Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 4th April

Jason Quigley Visits the Abbey Vocational School

On Thursday the 4th of April the Abbey Vocational School welcomed Sporting Hero Jason Quigley. Jason gave a motivational talk to 5th year students. Students of the Abbey Vocational School found Jason’s talk inspiring, uplifting and motivational.

Jason had an extremely promising amateur career, which saw him rise to number one in both the International Boxing Association of Europe and World amateur rankings.

In 2009, Quigley participated in the European Youth Championships in Szezecin in Poland, defeating Emil Ahmadov of Azerbaijan 6-1 in the 69 kg final, to take home gold.

Quigley won gold at the 2011 Multi-Nations tournament in Helsinki Finland, defeating English fighter Anthony Ogogo 14-5 with an acclaimed performance in the final.

In June 2011 he won gold again in the Europen Amatuer Boxing Championship in Minsk. Quigley beat world number one Evhen Khytrov, before defeating Bogdan Juratoni in the middleweight final.

Quigley’s final amateur medal came in October, when he claimed silver at the World Amateur Boxing Championships  in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

In April 2014, it was announced that Quigley was turning professional. Former Professional Boxer Oscar De La Hoya said “Jason Quigley is part of the next generation of European boxers who are about to make their mark on the international stage. It also doesn’t hurt that he has the great nation of Ireland behind him, and I know they will support him wherever he goes”. Jason then moved to LA where he training with Golden Boy Gym. In 2018 Jason moved back to Europe and his base training camp is now in Sheffield where he still boxes under Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boys. Jason recently got is his 16 TKO during his British debut after defeating Angel Moreno.


Career Guidance

We were delighted to welcome Vincent Kenney and Fiona Kelly from the Donegal ICT/FinTech cluster group to the school last Friday to meet with our TYs. They delivered an excellent information seminar on studying and working in the ICT/FinTech sector in Donegal.


  • Leaving Certs should at this stage be researching all relevant Scholarship This information has been covered in their career guidance classes.  Their Guidance Counsellor is available to answer any scholarship related questions.
  • The SUSI Grant application process for 2019-20 will be covered over the coming weeks during Leaving Cert Career Guidance classes.
  • A Google Classroom for Apprenticeships & Traineeships is regularly updated. The classroom is available to all students interested in this further education route. The classroom code is available from Ms Faherty
  • All senior cycle students (6th, LCA & 5th years) are welcome to book a 1:1 appointment with their Guidance Counsellor.
  • Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to – click on the Guidance logo.


Abbey’s Got Talent- finally here !

On the 11th of April 2019, the Abbey Vocational School Hosts the final of Abbey’s Got Talent in the Abbey Hotel in Donegal Town.This show promises to be a fantastic night of high quality entertainment with MC Noel Cunningham and judges such as Conal Gallan and Martin Mc Ginley as well as other exciting acts. Rumour has it that staff members are featuring also !!

The Students are very excited about the forthcoming show and are a testament to the talent that is in abundance in the Abbey Vocational School! Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter page in the lead up to the show. @AbbeyVS and Abbey’s Got Talent 2019. The finalists of the ‘Abbey’s Got Talent’ are: Gavan Tanham and Joseph Hearty, Bree Hanna, Anna Mitchell and Erin Ryder, Rachel Reid and Eadaoin Rush, Luke Kelly, Oisin O’Donnell, Marie McGirr, Joseph Edwards, Robyn Harvey-Moulding, Conor McAllister and Gabriella Byrne, Matthew and Davy Byrne, Luke O’Sullivan, India Kennedy , Eamon Devlin.

IMTA Irish Junior Mathematics Competition

On Thursday the 28th of March the Students who came out top in our own local competition from the AVS took part in the IMTA Irish Junior Mathematics Competition. The competition is a multiple choice test for 1st Year students. The First Round is held in each participating school in March and based on results Students are invited to participate in the Regional Finals held throughout the county.The Students from the AVS included Colm McDermott, Lana Murphy, Meabh McNamara and Hugh McShane. Congratulations to Hugh McShane who won the competition and Lana Murphy who came fourth!

The Abbey Vocational School Maths Club meets on Fridays at lunchtime in room 30. The Maths Club runs an enrichment program that focuses on having fun with mathematics and learning! Everyone is welcome!


Drama Club

Drama club continuing Wednesdays – great turnout – please join us Wednesday after school in library – still need volunteers for short film project if you would like some acting for camera experience. Congratulations to Mr Donegan as his play “The Importance of Being Earnest” qualifies for the all-Ireland Drama Finals in Athlone this May.


English Theatre Trip

On Monday the 1st April two 3rd year English classes went to the Merchant session. This is a production by Cyclone. The Merchant Session is an entertaining and informative synthesis of analysis and performance that has the primary goal of helping Junior Cert learners in their understanding of Merchant of Venice while at the same time highlighting what a fine comedy it is. This abridged version of the play contains an entertaining scholarly review that clarifies the main themes and topics as well as an invitation for discussion.


