AVS Notes 24th November 2017

Numerous Prestigious Awards for AVS students

Students from the Abbey Vocational School in Donegal Town have received numerous scholarships in recent weeks following their outstanding Leaving Certificate results in June, giving the school cause for celebration.

Hollie Roper was recently awarded a UCD Entrance Scholarship, based on excellent Leaving Certificate results and is now studying veterinary medicine in UCD. Hollie has also been awarded a JP Mc Manus Scholarship which she received on Saturday, 25th November in the University of Limerick for her outstanding results.

The All Ireland Scholarships Programme has been in operation for nearly ten years and provides 125 Third Level Education Scholarships per annum throughout the thirty-two counties of Ireland, North and South. A minimum of two scholarships is awarded in each county each year. The scholarship programme was established in 2008 with a very generous donation of €30m from JP McManus.

Four students, Kate Gurren, Emily Mc Gill, Anna Morrow and Eoin Slevin have been awarded DCU Entrance Scholarships for their outstanding Leaving Certificate results. Kate is studying Communications and Media, Emily is studying Applied Physics, Anna is studying Actuarial Maths and Eoin is studying Global Business and Spanish.

Emily Mc Gill was also awarded the Naughton Scholarship at a ceremony in Trinity College in September for her outstanding application and Leaving Certificate results. Each year 36 students are awarded Naughton Scholarships.

There is at least one winner from each County in the Republic of Ireland.  The scholarship is intended as a reward and encouragement to exceptional students who would like to study in the STEM field (science, technology, engineering and maths) at University. Emily is studying Applied Physics at DCU.

Abbey Vocational School Principal, Geraldine Diver, is delighted with their success, “We at the Abbey Vocational School are absolutely delighted with the success of our former students in being awarded these prestigious scholarships. These students are extremely deserving of these scholarships and I wish them every success with their future studies and careers. I would like to acknowledge all of our staff here in the school for all of the support given to all of our students during their time here.”

The Abbey Vocational School is one of fifteen post-primary schools in the county under the direction of Dr Martin Gormley, Donegal ETB Director of Schools. Dr Gormley paid tribute to the students and the school staff, “I would like to congratulate all the students on receiving these prestigious scholarships. “It is a testament to their hard work and dedication, assisted and supported by the staff and management of the Abbey Vocational School. It is also further evidence of the exceptional standards of teaching and learning being promoted across Donegal ETB schools, colleges and centres. On behalf of Donegal ETB, I would like to wish all of the students every success in their studies

Parent/Teacher Meeting
1st year students will have their Parent/Teacher meeting on Wednesday, 29th November. In addition, the 2nd year Parent/Teacher meeting will take place on Thursday, 7th December. We encourage all parents to attend, where possible.

Mock Interviews
The Mock Interviews for 6th Years took place in school this Wednesday. It was a great evening involving the school, students, the whole community and the Parents’ Association. We welcomed a variety of people with such a broad range of expertise to the school and thank you to all of those who very kindly gave of their time to support our students. We would like to thank the Parents’ Association and the Career Guidance Department for planning this wonderful evening.

First year Art students have almost completed their work for the Donegal Domestic Violence Services Project. The work, which is aimed at raising awareness about the issue of domestic violence against women and healthy relationships, will /be on display in the Public Services Centre at Drumlonagher from Monday, 27th November.

AVS winners in The Credit Union Art Competition were as follows: Sophie Anderson, Eoin Meehan, Rachel Reid, Adam Bustard, Lily Brogan, Aine McGroarty, Anna Gillow, Laura Kelly, Marguerita McHugh, Elle Battle, Ava Harold, Shannon Patton and Louise Burke. Congratulations to all the winners.

The Mount Charles Big School Cook Off
Irish News has teamed up with food-service firm, Mount Charles, to find budding young chefs in the 2nd annual Big School Cook Off. Pupils aged 11-14 from Northern Ireland and Donegal could apply to take part in the competition. The competitions first stage involved creating a recipe for a main course for two people on a budget of £7.50. Two students from our school – Chloe Boyle and Aimee Gallagher (3rd year) have reached the Regional final stage of the competition which is to be held in January 2018. Best of luck to the girls and well done for reaching this point in the competition. (See Irish News website)

Junior Cycle RACE Testing
Junior Cert RACE testing took place this week. RACE allows for certain accommodations in State Examinations and identifies which students are eligible.

