Michael O’ Connor coordinates this aspect of Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh.
Iar-dhaltaí ar Twitter: @GCL_alumni
Graduation Year: 2013
University: Trinity College Dublin
Course: European Studies
Summary of your experience in Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh: The six greatest years of my life were spent in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh. I find it extraordinarily difficult to summarize such an experience, but here’s my attempt! Coming to Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh from a non-Irish speaking primary school, I feared the worst, that I would find the Irish challenging and almost impossible, but a month in, the staff of Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh had managed to absolutely everything they could to help me settle into the Irish-speaking environment, and by October of first year, I was even dreaming through Irish. The atmosphere in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh is something that I will never forget. The warm, friendly environment that fills the corridors and the classrooms is unique to the school. I have made friends for life in Gaelcholáiste, and met some of the greatest mentors who I will always look up to, especially given the fact that teaching is a career that I could see myself doing. It sounds quite corny, but I know that if I hadn’t gone to Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh, I honestly do not think that I would be who I am today. It’s a school environment that everybody can mould themselves into. Every student is allowed to express themselves in any way they like, and it is a school that allows you to blossom into whoever you want to be. The wide range of extracurricular activities and subjects allows us students to discover exactly what we are interested in, and the diverse Transition Year program is absolutely wonderful. I left that school in May 2013 knowing that it had become like a home to me, and that the doors were always open to return for a visit, which is a feeling a lot of students don’t have when leaving school. The laughing, the crying, the frantic scurrying to the class for which you are late, the group-work, the music, the lifelong friends and the greatest teachers are always on my mind, and I owe it to the school for where I am today, and for giving me the courage to aim for my goals and dreams, and to believe in myself.
Name: Michael O’Connor
Graduation Year: 2013
University: Limerick School of Art and Design, LIT
Course: Art and Design
Summary of your experience in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh: My experience in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh was second to none. The teachers were excellent with great focus on academic studies and support was always brilliant. Extra curricular activities grew year in year from when we started back in 2007. The implementation of technology in GCL is something we experienced first hand and can be marked as innovative and very forward thinking. A brilliant school community which I highly recommend and thank for the experiences I had while there.
Name: Cayleigh Dunworth
Graduation Year: 2014
Tá sé deacair a rá go díreach cén fath go raibh sé bliana comh iontach agam I GCL. Is am deacair agus tábhachtach í le haghaidh gach dalta ar aon nós nuair a thosaíonn tú sa mheáinscoil. Thaitin atmasféar an scoil liom ón gcéad lá ar aghaidh. Bhí sé éasca cairde a dheanamh toisc go raibh an blain comh beag. An rud a sheasann amach dom ná bhí áit le haghaidh gach duine ach ní raibh tú greamaithe san áit sin. Bhí daoine spórtúil a ghlac ról sa díospóireacht, bhí ceoltóirí ar an coiste glas, bhí ionadaí fíor éagsúil ar comhairle na ndaltaí agus de bharr, bhí guth ag gach uile duine i nGaelcholáiste Luimnigh. Bhí sé comh cabhrach nuair a bhí gach baill den foireann oibre ag iarraidh cabhair leat I gconaí in aon slí a bhí riachtannach. Tá na muinteoirí óg agus éasca caint le más rud go raibh fadh éigin agat le cúrsaí scoile no fiú go pearsanta. Mar fhocail scoir, bhí taithí fíor dearfach agam sa scoil agus ní féidir liom caint ar son gach duine ach táim compordach ag abair le aon duine nach raibh mé I mo aonair leis an taithí sin.
It’s hard to put into words exactly why I had such a brilliant six years in GCL. It’s a hard and important time in any teenager’s life when they begin in secondary school. I enjoyed the atmosphere in the school from the very first day. It was easy to make friends because of the small year. What stands out to me the most when I look back is that everyone had a place suited to them in the school but weren’t limited to that place at the same time. There were sporty people on the debating team, there were musicians on the green school’s committee, there were all sorts of representatives on the student’s council which meant every single student in GCL had a voice. It was so helpful knowing that every staff member was happy and eager to help in any way whether it was academic or even personal. The teachers are so young and approachable. I had such a positive experience in GCL and I can’t speak on everyone’s behalf but I am confident in saying I wasn’t alone with my positive experience.