Transition Year

Transition Year Sports Leadership Training Program

Students of the Abbey Vocational School are participating in the “Future Leaders Transition Year Programme” which is a joint initiative from the GAA and the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). It is a cross-curricular programme comprising of eight modules, each designed to encourage maturity, initiative, responsibility and leadership skills in pupils. The Programme gives pupils the knowledge and skills to support all roles required in the effective staging of Gaelic Games. As part of the programme pupils are challenged to organise and run a GAA Super Games Blitz or set up a Super Games Centre for younger students and/or support coaching of younger players in their school or community.


Drama Workshop

Drama Students in the Abbey Vocational School have been engaging in drama workshops for several weeks with Conor Carney and have focused on the theme of the Homeless. This production will now take plae next Friday from 11 to 1 pm 

Fintech Talk

On Friday the 29th of March Fiona Kelly from Letterkenny Institute of Technology and AVS past pupil Vincent Kennedy from SITA spoke to Transition Year Students in the Abbey Vocational School.

Fiona highlighted the merits of Letterkenny Institute of Technology with it’s130 programmes across four schools of Business, Tourism, Engineering and Science, with diverse courses that range from one to four years; combining academic theory with practical skills development.

Vincent explained to Students the work of SITA which stands for Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques. SITA is one of the world’s leading specialists in air transport communications and IT solutions. Their ethos is to look after the air transport from landing to take off, landside and airside.Transition Year Students enjoyed a very informative talk on the opportunities available in the technology sector.

Art Department

Transition Year students are organising a school photography competition which will be open to all age groups. Details will be posted on the school website and around the school in the coming days.

TY students are continuing their work on signs for the ‘Path to Nationhood’ project.

Also, congratulations to AVS student Sarah McGrory who’s painting titled ‘Imperfection’ has been shortlisted in this year’s Jigsaw Donegal Art competition



Science CSI Workshops

image006Transition Year Students enjoyed Science CSI Workshops on Wednesday the 3rd of April. CSI stands for Crime Scene Investigation and examines the entire process of conducting forensic science from the collection of evidence at the crime scene, through the examination of that evidence, to the presentation of how the evidence is processed.

Transition Year Students were immersed in the world of crime scene investigation and were given valuable clues and evidence to solve the sinister crime!




PAL Law Course

On Friday the 5th of April three Barristers from the P.A.L. programme visited Transition Year Students in the Abbey Vocational School.

The Public Access to Law (P.A.L) programme, now entering its 20th year, has become one of the most successful and unique initiatives in Irish Education. The P.A.L. programme strives to demystify the world of law and to incorporate in this Law Module many principles of Transition Year including thinking on one’s feet, research, presentation skills and teamwork.


‘Growth’ Enterprise

Cormac, Aodhan and Luke are preparing for the Enterprise Finals in Dublin on Wednesday the 10th of April. Cormac is displaying the ‘Growth’ Enterprise Product.


The Mini Company ‘Growth’ is dedicated to promoting greener and more environmentally friendly garden products. The three Students are environmentalists by nature and wanted to come up with a business idea that involved recycling. They have a working wormery that produces miracle grow liquid fertiliser and compost from food waste. Studies have proven that these products will boost plant growth by a factor of three.

They also sell the complete wormery kits to community groups/schools/households where they supply the vermiculture equipment, set it up and give advice on how best to care for the worms etc.


Later in the growing season they will have several nettle composters that will produce bottles of nutrient rich nettle tea fertiliser.

Spanish Trip to The Model in Sligo

On Thursday 4th of April Students from the AVS enjoyed a trip to the movies at The Model in Sligo. Entitled ‘Pasos De Héroe’or Hero Steps.

It is a Spanish film with English subtitles which tells the story of a young boy who overcomes what seems like insurmountable difficulties but never loses sight of his dreams. Eduardo is the victim of the brutal Colombian war. He has lost his leg due to a landmine explosion and is sent to a school that can cater for his disability. Despite Eduardo’s accident, he has big dreams, to enter and play in a football tournament.



Tourism Training Programme

Well done to our TY students who received their certs on Monday last  after completing a 4-week course in the College of Tourism LYIT/Killybegs. Thank you to LYIT and Donegal County Council for this opportunity


Fifteen TY students have completed a four day training programme with the School of Tourism. The programme was delivered by the School of Tourism’s experienced lecturers on the LYIT Killybegs Campus. There was many guest speakers from the tourism/hospitality industry also involved in the delivery of the programme. The areas that were covered throughout the weeks were as follows:

(a) ​Introduction to the Hospitality industry

(b) ​Tourism in Co. Donegal and the Wild Atlantic Way

(c)​Customer care

(d) ​Introduction to food hygiene and food handling and

(e) ​Restaurant service.

