual sessions with parents and students and by informal sessions whereby parents and students can come along to discuss areas of concern. Vincent also offered two Adlerian weekends – one in November and one in May. These were open to the public and practising professionals such as teachers, psychologists, counsellors and parents which made for a lively mix as parents, their children and the professionals went through the Adlerian process. These were hugely successful.







The year 2003 marks the beginning of what will hopefully be a long and rewarding working relationship between Mercy College and the wider community. Pictured below are the parents, grandparents, friends and neighbours of Mercy College who generously gave of their time to take part in a “Paired reading Programme”.

The Paired reading Programme, along with the “Read Along” proved to be very valuable, worthwhile and was enjoyed by both students and tutors.


The picture shows Third Years proudly displaying their J.C.S.P. “Student Profiles”. These are certificates that list the many targets achieved by the students over the past three years. The Department of Education and Science award these certificates.

We wish the girls continued success as they sit their exams in June.


Plans for next year include continuing the Literacy programme, starting a numeracy initiative and the use of drama in the classroom.





The 41 students participating in this programme had a very interesting year. They took part in many activities including a full day seminar on “Image and Interview” techniques; a visit to St. Vincent’s Hospital for a full day seminar on job opportunities in the medical field; a visit to a local factory.


The students undertook to organise a quiz for the first Year students – this was part of their Enterprise activity. The First Year students had a wonderful morning winning many prizes. The LCVP class was meticulous in their planning and organisation of this activity and everything ran smoothly. A great time was had by all.


The final activity the girls helped organise was the 6th year Graduation. This involved working closely with the parents’ committee. It included flower arranging; preparing the hall; shopping; making sandwiches and finally, on the night of the graduation, attending and helping to serve the refreshments along with the parent’s committee. The students were highly praised by all concerned.


M. O’Leary LCVP Co-ordinator.




Nine years ago I came to Mercy College Coolock as a stranger. I have found the students to be caring and generally happy to co-operate with teachers. Teachers are highly committed to students’ education in the widest sense and normally an atmosphere of cordial respect permeates interpersonal relationships.

As a result students have achieved at the highest level in all spheres of life. The extra curricular facilities and programmes are second to none. I have found parents to be very supportive and appreciative of the work done in the school.  I have never worked in a better school and wish the new Principal Ms. Patricia Dwyer and the whole school community continued success in the future.

I take this opportunity to thank everyone, the Board of Management, the teachers, the parents and the students for their support and co-operation over the past nine years. I have been very happy here.





Second years were busy in an extremely practical way during the year.


On Tuesday May 14th members of 2.4 designed the flower bed at the school’s front entrance. The students created an “Alpine Garden” as you can see from the photograph. They completed this task with much enthusiasm and fun. The flower bed is a credit to them. For their hard work all morning, and excellent behaviour all year, they spent the afternoon at the cinema watching “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”. All had a great day.

Many thanks to Ms. Quinn, Ms. Downes, Ms. Lalor, Ms. Maloney and especially Ms. Harrison.


2.2 were busy throughout the year with the “Bottle Recycling” scheme. Considering the number of students in the school, they had a huge amount of work to do.

In April, 2.2 organised the “National Spring Clean” campaign in the school.  They encouraged everyone to “join the mean, green, cleaning machine”. The school really sparkled as a result of their efforts.

2.2 put an enormous effort into cleaning up the courtyard in the centre of the school.


The school would like to thank 2.2 and 2.4 for their generous contribution to improving the greenness of the environment in Mercy College.



On March 19th, Louise Hancock, Aisling Lyons, Caroline McCall and Aimee Montgomery attended the annual Spanish Quiz in Ballsbridge. Over 20 teams took part from all over Dublin. There were eight rounds of Spanish general knowledge and after each round there was a spot prize round. We managed to come fifth but Ms. Kelly, Xose and Mrs. McCall all won something on the night. But even though we didn’t win we had a very good night.

Special thanks to Ms. Kelly and Xose for taking us there and to Mrs. McCall for bringing us to the venue and back.




