On a rainy day in November, one of the 3rd form sets went to the DSPCA for our CSPE action project. The Dublin Society of Prevention against Cruelty to Animals is Ireland’s largest and oldest animal welfare organisation.

When we arrived, we were given a very interesting and factual talk. We were given a brief history of how animal cruelty came about and learned about some of the work they do at the DSPCA.

Animal cruelty started to happen near the end of the industrial revolution. This was because land based animals weren’t needed weren’t needed for economical purposes, like transporting goods. The animals that weren’t needed would be shot or left to die. People thought that animals only were useful for economical purposes and didn’t have any feelings.

In the 1870s Mary Wright Sewell changed people’s views by writing “Black Beauty”. The book was written from the perspective of a horse which was mistreated. Many animal welfare organisations were set up at this time. This was about 150 years ago and cruelty towards animals still goes on. That means people still don’t understand that animals should be treated with respect, or people just don’t care.

The DSPCA was established in 1840 and the centre we visited in Rathfarnham opened in 2003. They have 5 stages when it comes to rescuing animals and they call them the 5 Rs. They are Rescuing the animal. They might have to Rehabilitate the animal as they might be scared of other humans if their owner treated them badly. They will Reunite the animal with the owner if the feel it is right. Otherwise they will Rehome the animal. At the DSPCA they also care for wild animals so they will Release them when they are ready.

At the DSPCA they care for all animals from labradors to African land snails! They help about 30,000 animals yearly. It costs them €3.3 million a year to run. They are an NGO which means they don’t receive any funding from the government apart from small grants. They get most of their money through fundraising and donations. At the DSPCA they only have a few employed professional vet and the rest are all volunteers.

At the DSPCA they have dealt with a lot of appalling cases of animal cruelty. We were told one of the cases. It was about a dog which had fleas. The owner didn’t know what to do so instead of taking the dog to the vets, the owner decided to cover the dog in diesel. The next week the fleas were still there so the owner scrubbed the dog with a Brillo pad. They were still there so the owner decided next to cut the patches of skin with fleas off with a Stanley knife. When the DSPCA found out they cleaned the dog and had to stitch up where the owner had cut the dog. When the dog healed, it was adopted by one of the volunteers.

After the talk we were lucky enough to look around the cattery and the dog kennels. In the cattery there were separate pods which all the healed cats were in. All the cats were very cute but sadly we weren’t allowed to pet them! Next we went to the kennels and the dogs were also very cute. At the end we even got to hold some adorable puppies!

It was a really interesting and fun trip and I would love to go back another day.

The latest edition of the pupil magazine, The Submarine, has just been published, and you can read it here via Issuu (click on the arrows to go through the pages, click again for a closer view, and click the icon bottom right for full-screen). Tania Stokes, Avi Johnston and Edna Johnston put it together.

Among the pieces are (written) Georgy Dementiev, Sinéad Cleary (‘In defence of Oedipus’), Shannon Dent and Marcus O’Connor, and there is lots of talented and skiful artwork by Amelie Buzay, Paolo Garcia Leslie, Isabelle Townshend, Kate Higgins, Jeanne Levesque, Max Cully, Glory Popoola and Frances Wilkinson.

Moreover, you can also listen to Noah Leach’s Song ‘Muse’ via Soundcloud below or via this link.

Shannon Dent reports on the most recent round of the Senior Debating Competiton. Motion: This house believes individual apathy is the greatest threat to our climate

Climate change, a very difficult topic to debate indeed. It is one of the main concerns circulating around the globe, so how could we be able to give solutions and answers? Well, we can’t but we can try, and this is exactly what some of St. Columbas’s pupils have done last Saturday activities.