Guidance Department
LYIT will hold a careers talk for Leaving Certs in the library on Wednesday, 29th November at 9.40 a.m. Attendance at the talk is optional.

Big Brother, Big Sister mentoring training takes place on 5th December 2017 for a selection of Leaving and TY students. “Big Brother Big Sister” is an internationally recognised youth mentoring programme that forms supportive friendships for young people inspiring them to brighter futures. Big Brother Big Sister nationally and internationally is proven through research to improve young people’s wellbeing, improve their social support and relationships with others. BBBS is operated in Ireland by Foróige. Our staff continue with their yoga sessions and they now have only three weeks left.

The Late Late Toy Show
This year three of our students will feature this Friday, 1st December on the Late Late Toy show. The girls, Ellen McGroary, Aoife Breslin and Síofra Maurerhofer will take to the stage in front of 1.6 million viewers on the Late Late Toy Show as Revolutionary. The hugely popular edition of RTE’s chat show always proves to be a major hit with audiences. An incredible 1.57 million people tuned into last year’s edition, making it the second most watched television show of the century so far.

Transition Year

TY Work Experience
Ty students will begin their first week of work experience on the 4th December. It is a great opportunity for the students to get to see how different businesses work and get a taste of what they might want to do in the future. Some businesses and services that students are attending this year are The Mater Private Hospital in Dublin, Abbots, a variety of primary schools in Donegal Town, Eske pharmacy, Blue Poopy Dentist and The Atlantic Aviation airport in Shannon. We wish the TYs the best of luck during there week.

TY activities
For the next three weeks, the TY activities are as follows:

4A – Surfing, 4B – Aqua aerobics 4C – Self-defence and 4D – Yoga.

The TYs are currently working in class on their sports leadership. Well done to the students of 4B who helped organise and manage the first year inter class sports hall competition which was held on Monday. It was a very successful day for class 4B due to it being a very well run event. Class 4D will help out with the first year Rowathon as part of their Sports Leadership Program which will take place in the coming weeks.

After Christmas, all TY students will be attending the primary schools to coach students which will also be part of their Sports Leadership. In addition, TYs will begin to prepare for the TY P.E. expo after Christmas.

A number of TY’s are taking our students swimming once a week as part of their activity; some TY students are also involved in this as part of their Sports Leadership Program.

Primary School Sportshall Athletics Event
This event will take place on Thursday, 30th November, from 10:20am – 2:00pm.

Public Speaking Workshop
Alan Devine returns this week on the 27th and 28th November for this final round of workshops. Alan delivered four highly exciting workshops to our TY students last year. He has over twenty years’ experience as an actor and is extremely inspiring.


Well done to all the first-year students who competed in an inter class competition held in the gym on Monday as part of the first year P.E. programme. It was a very successful day and well done to the TY students in 4B who helped organise and officiate as part of their Sports Leadership.

Well done to our sports hall team who competed in the county final on Wednesday which was held in the gym. The Gweedore team came first in both the boys and girls competition. The AVS girls finished second overall, and the boys finished third. The team had a great performance in both track and field events. Training continues every Tuesday after school for all age groups.

Cross country training is on Friday at lunch time.

Girls Basketball
Training continues every Monday and Thursday after school for U16s.

1st and 2nd year girls training continues every Wednesday after school in the school gym.

The U16 and senior girls’ basketball teams travelled to Ballinamore in Co. Leitrim on Tuesday 21st November. Our senior girls were up first defeating the Ballinamore girls 36-26. The game was a close battle up until the last quarter. A great team performance was had by all. Both teams now meet St Catherine’s, Killybegs, in the North West Final, next Wednesday the 29th in St Columba’s, Glenties.