Senior students of Business entered a competition run by the “Irish Independent” and “Setanta Asset Management”. Students were given E100, 000 (on paper) to invest in stocks and shares on the Irish Stock Exchange. Each team of four had to choose up to five shares for their portfolio. The markets over the last year have been very sluggish and because of this, very few share portfolios realised a profit. There were entries from third level and second level colleges throughout Ireland. One of our teams came in twelfth place overall. Congratulations to this team:





Substance abuse

The issue of substance abuse is a concern to everyone in our community.  The students, staff and parents in Mercy College share that concern.  As part of our response, we have spent a lot of time over the past year developing a new policy on substance misuse for the school.  Our concerns in doing this were:


§       to promote the health and welfare of the whole school community;

§       to provide the protection necessary to all members of the school community;

§       to outline procedures to be followed in the event of a drug-related incident.


The new policy wasn’t developed because we have a problem in the school, but because we want to avoid problems arising in the first place.  The students, their parents, the staff and the Board of Management all worked together to develop the new policy, and we are grateful to everyone who got involved.  As a result of the work of the group, the policy statement was completed and can now be viewed on the school website at  


In the course of the year we also organised an information session for the staff and a series of workshops for parents.  The staff of Crosscare, the Health Board, the SPHE support services and the Gardai helped us in this and their support and expertise were invaluable. 


We are in the process of developing a new module on substance misuse for all classes in the school, which will be part of their SPHE course next year.  We hope that the students will learn from and enjoy the classes.


Margaret Quinn       

SPHE co-ordinator  




The Challenger Programme was set up to encourage people from the Darndale / Priorswood areas to go on to third level education.  The statistics showed that this area had the second lowest percentage of students going on to third level education in the country.

The “Northside Partnership” was a major help to the Challenger Programme because it contributed to the cost of grinds and all the leisure activities organised by the Challenger Programme. The programme has helped us socially and in terms of our schoolwork. Many students from Mercy College have benefited enormously from participating in this programme.

We are very glad that we are part of such a useful programme.

We were asked by some of the organisers to make a speech about our thoughts and feelings. We agreed, although we found the idea a bit intimidating. What follows are the main points in our speeches.


Nicola Gorman and Lisa Mc Loughlin.

Third Year.



I was asked to write a speech on my years in the “CHALLENGER PROGRAMME”.  At first the idea of making a speech was a little scary because speaking publicly is not something I tend to do often. When I asked for advice the only words that stuck in my head afterwards were “ah, you’ll be grand, you’ll be speaking to about one hundred people through a microphone”.  So I can tell you, that really boosted my confidence.

The Challenger Programme has been a big help to me this year. This is especially true because, as you know, third year is a big school year for one reason only, THE JUNIOR CERT. There were a few subjects that I was finding difficult, but now I am finding them a lot easier thanks to the grinds the Challenger Programme provided. The grinds helped me to improve in the areas in which I felt weak. The grinds not only helped me; they were a big help for my Mam and Dad.  They didn’t have a lot of money for extra teaching for me.

Studying was also a big problem for me. At school I am told that two hours of homework and two hours of studying is what I should be doing every night. This is very hard for someone who hates missing Eastenders and Coronation Street.  The study skills reinforced what we had done in school. Now, thanks to the study skills provided I can sit and study without getting distracted. The study skills showed me how to study properly and once I got into studying, I didn’t feel it that bad.

The Challenger Programme not only helps you with school, it helps you socially too. You get to met new people and make new friends.  A group of us went to Carlingford with the Challenger Programme. This helped everyone on the programme to get to know each other better. It was a great laugh. Basically, what you put in to the trip you get out of it. If you’re not going to join in the activities, then obviously you’re not going to come home saying that you had as good a time as someone whom did wind surfing, orienteering and archery.

It’s the same with schoolwork. If you put in the work needed, you’ll get the results you want. If you don’t you wont. The Challenger is offering you help so that you can put in that extra work, so why not take up the offer because I did. I am very grateful for the help the programme has given me so far and I hope it will continue helping me until I reach Third level education because going to college is definitely something I want to do and the Challenger programme has helped me realise that.