The debates were really well done and I’m sure everyone enjoyed them. Some of the main questions that were discussed during the debates were: What will happen to people that live off of places that are negatively contributing to the environment? What about employees in big companies that would have to be fired if these companies were shut down? Are we too late? Is there nothing we can do? Debating in the Cadogan was Stackallan vs. Iona, a very good and thought-provoking debate indeed with Stackallan as the winners. Debating for Stackallan: Euan Dunlop, Oscar Yan and Juhyun Kim.  Debating for Iona: Kate Maylor, Raphaela and Laeticia Schoenberg. In the Lower Argyle, Hollypark vs. Gwynn, this was a wonderful debate with a lot of good debaters. Debating for Hollypark, who left victoriously, Aiyuni O’Grady, Elise Williams and Ailbhe Matthews. Debating for Gwynn, Daniel Swift, Kaspar Twietmeyer and Fintan Walsh. Finally debating in the BSR, Tibradden and Beresford vs. Glen, there was a very active debate with very passionate audience members and debaters. Debating for Tibradden and Beresford, Songyon Oh, Abigail O’Brien and Noah Leach. Debating for Glen, the winners of this debate, David White, Frank Babajide and Harry Oke.

These were all very entertaining debates and the decision was very difficult to make as the winners of these debates will go on to participate in the final. As for the rest, there is always next year, but if you’re not willing to wait for that long there are lots of opportunities to debate throughout the year so don’t worry.

Thank you for all of those who debated, the people that judged them. Being able to debate is a very useful skill to have and it is also very fun. So get involved! You won’t regret it.

Transition Year pupil Elise Williams writes about last year’s Junior Certificate Art Projects, which will be on display in the BSR this Sunday after the Christmas Carol Service.

Last year, Form III art pupils undertook the Junior Certificate Art Project. The projects were based on a theme of which there were five to choose from. The themes we were given were broad, but we could expand on them and each create our own version of the topic. The projects were very much centered around the preparatory sketches, the work that was put into planning them, and brief explanations for the thought processes. 

The course required three art pieces, three preparation pieces to support each one, two supporting pieces, and two one-hour long drawing exams. There was a 3-D construction or sculpture, a 2-D painting or design, and an option to do a craft piece with choices to use calligraphy, puppetry, batique, a lino cut, woodwork, etc. My class seemed challenged not by the projects themselves, but the pressure to complete them in the frame of time given. 

An important part of the course was to show how our work developed and how new ideas generated over time. In addition to our three projects, we completed an hour-long  drawing exam of a still life and a second exam  which required us to draw a model from life. 

We all worked hard on our projects and as the due date came closer we became more satisfied with the results of our work. It was a good experience that taught me creating art takes time and a lot of work because it is not just the art, but the ideas behind it. 

This Sunday December 9th, there will be an exhibition and opportunity to view our work displayed in the BSR after the evening of the Carol Service. We hope to see you there! 

This week the College held its final 175th anniversary celebration events of 2018 in Germany. After the many events that marked this important moment in our history in the College itself, it was time to go to Berlin and Bavaria to connect with our extensive community in Germany. A group of staff and former staff travelled from Dublin.

On Wednesday 21st November there was a gathering of parents and Old Columbans at the International Club in Berlin. The Irish Ambassador to Germany, His Excellency Michael Collins, and Mrs Collins, attended. The Ambassador spoke about how delighted he was to be present at this special occasion, referring to German Old Columbans as what he called the ‘affinity diaspora’.

Fellow of the College, Veronica Atkins (née Preysing), welcomed all to supper. During this, Old Columban Tanit Koch, journalist and until recently Editor-in-Chief of Bild newspaper, talked about her time at the College, ‘more than just a school’. Later the Warden gave a presentation on recent and planned developments.

The following event, we moved to Schloss Kronwinkl, near Munich, the home of the Preysing Family, to whom many thanks are due. After welcomes by Caspar Preysing and Veronica Atkins, this time the Old Columban speaker was Wieland Sommer, who left the College 20 years ago, qualified as a consultant radiologist, and has now moved into medical ‘start-ups’, including Smart Radiology. He also spoke with great affection about his time at St Columba’s. The Warden repeated his presentation about developments.

Both occasions showed strongly the warmth so many families from Germany have for the College.

