Monthly Archives: February 2016


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15th March 2016 Portlaoise College will commemorate the 1916 Rising.
First Year students are to dress in “costumes” that day; clothes that would have been worn in that era.

Proclamation Day: Trip to Croke Park
This was a special occasion for many secondary schools as the Thomas F. Meagher foundation presented flags and commemorative booklets. To be addressed by the President Michael D. Higgins made the occasion even more significant. 5th Year student Kayleigh O’Connor collected the flag and booklet for our school.

Our TY students Portlaoise college designed this artwork with Ms. O’Grady. It contains all the names of those who died in 1916″ #rang1916 #edchatie

The Transition year students in Portlaoise College are completing their Young Social Innovators project ‘T for refugees’. T stands for tolerance. The aim of the project is to promote tolerance for Syrian Refugees as well as taking part in aid collection with ‘Jacket off your Back.

9 million refugees have fled their homes and are living in harsh conditions on the mountainsides in Europe. Many of these are children at risk of disease and malnutrition.

The students in Portlaoise college have been collecting jackets,blankets,sleeping bags and winter clothes for both children and adults. At this stage a sleeping bag could save someones life.

We want to promote and help with this serious issue. These people have fled their war torn countries, children have no school to attend and the environment is not safe.

Young social Innovators provide students with an opportunity to get involved in social issues, to take action and make a difference.

The students are working hard, this is the second time for Portlaoise College to become involved and the TY students are eager to be active social innovators.











20 students and staff from Portlaoise College are in Gambia on a volunteering trip. The students are teaching small children in a nursery school, fitting out a shop, and delivering educational and medical supplies they brought from Ireland to a medical centre and hospital in Gambia. They are donating a portable projector and a laptop. In total the students raised €20,400, with much of that raised by their onstage producyion last November of “Summer Nights”.



sponsorship Sometimes Silence Speaks Volumes

Imagine not being able to say ‘I Love You’. February is the month of love where couples from across the world openly celebrate their affection for each other. But imagine not being able to say ‘I Love You’ this Valentine’s Day. Most people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) can’t. Between 80-95% of people living with MND will experience some loss of speech before they die.

Patrick (Padge) Kelly is 28 years old from Lucan in Dublin. Padge was diagnosed with MND in 2003 when he was 17. When he was in sixth year in school he noticed that his hand writing had become very messy and that he wasn’t as fast when he played football. One day when he was walking home from the shops with his Gran he found he couldn’t carry the bags for her.

“I went from a limp to needing a crutch to a wheelchair. I can’t move my arms or hands. The worst of all is that my tongue, mouth and diaphragm has also been affected which robbed me of my speech. I could deal with being disabled but not being able to communicate with family and friends was difficult to come to terms with”, said Padge.

Esther Tracey is 58 years old and was diagnosed with MND in 2013. Esther is an amazing cook, and runs her kitchen with the precision of a professional. She may have lost her swallow and speech to MND but that hasn’t dampened her appetite for life.

“The progressive symptoms which have left me without speech and swallow were daunting but with help from my family and friends I can communicate very well. Every challenging step along the way has consistently brought out the fighter in me and the support of the IMNDA has helped me to maintain a positive attitude to keep fighting this”, said Esther.

Thursday 11th February 2016 5B Link Modules class with their teacher Ms. Boland took part in a 30 minute sponsored silence to experience what life is like for Esther and Padge. They fundraised for this activity and raised €260 that they donated to the IMNDA. Marie Reavey, IMNDA visited the student on Thursday 25th February 2016 and spoke to the class about the role and avtivities of the IMNDA (powerpoint attached).


The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA) is the only organisation of its kind providing care and support to people with Motor Neurone Disease, their families, friends and carers. The IMNDA was set up in 1985 and since then they strive to ensure that each individual receives the care and support that they require to enable them to live as active independent citizens in their community.

Their services include home visiting by an MND nurse, financial assistance to increase homecare packages once recommended by the MND Nurse and where a HSE home care package is already in place, the provision of specialist medical equipment on loan free of charge to their clients, publications on MND and home visits & supports from an Association Visitor. They also support research into the causes and treatment of the disease by providing grants towards scientific and medical research of the highest quality specific to MND

Sometimes silence can speak volumes.

Thank you from the IMNDA:

As you know this February we asked people to ‘Shut Up’ for MND. Our sponsored silence ran for the month of February to demonstrate the impact of losing your speech.

Thanks to Esther and Padge people took on the challenge at home, in work and in their communities. We had a great response from families, work colleagues and schools coming together to take on our silent challenge.
IMNDA Silence
The length people stayed quiet for ranged from 30 minutes right up to a few hours to a few days! One woman did our silence for 2 full days proving that sometimes silence does speak when words can’t.

Sponsor cards flew out the door and the awareness created through the media was brilliant.
More people took on the challenge than last year. More people quit speaking and stayed quiet for MND.

So Thank You! Thank you to absolutely everyone for taking part – the word is now out, now our silence shouts!