The Ballinamore girls forfeited the U16 game. The game still went ahead as a friendly with some of their senior girls playing. Our panel of 23 girls all got to play and were defeated in the end 35-23. We wish both teams the best of luck.

U19 Boys Basketball
AVS 66 – 64 Gortnor Abbey

AVS got off to an electric start against Liam Mc Hales, Gortnor Abbey, with Captain Ronan O’Donnell and Darragh Griffin leading the way in a high scoring first quarter ending up 25-19 in Abbeys Favour.

Going into the 2nd quarter Gortnor Abbey upped the ante against the AVS with some fine scores from their main man Colm Hegarty who was having success penetrating the AVS’s defence ending up 31-28 in Gortnor Abbeys Favour.

The 3rd quarter was score for score with AVS’s Creegan Alcock getting multiple scores inside but AVS were finding it hard to stop Gortnors Colm Hegarty ending up 49-42 in Gortnor Abbeys Favour.

In the 4th quarter, an energised AVS took the floor and knew what had to be done. The AVS’s press was beginning to stop Gortnor Abbey’s offence and the game was pulled back to one basket in which Liam Mc Hale had to call from a timeout. The AVS took to the floor again and began to take the lead with some fine scores from Creegan Alcock, Darragh Griffin and Ronan O’Donnell but they were matched by Gortnor Abbeys Ruairi Boyle. With 2 minutes to go it was score for score but with Gortnor in foul trouble, the Abbey got to the line and Darragh Griffin made four important free throws & with 40 seconds to go AVS held onto their lead & won what was a thrilling high scoring game 66-64.

M.V.P – Darragh Griffin (24)

Ronan O’Donnel (18)

Creegan Alcock (17)

U16 Boys Basketball
AVS took to the court for what was a ropey first quarter with Captain Shane Meehan leading scoring for the AVS ending up 8-7 in Gortnor Abbeys favour. Going into the 2nd quarter a rejuvenated AVS took to the court and started to have success with their full court press ending up with multiple scores from Evan Gallagher, Shane Meehan and James Mc Namara ending up 26-13 in AVS favour.

In the 3rd quarter, the AVS didn’t let off on the full court pressure and once again had multiple scores coming from some fantastic defence with Frank Cornyn ending up 36-20 at the end of the all-important 3rd quarter.

Going into the 4th quarter with a 16 point lead the AVS still kept the pressure on with some fine scores from Evan Gallagher. The AVS played some fantastic defence with Oisín O’Donnell on top of the press with some fine rebounding from Conall Smyth and Diarmuid O’Donnell the AVS won in style by a massive 18 points with the game finishing out 42-24 in what was a fine performance.

M.V.P – Evan Gallagher (14)

Shane Meehan (14)

Frank Cornyn (10)

The AVS also took to the court for their 4th Game of the season against Coláiste Cholmcille,  Ballyshannon, in what was a good first quarter performance with Shane Meehan and Evan Gallagher leading scoring for the A.V.S ending up 8-7 in AVS favour.  Going into the 2nd quarter AVS took to the court and began to have success with their full court press ending up with scores from Thomas White, Evan Gallagher and Diarmuid O’Donnell ending up with AVS ahead by one basket ending up 14-12 going into the half.

Taking the court in the 3rd quarter, AVS began to fall behind as Coláiste Cholmcille began to get some scores back and took the lead with the game ending up 24-18 at the end of the all-important 3rd quarter.

In the 4th quarter, all was to play for and a composed AVS team took to the court knowing that they had to pull the game back and going on a 6 point run with scores from Thomas White and Shane Meehan the game was level at 24 each with 5 minutes on the clock.

The game began to go score, for score, with AVS matching Coláiste Cholmcille it was 28-28 with 1 minute to go. Timeouts were called on both ends, Ballyshannon took the lead with a fine score from Kyle Mc Caffrey. During the 2nd Overtime, AVS took to the court with their eyes set on the win but with both teams noticeably exhausted and playing strong defence there was no scores in the 2nd Overtime & so came the 3rd OT.