On Thursday last the College hosted the a Boarding Schools Association conference for all boarding schools in Ireland and Northern Ireland. To mark the event, the College planted a fruit tree and joined the BSA’s ‘Boarding Orchard’. The Boarding Orchard was launched in 2014, and aims to be largest orchard by distance in the UK & Ireland. It involves boarding schools joining the orchard by planting fruit trees in their grounds. The trees symbolise the ‘tree of knowledge’ and demonstrate each school’s commitment to growth and caring for the environment. The Boarding Orchard is spread right around the UK, Ireland, Switzerland and even the US. For more information on the Boarding Orchard to see which schools are involved click here.


Details for parents of the Examination period, which is followed by the November/December Exodus:-

Parents can see the examination timetable on the Firefly Parent Portal here (requires log-in; the same place you will receive end-of-term reports).

Thursday 22nd November

  • Examinations start for Sixth, Fifth, Fourth and Third Forms (study day for Second and First Forms).
  • Throughout the examination period, there will be ‘Summer Timetable’.

Thursday 29th November

  • Examinations finish mid-morning, after which pupils leave for the Exodus.

Monday 3rd December

  • Exodus finishes between 6.30pm and 8.30pm, with roll-call in House at 8.30pm for all boarders.
  • Teachers will be having a whole-day Junior Cycle training session on ‘Wellbeing’.

Tuesday 4th December

  • Day boys and girls return by 8.10am.
  • Normal classes resume, with Winter Timetable resuming for afternoon classes.


The performances of this year’s Senior Play, The Nose, take place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week in the BSR, starting every evening at 7pm. The Nose is a satirical short story by Nikolai Gogol written during his time living in St. Petersburg. During this period, Gogol’s works were primarily focused on surrealism and the grotesque, with a romantic twist. Written between 1835 and 1836, The Nose tells the story of a St. Petersburg official whose nose leaves his face and develops a life of its own…this version was adapted for stage by Tom Swift and first staged in Dublin in 2008. This year’s play is directed by Ronan Swift.


  • Major Kovalyov – Caoimhe Cleary
  • The Nose/Smirnov – Daniel Ayoade
  • Father – Eile Ni Chianain
  • Podtochina – Oda Michel
  • Olga, her daughter – Charlotte Moffitt
  • Governor Rachkin – Maybelle Rainey
  • Katerina, his daughter – Dimitro Kasianenko
  • Ivan, the barber – Avouka Assebian
  • Praskovya, his wife – Sveva Ciofani
  • Policeman – Elise Williams
  • Small Ads Clerk – Margot Aleixandre
  • Reporter – Aiyuni O’Grady
  • Surgeon – Sinead Cleary
  • Theatre Nurse – Raphaela Ihuoma

Amy Cosgrove, Form V, reports on her experience of the recent trip to South Africa.

On October 26th, eighteen Form IV and V pupils started on a 28 hour journey from the door of St Columba’s College, Dublin to the door of Tiger Kloof, in the north of South Africa. And while, after 28 hours, it seemed like it wasn’t going to be worth it, little did we know the extraordinary trip that lay ahead of us.

We had been travelling in a combie (minibus) with no air conditioning for nearly 6 hours and had not yet reached Tiger Kloof when our first ‘experience’ of South Africa took place. Windows down, wind in our hair, Katherine watching Riverdale, living the dream really. When all of a sudden a man reached in through the window, grabbed the phone out of Katherine’s hand and made a run for it. And that was when we realised we were in South Africa.

On Sunday we had a tour of the school and attended a church service which was definitely nothing like Sunday Morning chapel. It was lively and their hymns were much better than our Jubilate. We got to see the hostels (dorms) and the girls danced and sang spontaneously all in perfect rhythm and harmony. It’s safe to say, we are not as musical as we thought. We quickly learned how kind and energetic the Tigers are.

On Monday we got the privilege to work alongside an inspiring woman named Maggie, who has been running a soup kitchen for 40 years now. While preparing the food and playing with the kids was all fun and games, going into the township itself to serve the food was something else entirely. It was striking to see how they lived in what were basically tin cans. This was the first of the striking moments that were to come. The drive back from Maggie’s was what shocked me the most. On the left of the road was a township and on the right of the road were houses. Houses just the same as you would see in Dublin. That was the talk of the combie for the drive back, nobody could get their head around why there was such a contrast with only a road separating it.