Name: Cathy Kerbey
Graduation Year: 2012
University: University College Cork
Course: Music and English
I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh. Learning Irish – a skill I did not have prior my time in the college is one of my greatest achievements to date, and it is something I am extremely proud of. This amazing skill has enabled me to interact with Irish language societies in university, and to keep what I have learnt in Gaelcholáiste alive. I cannot commend the staff enough. To this day, I firmly believe that I could not have achieved the results I obtained anywhere else. Although it has been two years since I’ve graduated, I find myself frequently fondly reminiscing about my time in GCL.
Name: Aidan O’ Mahoney
Graduation Year: 2012
University: Trinity College, University of Dublin
I honestly cannot speak highly enough of the time I spent in Gaelcholáíste Luimnigh. I owe a great deal of gratitude, not only to the teachers, but also to An tUasal Ó’ Treasaigh, for helping me to unlock my potential, and getting me to where I am today.My outstanding memory of my time in school will always be the sheer fervour and diligence with which the staff tackled each day. Their enthusiasm ensured that students were constantly challenged with new and stimulating ideas, providing an environment that was free of boredom and monotony. These challenges meant the world to me, and I’m certain my peers would agree, as they kept us on our toes andattentive throughout the years.Finally, I’d like to finish by saying that the people I met during my time there have given me many cherishablememories, and have helped mould me into the person I am today. There’s nowhere else I would rather have spent my time.
Name: Cian Murphy
Graduation Year: 2013
Course: Pharmaceutical and Industrial Chemistry
I can genuinely say that my time in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh was the most rewarding of my life. Anything I say cannot do justice to an tUasal Ó’ Treasaigh and the amazing staff working in the college. The passion every teacher has for their particular subject is infectious and led to my classmates and I becoming actively interested in what we were studying. I never thought I’d hear myself say that I missed secondary school but I often find myself envious of the current crop of students because of the extraordinary position they’re in. The unique atmosphere in the college coupled with the energy and diligence of those who surrounded me had a significant role in shaping the person I am today. The people I met and the experiences I had in GCL will stay with me for the rest of my life. I can’t imagine spending those 6 years anywhere else. In a word: unforgettable.
Name: Aoife Willis
Graduation year: 2012
Course: Applied Languages.
Choosing to attend Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh was easily one of the best decisions I ever made in regards to my education and shaping me as a person. Without the supportive, open-minded, hard-working and all-round outstanding staff I believe I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh offers excellent opportunities, both inside the classroom and outside it. Every pupil is encouraged to follow their passion and interests and whatever it may be GCL aims to provide the best stage possible to support each and every student. Be it BT young scientist, sports, art, language there was always a teacher or member of staff there able and willing. I always felt encouraged to follow whatever new-found, be it short lived or otherwise, passion or interest I had. Because of this I have countless experiences that I believe I wouldn’t of had if I had chosen to go anywhere else other than Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh. It is without doubt that the success of Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh does not fall on one person’s shoulders but it is most definitely Principal, D. Ó’ Treasaigh, who holds down the fort. His sheer enthusiasm for the school and the pupils in it is incredible. My time at Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh is a time I will remember with great fondness. I am very proud to have been apart of it’s history and to have worn the uniform. My only regret being that it went all too quickly.
Name: Ryan Meaney
Graduation Year: 2012
University: Institute of technology Tralee
Course: Health and Leisure studies
Looking back on my experience in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh I feel proud to be part of the founding of a brand new school. We had the opportunity to create a positive image and ethos for the school which I feel we succeeded in doing. Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh gave me the opportunity to grow as an individual and it played a part in shaping me to be the person I am today . Having such positive and open minded staff certainly played a big part in creating the atmosphere that makes GCL what it is. My days in GCL were some of the best days of my life and when I think back they bring a smile to my face.