After an important team talk, AVS walked onto the court for the 3rd Overtime and began to pressurise the C.C.S side. Keeping level headed and playing smart defence, AVS found another fast break score in Evan Gallagher. C.C.S couldn’t find a way to beat the AVS press in this quarter and another score from Frank Cornyn sealed the deal with 15 seconds to go. AVS ending up deserving winners in what was a spectacular match.

M.V.P – Shane Meehan (19)

Thomas White (6)

Evan Gallagher (6)

Girls Gaelic
The U20’s second game of the league was against Carndonagh. The girls travelled to Carndonagh on a very wet and miserable day. Abbey got off to a great start with a goal from Aine McGroarty. The girls continued the scoring with some fine points by Layla Alvey and Erin Harvey. Abbey were in the lead for the first 25 minutes until Carndonagh started their come back and went in at half time up by 4 points. As the first half came to an end the rain started to pour and didn’t stop until the final whistle, this proved to influence the flow of the game and made it very hard for both teams to compete. Carndonagh came out stronger in the second half adding to their lead from the end of the first half. Abbey had a large gap to closed in the last 10 minutes, but they showed great passion and pride to pull the score back to 4 points with goals and points from Hannah Shallow, Layla Alvey and Aine Mc Groarty as the fought to the bitter end but eventually running out of time.  Well done to Carndonagh.

U19 Hurling
Well done to Abbey VS hurlers who competed in an Ulster Semi Final as part of the South Donegal Colleges team against St Columba’s of Derry. Despite a valiant display and some excellent hurling by a young South Donegal side, an experienced St Columba’s team won the match. As always, Abbey VS players represented the school with great sportsmanship. Final score 3-13 to 6-13.

Boys Gaelic Football
Senior boys’ Gaelic training is every Tuesday after school at 4pm. The boys’ game against Glenties has been postponed until further notice.

The U16 boys were knocked out of the competition at the quarter final stage by Carndonagh on Thursday. The physically stronger Carndonagh team adopted much better to the very poor weather conditions and were the deserved winners. A lot of the Abbey team are underage for the competition next year and will learn a lot from this years’ experience. They also have the semi-final of the Donegal competition to look forward to in the New Year.

The AVS U14s played St. Joseph’s Donaghmore in the Ulster Quarter Final on Friday. In what were very difficult conditions the AVS were the better team in the first half and lead at half time by 4 points. Despite this, St Joseph’s grew into the match in the 2nd half and hit 3 goals and unfortunately our lads were unable to reply despite having good possession. Final score AVS 2-08, St Joseph’s 4-09

U20 Girls Gaelic Football
Well done to the U20 girls who had a great week of football. They started off the week travelling to Omagh on Monday to play Dean Maguire in their first game of the league. The girls had a strong start, showing great support play from the throw in. Good scores came from the runs of Layla Alvey and Aine McGroarty.

The girls continued to dominate in the first half with the full forward line continuing to score. The AVS girls had a strong defence line with Elizabeth Mackle and Anna Campbell winning 50/50 balls. The Abbey girls took the foot off the pedal before half time and as the score difference became smaller, tension began to build between the two teams. The Dean Maguire girls came out strong in the opening minutes of the second half, but great saves from Eilish Meehan kept the Abbey girls ahead. The Abbey girls didn’t give up and continued to work hard together. Changes in the team helped them stay in front. Hannah Crawford came on for her first game of the year due to injury and had a blinder scoring 3 points in the final minutes which secured the win. The final score was Abbey 4-13, Dean Maguire 4-09.

Senior Boys Soccer
The senior boys played St Eunans away on Thursday 23rd November. The match was played under terrible conditions, hail stones made playing on the day very difficult. St Eunans proved too strong for the AVS boys leaving St. Eunans progressing to the next round and Abbey exiting the tournament. The full time score was, 5-2.

The U17 boys’ soccer team were beaten by Rosses Community School in the Donegal Schoolboys League recently. Best for Donegal were Wiktor Smus and Jordan Jervis. The U15 Boys Soccer team, coached by Mr Mc Hugh, will play Rosses Community School next Tuesday 28th November.