Lisa McLoughlin



Like most people in the Challenger Programme, I was told about it in 6th class.  I really didn’t think much about it until I came to meetings like this and people who had been in the Challenger right through to 6th year were talking about how much it had helped them. It made me realise how lucky I was to be part of this programme.

Like Lisa, I am quite fond of my soaps, which meant that I wasn’t concentrating on study properly but thankfully I have begun to concentrate properly and on the right things. We also found that the grinds were a great help as it made us more confident about certain subjects.

To finish off, I would like to say how thankful and honoured I am to be here telling you about my experiences in the Challenger Programme…………… 

I’m looking forward to the next three years – hopefully it will be as enjoyable as it has been up to now. Thanks.





The annual raffle was a great success again this year. The total profit from the raffle was E3444.

The first prize of a D.V.D player went to E. O’Shaughnessy. Linda Sherry won the second prize of a voucher for Marathon Sports, valued at E150. Doreen Ward won E100 and Jennifer Good received a meal voucher for E50. Other winners were Anne Ivy, Mary Kelly and Jack Martin.

The Parents Association is very grateful to the following for their donations to the school raffle:

Burma Liffey Oil

M.T.L. Electronics.

Dignam Garden Services.


Seamus J. Ward Chartered Accountant.



Many thanks to all who contributed to the raffle.




The student council worked hard to organise a fund raising rounder match between a team of sixth years, mostly student council members, and that teachers. It took place on Tuesday April 29th last, in Mercy College. The objective was to raise E1000 for the “Support an Athlete” programme for the Special Olympics 2003 World Summer games. The students throughout the school were happy to add to the atmosphere by wearing tracksuits for the day.

The teachers’ team included Ms. Cassidy, Ms. Downes, Ms. Daltun, Ms. Harrison, Mr. Hooper, Mr. Hogan, Mrs. McAlister, Mr. Swan,   Mr. Young and Ms. Curtin.  Mr. Young wore a different hairstyle in honour of the occasion. The student team wore great t-shirts with nicknames printed on them.  Their team included Lorna Howard, Aine Hallissey, Tracey Wosser, Sinead Gregg, Nicola Coyne, Caroline Grehan, Denise Curley, Susan Grainger, Katrina Moran, Corina O’Brien, Ciara Lee and Catherine May. Both teams played well although the students were hard pressed to out do the skill and agility of the teachers’ team – experience I suppose!!! In the end however, the students’ team pipped the teachers’ team by 19-17. We must start training earlier next year!

From the outset, Student Council members from all year groups contributed to the success of the event by drawing posters to advertise it and pinning them up around the school. A team of Student Council members collected E2 from each student and then helped to count and bag the money. The Student Council as a body was delighted to see that with the combination of the student donation, the staff donation and that of the Board of Management, they exceeded their target. The final total was €1, 500.

On behalf of the Student Council, Ms Curtin, as Student Council Facilitator, wishes to thank everyone who contributed to the enjoyment of the day and many thanks also for such great generosity.



Congratulations to ORLAITH FALLON, one of our Fifth year Student Council members. Orlaith has been elected to the position of Dublin representative for “Comhairle na nOg”.  This is the Irish Youth Council.  The first meeting of the 55 representatives took place on Wednesday May 28th   in City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin 8.

Comhairle na nOg gives a voice to the young people of Ireland to make a changes in their environment. We look forward to learning how Orlaith got on in the next newsletter.

Well Done Ortlaith.



During the year we participated in many different activities including bowling, “hip hop” dancing, Thi Chi and beauty therapy. But everyone’s favourites without a doubt would have to be work experience, the trip to Delphi and of course the musical.

The trip to Delphi was described in the last newsletter.

Work experience.

Many of the girls found this project to be very worthwhile as they did their work experience in jobs that they would like to do as a career. Some girls decided that they were not cut out for the job they had picked. Others confirmed the job they wanted. But whatever the result, every girl got a taste of what it was like to work in a full time job, Monday to Friday.