On Tuesday we visited Thusanang Disabled Centre in the township of Huhudi, which was definitely what pushed everybody out of their comfort zones. The ages ranged from 5-50 years and you could immediately see how underfunded it was. When you did the math on the grants they receive, it equated to less than €1 a day. It was truly heartbreaking to see these mentally / physically disabled people not get the treatments they need, some of whom didn’t need to be there. It was just the best option in a bad situation.

Working in The Hem soup kitchen, which is ran by Tiger Kloof, really opened our eyes and mind to the world that we don’t experience. Watching these children smiling and running to get their food not only warmed our hearts but showed us how we take things for granted and that we are so fortunate to have 3 meals on our table every day.

Later on we visited a lion farm and it was truly mesmerizing to be able to get so close to these beautiful animals with just a fence between us. Having lions in a farm was in fact safer for them, to keep them from poachers, but unfortunately this fence that was between us meant they had been bred in captivity. We also visited another farm in Vryburg where we got to gallop around at sunset in South Africa, living the dream once again. But where the sun shines, there’s always a shadow. The family who owned the farm were lovely, welcoming people but after asking a few questions we got answers that we wouldn’t usually hear. They had different views and mindsets to all of us and it helped us understand why there is such a contrast on either side of the road sometimes. The aftermath of apartheid is still very much visible in the South Africa today.

Our trip to Tiger Kloof was an extraordinary, mind blowing and a once in a lifetime experience. To be able to work in the soup kitchens and go into the townships had a massive impact on our views and education. It was a privilege to meet such inspiring people and the Tigers and Maggie are only naming a few. It was a trip that won’t be forgotten by any of us.

The College marked the centenary of the end of the First World War in a variety of ways this weekend.

On Saturday, there was a special service in Chapel, which included choral performances, and the calling out of the names of those Columbans who died in the War (these can be seen on the memorial plaque, opposite the plaque of the names of the dead of the Second World War), with their portraits held up by pupils. That afternoon, the Warden, Mr Redmond and two German prefects went to the German cemetery in Glencree to lay a wreath.

On Sunday, we had an expanded version of the annual Chapel Square parade and wreath-laying. Another special service, with music, readings and a reflective sermon by the Chaplain (see below) was followed by the school assembling on the square, the laying of a wreath at the 1921 War Memorial cross by the Senior and Second Prefects, and by the Old Columban Society President Dr Ian Fraser, as well as the Last Post and Reveille played on the trumpet by Konstantin Kuehne either side of the tw0-minute silence.

Below the text of the Chaplain’s sermon are some pictures from the weekend, and of Columbans who died in the First World War, as well as the sheet for the service in June 1919 referred to by the Chaplain.

Remembrance Sunday 2018. John 15:9-17

On the 9th June 1919, the College Community marked St. Columba’s Day. There was a Chapel Service at 10.30 am, but it was not the usual joyous occasion: how could it have been? The College, along with many other communities, was still very much in a state of shock as they tried to absorb the enormity of what had happened during what was then called ‘The Great War’. Young men who had sat in the seats where you sit now had gone to fight and many were now dead. As the early summer light shone in through these windows, you can picture the scene, could there have been a dry eye amongst any of them as the bell was rung, as the names were called out and as the hymns were sung? As the Archbishop of Dublin, John Bernard, spoke that day, what words did he manage to find to bring comfort and light and peace to his broken congregation? His own son, Robert, had been killed at Gallipoli in 1915. It must have been one of the most difficult sermons he had ever preached; as he gripped the stone of this pulpit, it must have felt particularly cold and hard that day.

One hundred years later, we are removed from the pain and sense of loss that those assembled here on that day would have felt, but during our services yesterday and today, inspired by that service in 1919, it is a time for us to remember those of our community and beyond who gave their lives. It is a time for us to thank God for the ending of hostilities and also to resolve within ourselves that whatever avenues of life we embark upon, that we will, by the grace of God be peacemakers.