Programme Delivery

The programme culminate in a live lunch service by the students to invited guests and a presentation of Certificates of Completion to all participants, last Monday in the LYIT Killybegs campus.



U14 Girls GAA

On Friday 5th April our U14 girls played in an Ulster quarter final.The girls had to travel to play Colaiste Dun An Ri  in Cavan. Abbey VS started off strong by getting a goal in the first minute. This form continued with a point from Holly Roarty. The Cavan girls started to come back into the match by getting three points in a row. Both teams were very well matched and it was a tough battle for both sets of players. The Cavan girls managed to get two goals within a few minutes of each other just before half time. The second half saw much of the same as the first, each team scoring some fantastic points, especially Roisin Lynch, Holly Roartry and Emma Sweeney for Abbey VS. Unfortunately the girls from  Abbey VS were not able to make up the difference of the two goals in the first half and were defeated by 6 points at the end of the game. Well done to all the girls for their hard work throughout the year.


Second Year Girls Basketball

AVS second year girls competed in all Ireland basketball play offs in Navan this week. The girls played a really tough game against a strong Ballina team. With only a 4 point margin in it for the majority of the game the Ballina side took control of the game in the last 3 minutes and won by 8.


The girls had a fantastic game against Portarlington leading 22 – 2 after the first quarter. They went on to win this game easy with some great scores from all onbthe panel. Last game of the day was again the hosts Navan. Unfortunately Ballina had already won all 3 matches which meant the second years couldn’t qualify. Despite this they put on great performance again and won comfortably by 16 points. The girls have had an outstanding school season
They have shown great commitment and teamwork throughout. A talented team that will definitely get an another opportunity at this level.


Second Year Boys Basketball Team

On Tuesday the 2nd of April our 2nd yr boys basketball team travelled to Castleknock in Dublin to play in the All Ireland Playoff. On the day the boys faced, Castleknock Community College, Colaiste Bhaile Chlair and Cnoc Mhuire Granard. The first game the boys were up against Colaiste Bhaile Chlair. It was a slow start to the game for both teams, but eventually at the end of the first quarter Abbey got on the scoreboard with scores from,Niall Prendville, Jake Graham, Conor Gillispie Ben McNeely and Leo McGowan. Thankfully the scoring at the end of the first quarter continued for the rest of the match and the boys came out convincing winners. Final score AVS 65 Colaiste Bhaile Chlair 42


Next up was the host Castleknock Community College, the boys started this game as they finished the first game back getting into a 10 point  lead in the first quarter. In the second quarter the boys from Castleknock tried to get back into the game but for every score Castleknock scores, Abbey scored two. This continued for the rest of the game. There was some brilliant scores during the game from Niall Prendville, Daniel Quinn, Jack Kenny and Jake Graham. Final score AVS 49 CCC 26.

Going into the final game against Cnoc Mhuire Granard, it was the winner takes all as both teams where on the same points. Abbey started off strong with some fantastic individuals score by Niall Prendville and Daniel Quinn. Granard started to fight back but Abbey’s defence was just too strong. The start of the second quarter Abbey extended their lead  into a 20 point lead and finished out the game in this manner. Final score AVS 55 Granard.

The Abbey boys were the winners of the overall tournament. Winning all games by 20 plus points. There was some great individual and team displays throughout all three games. The boys now go on to the All Ireland semi final on the st of May in The National Basketball Arena in Dublin. If the boys are successful in the semi final, they will then play the All Ireland Final on the same day. Good luck to all the boys and their management team.

1st Year boys Soccer

A much anticipated final fixture in the Donegal league. As both teams have previously qualified for semi final positions it was a chance for both teams to have a look at the full squad. Abbey boys lost 4 – 2 on this occasion. The first half was an evenly matched high standard of good football. Both teams creating chances. Slightly against the run of play St. Columba’s scored the opening goal. A short time later Ruairi McLaughlin hammered home a shot from outside the box in off the crossbar. A much deserved equaliser. 1-1 at half time a good reflection of play.

The second half allowed managers to introduce fresh legs to the game on both sides. Donal Gallagher and James Boyd came on for Daniel McIntyre and Callum McCrea. St. Columbas went ahead only for Ruairi McLaughlin to convert a long range free with another superb strike. 2 – 2 with 10 minutes to play. Excellent performances from Senan Carr, Caolan Sweeney in mid field kept the team searching for a winner. Equally a man of the match performance from Ryan Kennedy at full back denied Columba’s on numerous occasions.

With both benches emptied it was St.Columba’s who found the net twice more to seal the win. Abbey will take much confidence from their game and will have no fear if chance allows for a further encounter.

We now await notification from Ollie Horgan the league organiser for our Semi Final opponents, date and venue.





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