As I am sure you all know, the transition Year students in Mercy College joined forces with the Transition Years in Chanel College and put on a fantastic performance of “Josephine and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat”.

This was, without doubt, the highlight of Transition Year for all of the girls.

It all started way back in September when the Director, Maureen Gilligan came to Mercy College to begin practices. Following the auditions, we began to learn our various parts.

In October, the girls began to go over to Chanel to join with the boys for practices. This happened twice a week. In December we met with the Musical Director and work on various songs and harmonies then began.

After Christmas it was down to very serious business. The practices became longer and more intense and the girls and boys worked harder and harder.

The first public showing of Josephine and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat took place on Tuesday March 11th. Everything went according to plan and the show was an “amazing” success. The show was performed for another 2 nights.

The girls loved every minute of practising and performing the show. I’m sure people realised this when they watched the show and saw how much the cast loved being up on that stage in front of everyone. I’m sure the audiences could feel the energy and excitement coming from the stage. This was an absolutely amazing and fantastic experience for everyone that was involved.


Lyndsay Hayden Transition Year Student.


Treasa Boyle’s Retirement.

Just before I came to Mercy College, an acquaintance who had worked as a bank manager in Coolock, told me that the Coolock people were the “salt of the earth”. By this he meant that they were genuine, down to earth, good people. I have found this to be true of the girls I taught in this school.

I have enjoyed my 24 years in Mercy College. Think of it! Almost a quarter of a century! Of course much of this time was spent in hard work, but there were fun times too and loads of laughter. I am fortunate in that I frequently had the feeling I was being paid for doing something I loved doing.

I’ve made good and true friendships, not just among the teachers but also among the students I’ve taught over the years. I meet my former students everywhere and they unfailingly friendly and a delight to meet. They have qualified as engineers, architects, teachers, accountants, beauty therapists, managers, scientists, child carers, doctors, receptionists, I am so proud when I hear of their success. Only last week an ex-student who is now a teacher herself invited me to lunch. It was wonderful to see her pride in her home and in her interesting garden. Somehow everything seems worthwhile on an occasion like this.

Unfortunately all good things come to an end. I’m leaving Mercy College because the time has come to do other things. I want to spend more time with my children and grandchildren and I want to read and perhaps write and walk and talk with my husband and relax a little also. I’ll miss you all, but I promise to visit occasionally just to make sure that you’re all working hard to prepare a bright future for yourselves.

My sincere good wishes to all of you and thank you for 24 happy years.

Treasa Boyle.




Garda Colin McHugo from the Community Policing Unit in Coolock Garda Station visited each of the First, Second and Third Year classes. He showed each group a video entitled “Know the Score”. It examined issues surrounding under age drinking. Some of the issues raised in the video were how drinking can affect performance in sport, how it can encourage young people to be less likely to say “No” to foolish or dangerous situations and how inhibitions can disappear with alcohol. The affect of the abuse of alcohol on health matters was also examined. Information was also given on underage drinking and the law.

The video was followed by an open and frank discussion of the matters raised in the video. The students

responded very well to these presentations.


Garde McHugo and other members of the Community Policing are available to come to meet with parents or groups of students in the school. We look forward to meeting them next year.



Those who use rooms 30 and 13 have been amazed by the quiet. The noise, which was driving us all crazy, is gone. Noisy students? No. The miracle of silence has arrived in the form of chairs that do not squeek.

Earlier this year, the students generously undertook a fund raising event to replace the chairs. They were very successful and their efforts helped to cover the cost of replacements for both rooms. We were greatly helped by the generous people who sponsored chairs.  We are grateful to all our sponsors and want to acknowledge the support of:

Italian Students

Premier Print

Harrisons’ Newsagents

AXA / PMPA Swords

Gregg Martin Repairs

Lynch Family.


Our sincere thanks to all our sponsors, to our students and to Ms.Downes, who spearheaded the undertaking. Well done everyone.