On Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th of May, all Ty students had a two day law course which was given by a barrister from Galway called James Fahy. James Fahy has been a barrister for the last 30 years.
On Monday, all students were brought up to the Mercy Hall, where we were introduced to James. For the day, we learnt about a variety of different topics to do with the law and how the Irish Legal System works. He went through different situations and how they would be dealt with in court such as car crashes, assault and criminal offences. It was very interesting to hear different things that I didn’t know before and was surprised by. James also went through different cases he has dealt with in his career, some of them we heard before on the news. I found this part very interesting.
On Tuesday, we were in the Mercy Hall until 11:00. We spent the morning, we learnt about the Criminal Law such as robbery and murder. James went through different cases that James has been a part of some major cases in Ireland. Some of them were very disturbing. After our 11:00 break, we had to walk to the Court House for 11:30. John had arranged for us to do a mock court trial where different people would act out different parts and we would have a pretend murder trial. This was very different and interesting as I had never went to a court case before.
I enjoyed this course as I was very interested in it , I would recommend this course to other students who are interested in Law.
On Friday 20th of January, a group of 50 students went to Letterkenny IT for their taster day. We got to try out 4 courses and see what different courses are like and what its like to be a student there. The building is bigger and very different to what I expected.
The first course we tried was Law. We were brought into a classroom and talked about different laws. We were divided into different groups: the defense, judges and the prosecution. Our next course was Sports Performance, we were given a talk on what the course is about and what can come out of studying it. We were shown different machinery used for experiments such as treadmills and we got to try them out. Next, we had lunch and got to order from the canteen. The food was so nice and a good idea of college life. We got 45 minutes to look around the college.
We then got to try Design and Creative Media, which was my favourite course of the day. We learned about the wide variety of areas in the course from animation to photography. We also went to a green room. This is where weather forecasts or music recordings are made. We tried it out and it was very interesting. Our final course of the day was Business. We were put into groups and asked questions about a product.
We got the bus home at normal school finishing time. I really enjoyed the day and would definitely be thinking of this college for the future.
On Thursday the 30th of March, all of the TY year traveled to Belfast to see the play version of Alice in Wonderland; Through The Looking Glass.
We left the school at ten to nine in the morning. We arrived in Belfast at Victoria’s Square at 12pm. We went shopping and had lunch. We met back at 2pm and the play started at 2:30pm. The play finished at 4pm and we arrived home at 8pm.
The play was very good and I would recommend it to other year groups.
On Thursday, the 13th of October, 50 TY’s from our school were invited to a day of workshops in the Abbey Hotel in Donegal Town. This was organized by Connect Mental Health and Foroige Youth Project. it was part of Connect Mental Health week. This event involved interactive and fun workshops about different things to do with your mental health such as eating well, being active and the importance of balance and relaxation. I had volunteered to help out with Connect Mental Health Week, I was invited to go to the event.
On Thursday morning, we went on a bus to Donegal Town and were brought into the Abbey Hotel. There was a board with the lists of the different groups for the workshops. I was in the purple group and was given a purple wristband. We first went into the ballroom and were greeted by other students from other schools across Donegal who we were mixed with. There was a stall with fruit, snacks and water that we could take for free. We sat down to listen to a talk by Breifne Earley, who cycled across the world in 2014/2015. He told us how he had suffered badly with depression and suicidal thoughts, he also told us about how he decided to turn his life around. He also showed us a video with different clips of all 27 countries he travelled across. It was inspirational.
We had 5 workshops,each workshop was about 40 minutes long. Our first workshop was yoga. The woman done simple exercises with us. It was very relaxing and calming and a nice way to start the morning. She told us the importance of relaxation and de-stressing by doing something you enjoy such as reading or having a bath. Yoga is a very good way to calm down and relax and take some time for yourself. The second workshop we did was a cooking demonstration by Donegal chef,Zack Gallagher. He showed us how to do a simple chicken stir-fry and gave us basic tips when cooking meals. He told us the importance of eating healthy food for our mental health, let alone our physical health. It was very interesting and also tasted really good. Our next workshop was a dance workshop and was my favorite workshop of the day. A woman called Theresa done dancing with us and told us how important it was to be yourself and not be afraid to be different. It was super fun and I really enjoyed it. We then went and got lunch and returned to the Abbey Hotel for our final 2 workshops.
After lunch, our next 2 workshops were more serious. Our first talk was with a woman who works for Jigsaw, a youth mental health organization. She talked to us about the importance of speaking out if we had a problem and showed us some videos about sharing problems. She also talked to us about the Donegal Youth Council and what they do. Our final talk was about minding our mental health and basically summarized the whole day.
I thoroughly enjoyed this day and it made me realize the different things that can affect our mental health and the importance of minding it!
On Tuesday,the 11th of October, our TY group attended the RSA Road Safety Road Show in the Aura Leisure Centre in Letterkenny. This show raises awareness for young drivers starting to drive and being safe on our roads. This show was extremely heart-breaking and very hard to listen to. This show is run by the Donegal County Council annually and is award winning for its realistic and upsetting message.