In the reading from St. John’s Gospel, read a moment ago by the Sub-Warden, there is a line which reads:

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

In the aftermath of World War I, this was a popular verse amongst many that were quoted from the Bible, as people tried to make sense of the horror of what had happened. It was a sentiment shared by many of the soldiers on all sides of the conflict. The political and poetical rhetoric talked about dying for one’s country and fighting for freedom, but for those in the trenches it was much more simple than that: they fought for their friends around them, their comrades in arms, they fought so that they could get back home to their loved ones, they fought so that their descent into hell would one day be over and that they could get on with their lives again. 

When Jesus spoke those words to His disciples, He was talking about His own love for them and for all who would become His followers in the ages ahead. His love was and is so great that He willingly laid down His life for them and for us. In the rest of this section of the Bible, Jesus is talking about love and friendship and showing, by His own example what a friend should be like.

A friend is always there for us.  A friend is someone who listens to us when we need someone to talk to, they enjoy spending time with us, we have things in common, similar likes and dislikes.  But friends truly come into their own during times of crisis (that’s when we find out who our friends really are).  Real friends stick by us no matter what and if we are a real friend to someone we will still be standing by their side even when everyone else has melted away. The Lord Jesus, both then and now is the perfect personification of friendship and his nail-pierced Hand is extended to us all…  

I don’t know what the Archbishop spoke about that day (perhaps a copy of his sermon notes exists in an archive somewhere); we don’t know. But I like to think that he was able to find it deep within himself to speak some words of comfort and hope, a shard of light to pierce the gloom of collective grief that had descended upon this community. Just 21 days after he preached here that day, the Archbishop resigned from office. We don’t know why, perhaps it was just all too much. Perhaps if he and the congregation assembled here that day could have known that 100 years later we would be here in solidarity with them, in the same pews, in the same Chapel and in the same College, they would have been greatly comforted and encouraged to hear us also speak the same words that fell from their salty lips, ‘We will remember them’.





Following a competition run by the College Art Department, we are delighted to introduce a fourth Christmas card to the St. Columba’s Christmas card collection, in aid of the Old Columban Society Bursary Fund.

Designed by Fifth Former Tania Stokes the new card is entitled Christmas Carol Service, and it is now available to purchase along with the other scenes in our range: Chapel in the Snow, Cloisters in the Snow, and The Father Pat Window. You can see all four designs here (and at the bottom of this page). The cards are sold in packs of 5 (card + envelope) at €7.50 per pack, or at a discount of €20 for 3 packs or €25 for 4 packs. They are available for collection from the school, from Reception or from Sonia in the Development Office (01 4956919).

The first stage of construction has begun on the new ‘College Hub’ –  an exciting project that will convert Whispering House into a vibrant social space for pupils and staff. The expected completion time is nine months so, all going well, the new building will be open at the beginning of the next academic year.

We have installed a live camera that will film the project over the next nine months and we hope to create a time-lapse video once the construction is complete.

From the Warden, 6th November 2018 (see below post for photographs of the Tiger Kloof expedition).

I have just returned from a week in South Africa, together my wife, Sean Duffy (Head of Geography), and 18 pupils from the 4thand 5th Forms. It was my first return to Tiger Kloof, where we spent four amazing years, and it was wonderful to see old friends. South Africa is a troubled country and it is a land of huge contrasts, with the worst and the best of everything: great wealth and great poverty, often side by side; great hope for the future and great fear of the future; increasing corruption and huge personal sacrifice and generosity.

The main purpose of the visit was to expose the Columbans to a side of life which they have probably never seen and to spend time working on service projects in the informal settlements which are the closest neighbours of Tiger Kloof and from where many of the children come. We spent three days in the soup kitchens, cooking and serving meals, as well as taking food out into the shacks. We also ran activities in the disabled centre in the township and taught in the primary school. But it is not fair to visit a country and see only the problems and the ugly side of life, so we also spent time on a farm, we visited a small game lodge and we went to the African market in Johannesburg. We also went to the Apartheid Museum, albeit too briefly, which is a very sobering experience.

On most evenings we spent time debriefing and talking through our reactions to what we had seen and I was so impressed to hear the pupils talk at some depth and with real mature response to what they had seen and experienced. It is that response that is actually the most important thing and the real reason for taking such a trip. There is always a possibility going on a service trip to a disadvantaged community that one can be accused of voyeurism, of making oneself feel good without making any difference to anyone. So were we just ticking the box so that we can move back into our cosy lives with a slightly clearer conscience? I hope not.

I also used to say to the schools that came to visit Tiger Kloof from around the world that service is not a week on a project, ‘doing Africa’, or wherever it may be, but service is actually a way of life and should permeate everything that one does. I said that their week at Tiger Kloof should not be the end of their service experience but the start of it and that they should inculcate and maintain that sense of service throughout their lives, in whatever profession they find themselves. It is the same for me…having spent four years out there it is tempting to pat myself on the back and say that I have done my bit, but how do I hold on to that spirit of service in the hustle of this relatively privileged existence?

I have written about service before and about the challenge of inculcating a service ethos in a school that is so busy. Where do we find the time? Well I guess that if we think it is important then we need to make time for it, but being a servant need not start in Africa or in an old age home or homeless shelter in Dublin…it can start right where we are now in our jobs, in our boarding houses and in our relationships. That is where to start and to build muscle, but I know that many of the pupils here have servant hearts and would thrive on the chance to get their hands dirty in a more practical way. Let’s see where we go from here. Tiger Kloof is a school known for its spirit of service. Wouldn’t it be nice for St. Columba’s to have a similar reputation?

Over the last 20 years the College has proudly supported the Christmas Shoebox Appeal run by Team HopeTwo years ago we sent a record 260 gift filled wrapped shoeboxes to needy children in remote parts of Africa and war torn parts of Eastern Europe. These boxes were donated by pupils, staff & parents or were put together from fillers that were either donated or were purchased by proceeds from TY mini companies or the Tuck shop. Last year the figure was significantly lower and we would love to return to the heights of 2017. 

The deadline for receipt of filled shoeboxes is after the half term break and it would be fantastic if pupils, parents, staff or indeed friends of the College would take the time over half term to make up a box.

If you want to make up a box wrap a shoebox (base & lid separate) in Christmas wrapping paper. Choose whether you want to make a box for a boy or girl and decide on the age category 2-4; 5-9; or 10-14. What goes in a box? Just follow the 4W rule!

If you are not able to wrap a box then please place all of the items in a bag and we will provide a wrapped box for you. If you have a lot of items lying around your home that you no longer use, and they are in good condition, then please bring them back to school and place them in the plastic crates in Gwynn. It costs €4 per box for transportation – please place the money in an envelope and place it in the box.

Ms Duggan writes:

It has been a busy half term for junior and senior debaters at St Columba’s. Thursday night, saw the juniors Caleb Swanepoel, Caroline Hager, Tyrone Shi and Alex Hinde head for UCD with Ms Morley for the second round of the Junior Schools Debating Competition. The next round of the Junior House Debating Competition will see a change in format due to the increasing number of students keen to get involved. The seniors have been very active as well. Last weekend twelve students from St Columba’s attended the Dublin Session of the European Youth Parliament. For many of them it was their first experience of this kind of event. One of the first timers give a report of the event below. We are looking forward to seeing more students getting involved in the next half of term.

And Gioia Doenhoff from Transition Year writes about ‘My first experience of the European Youth Parliament’


Friday was the first day of the Dublin Session of the European Youth Parliament and most of us were quite nervous and so stuck to our own school group a lot. We started with a short series of games led by the chairmen to warm all of us up a bit. We were then separated into our committees that we had chosen beforehand and led into separate rooms. The topics on the committees were all current issues, for example, foreign affairs, education or constitutional issues. Everyone was able to choose a committee that they were interested in, so everyone was invested in the topic.

There I began familiarizing myself with the rest of my committee with whom I would be working with for the next two days. They were from schools all around Dublin: Alexandra College, Blackrock College, Stratford College etc. Our committee was one of the biggest with nine people, so you really got to know everyone. We didn’t actually start working right away though as we started off with team building exercises that involved very many name games, but also ones where we had to reach group consensus on some topics. This proved to be harder than expected. We had a great chairman so it was a lot of fun during the day as it was very casual and comfortable.