We were first brought into a huge theatre in the leisure centre with flashing, colorful lights and loud music putting every one into a happy mood. The theme of the show was nothing like the upbeat music, it quickly changed our moods as we begin to see the shocking reality of a car crash throughout the show.
The show was based around the story of a young man called Sean, who had just got his drivers license and a new car. At the start of the show, we met Sean, played by an actor who is extremely happy, as anyone would be after they passed their driving test. He just got his license, a new car and is planning to take his girlfriend for a night out. We are then showed a video of Sean crashing into a tree and the awful horrors of the crash. The video was extremely difficult to watch, I was not able to look at the screen.
The results of the car crash isn’t played out to us but told from the point of view of a guard, paramedic, a fire officer and an emergency consultant who were at the scene of the crash. A mother of a car crash victim told us her story. An actual victim of a crash, Richard Alcorn who had to get an arm amputated and is paralysed as a result of a car crash 10 years ago, also told us his story. I soon came to realise that this was definitely not an imaginary story, it was a very realistic one. It was heartbreaking listening to the talks coming from the different speakers and how badly they were affected after witnessing the crash even though its their jobs, on a personal level they are traumatized by what they see. Paramedics sometimes even need to get professional councilors after as they are so traumatized by what they see. We also learnt the emotional aftermath of a car crash as we met a mother who’s young daughter died in a car crash, quickly putting more than half of the audience into tears. Also, seeing Richard Alcorn in the wheelchair and seeing how much his life changed as a result of the accident was very eye opening and heart-wrenching. The show ended with the important message of “next time it could be you” as you never know what is around the corner.
I would highly recommend this show to future TY students.
On Tuesday, the 27th of September, our TY year went to Sligo to see a comedian. We left the school at 9:30am and we took three buses to get to the Hawkswell Theatre. We didn’t know what to expect but previous TY students told us it would be very enjoyable.
We were the first school to arrive, when the show began, the theatre was full with us and other schools. The show was a one man comedy. It was relatable and funny and suited our age group well, the comedian was very good at acting, and he was also capable of keeping the large audience engaged and laughing throughout the show. Although the show wasn’t serious, it portrayed a good message.
After the show finished, we had time to get lunch and go shopping, we arrived back at school at roughly 3:30pm. I really enjoyed my day.
For my TY bonding trip, my year went to Delphi from the 12th to the 14th of September. We stayed two nights, leaving on Monday, and we came back home on Wednesday. Delphi is a popular adventure resort on the Galway/Mayo border. I had never been to Delphi before and didn’t know what we would be doing, so this made the trip more exciting.
The buses left on Monday morning from our school at 9:00 and we arrived in Delphi at around 1:00 after a very long and tiring journey. We arrived at a big hostel in the middle of mountains and water. We were brought to our rooms and given time to unpack our bags. We were then divided into our activity groups and about to start our first activity at 2:00. I was put into Group 1 and our first activity was surfing. We were given wetsuits and brought to this small beach. We were brought to Cross Beach. We changed and the instructor gave us a demonstration on how to surf because most of us, including me had never been surfing much before. The instructors were very helpful and friendly and helped us in the water. We got changed and went back to the resort and had time before dinner to shower and get changed for our next activity. We had dinner at 5:45 and got a chance to talk to our friends and have a look around the resort. Our evening activity was at 7:00 and it was an adventure walk. It was a sunny evening and we got to see the lovely scenery on our walk trail. We arrived back at the resort and had supper and then went to our rooms at 10:00.
On Tuesday, we got a wake up call by one of the instructors at 7:45 and had breakfast at 8:00 and had our morning activity at 9:30 which was high ropes. I found this activity frightening and difficult as I don’t like heights but I still got involved. We had lunch at 1:00 and had our afternoon activity at 2:00 which was kayaking. We were brought to Killary fjord and given a brief demonstration on how to kayak. I was excited about kayaking as I had never been kayaking before, I really enjoyed the activity and I definitely would go again. We got changed and had our dinner and relaxed until our evening activity. Our evening activity was called energisers and it was bonding games. We first of all went for a walk and played some team work games and then when it was starting to get dark, we went inside for some ball games. It was really fun and I got to know the people in my group. We had our supper and went to our rooms for the night.
Wednesday was our final day and we were awoken up at 7:45 for breakfast at 8:00. We still had our morning activity which was rock climbing and archery. I didn’t do the rock climbing, I held the ropes for Fiona, I enjoyed the archery. We had our lunch at 1:00 and went back to our rooms and had to pack up our things and clean our rooms. We got on our buses and started to make our way home at 2:00. I didn’t want to leave Delphi as it was such good fun. When we got back to the school at around 4:30, we got our Junior cert Results.
I really enjoyed our trip to Delphi, it gave us a chance to try out new sports and get to know our year a lot better. I would definitely recommend Delphi to other TY students.