This was the day the work began. After a short period of time spent researching the Palestine Israel conflict, LGBTQ+ problems or Brexit we all gathered all our main points on small post it notes. These were put on one big flipchart and after ordering them into categories we split up into small groups to handle them. Out of these sentences were constructed which would later be refined by the group and then formatted to our list of clauses, or simply points explaining our view on the matter. Two lists came out of this, our list of problems and our list of resolutions. This day was definitely the most exhausting and on the way back to St Columba’s College we were all really tired, but looking forward to presenting our ideas the next day.


As soon as we arrived it got right off to business as the first committee started presenting their solutions on the their researched topic (Brexit)I expected it to be really tiring to listen all of the debates but it turned out to be really interesting as it was a whole new type of debating where the floor was allowed to get incredibly involved, constantly giving points and even attacking speeches. This was completely new to me because I’m used to the old British Parliamentary style with minimal intervention from the floor.
When we presented our resolution it took a different turn than we had expected-  we did not receive the attacks that we had prepared for. Our motion ended up getting dismissed with 50:40 (votes?). This was not a surprise as it was the relatively controversial topic of the Isreal Palestine conflict. It was still very eye opening, both the actual debate as the research of our topic.


I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of EYP as I got to meet loads of new people and saw debating from a whole new perspective-  the aim at EYP was to have an open discussion and gather support rather than defeat the opposition. The food was actually pretty good and the conversations always interesting. I’m looking forward to next year when I hope to get to go again.


In almost a year’s time a major educational event will take place at St Columba’s: the College has been chosen as the location for the first-ever researchED meeting in Ireland, which will take place throughout Saturday 5th October 2019. Check out the event page here, which next year will give details of speakers and ticket sales.

ResearchED has become an international phenomenon. Founded in London in 2013 by Tom Bennett, who chaired the Behaviour Management Group for the UK Department of Education and is currently their Independent Behaviour Advisor, it has since spread around the world to venues beyond the UK like Malmo, Pretoria, Philadelphia, Dubai, Melbourne, Auckland, Amsterdam, New York, Toronto and Vancouver.

The goal of researchED is to bridge the gap between research and practice in education. Researchers, teachers, and policy makers come together for a day of information-sharing and myth-busting.

St Columba’s is perfectly located for this event, being on the edge of Dublin with easy access from the rest of the country, and from Dublin Airport. The event will take place in the central spaces and facilities, such as the Big Schoolroom, Lower Argyle, Cadogan, Library and the Science Block.

This event puts the College right at the cutting-edge of Irish education. The best place to see updates is via the dedicated Twitter account, @researchEDDub.

We’d love to hear from potential sponsors, too.

Check out how a researchED day works here, and below see Tom Bennett and others explain.


The Parents’ Association would like to inform parents that the National Parents Council Post-Primary Conference will take place on Saturday October 13th 2018 at the Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley. Full invitation and event details here.

Last night was the first night of the UCD Junior Schools Debate. Our team consisted of Alex Hinde and Tyrone Shi (Second Form), as well as Caleb Swanepoel and Caroline Hager (Third Form). All did well and Tyrone and Alex were placed second in the debate in their room.

Tyrone Shi writes:

The first round of UCD Junior Schools Debating Competition took place last night in the Newman building. In all, there are 192 teams entering the competition, making it the biggest Junior competition in Leinster. I found it was a great experience and I learned a lot from it. The event was quite challenging but I still found it quite fun and I will definitely participate again. Our motion was ‘that this house would abolish trial by jury’ and Alex Hinde and I were opposing this.

I’ll start off at the second when the first speaker started her speech: she spoke with great confidence and extreme speed. It was overall a great speech and made me quite nervous.

The 2ndand 4thspeakers in our round were amazing and it wasn’t a surprise that they came in first place.

As I was the first speaker out of our team I went up to the podium and took out my speech. I started off by making everyone laugh with my introduction and the rest went quite well. Alex was the eighth speaker and he was disappointed other debaters did not take all of his points of order as he had quite a few!

In the end we achieved an amazing second place and came home with a proud result.  The competition continues next week.