A message from Ms Duffy

Dear Students

I hope you, your family and friends are safe and well. I know this is a very difficult time for many young and not so-young people. It’s difficult because we have never experienced anything like this before. We are depending on our medical experts and Government who are advising us and putting things in place to contain the spread of Covid-19. But every one of us must play our part in keeping ourselves, our families and our communities safe. Every one of us can be a ‘hero’.

In the future, people will ask us, what did we do to contain the spread of Covid-19? It is my hope that we will be able to say, ‘I followed all the advice’. This includes excellent hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing properly and social distancing. Another very important piece of advice from the medical experts is, that in order to stop the spread of Covid-19, not to have parties or what are being called ‘Covid-19 parties’. Please make sure you follow all this essential advice.

I’ll will write another message in a few days. In the meantime, if you are worried about Covid-19, please talk to your parents or another adult in your family. Do not heed some of the information on Covid-19 on social media as it is not always accurate.

Also, it is important to keep everything as normal as possible, so remember to stay in touch with your subject teachers about your school work. If you don’t have a teacher’s email address and you need it, you can email collinstown@collinstownpark.ie, and a message will be sent to your teacher.

Above all stay safe, look after each other and please heed all the advice.

Pauline Duffy



Death of Sr Gabriel McAvey

Sr Gabriel McAvey, a much loved teacher in Collinstown Park Community College for 20 years, died on March 4th in Philadelphia. She was a Maths and Religion teacher here from 1989-2009.

She celebrated not one but two retirements in Collinstown, coming back after her first retirement to teach on a part time basis until she retired in 2009. She then went to work as a volunteer in the Capuchin Day Centre. She moved to the mother house of her order in 2011.

May she rest in Peace

More details to follow. Link to the official announcement

It was with heartfelt sadness that we learned this week of the passing of our esteemed colleague and friend, Sr. Gabriel McAvey. The news reached us from across the Atlantic, filtering down the corridors of Collinstown Park, into the many rooms, rooms where Gabriel had worked. There seemed to be a collective sigh of ‘Ah’ when we learned of our loss.

Sr. Gabriel was first and foremost, a lady. Gentle and reserved, considerate and thoughtful, who had an ear for everyone and a kind word for all. For those starting off their careers, she was especially mindful and known for her solid advice and practical observations! She was an integral member of staff at Collinstown Park, teaching, guiding, counselling and laughing- there was always laughter-simply put, she was part of our community.

As well as the spiritual and the academic, there was another vital attribute that Sr. Gabriel brought to Collinstown Park…cookie-making! With regularity she would make chocolate chip cookies for the staff and her students, a gesture that always seemed to arrive at just the right time!

She told us of her varied life within her religious order and the joy of her life’s work which saw her make America her home. She knew the Kennedys, Jack (as she called him) and Bobby and spent quite a bit of time with the Kennedy family in the 1960’s, the assassination of JFK she described as ‘surreal and saddening’. She was a mine of information and a great woman to sit down and have a chat with.

For all of us, who have worked with and loved Sr.Gabriel, this is a very sad time. Her great affection for her students and work colleagues will always be remembered as will her ready smile and kind words. They say that we must be the ‘servant of the servant of the Lord’ and this was something that Gabriel lived by. Indeed, God broke the mould when He made her.

Carol Dunne

Sr Gabriel at her retirement in 2009
Sr Gabriel with Bernard Dunne and his World Championship belt


Transition Years Visit Richmond Barracks

Last Wednesday our TY Group went on a trip to Richmond Barracks. We started our day off by getting the bus to The National War Memorial Park where we all walked around and enjoyed the lovely scenery. Once we were done we walked up to Richmond Barracks and stopped at Spar for our lunch.

Once we were there we were separated into groups of 12 and we were introduced to our tour guide. He explained the statue outside and we headed into the barracks where he showed us images and sculptures and explained in depth the meaning of them. He also showed us the size of a soldier’s room and what it would be like to live there for most of your life. Once we were finished the tour we were brought into a room where we were shown two videos. One was on women in Irish history and we were all very interested. After that, we went into multiple rooms that were made to look like houses and classrooms during the time of the war. The rooms were very interesting, we got to see how they differ from today. Once everyone was finished their tour we headed home and all went to Liffey Valley.

Callum Murphy – TY Press


Conor Nolan – Collinstown Hero

On the 19th of December, Conor Nolan a fifth-year student in Collinstown Park saved a young girl’s life in The Mill Shopping Centre, Clondalkin.

News filtered through the school slowly as Conor very modestly did not share the information with his fellow students. I sat down with Conor on Friday to ask him about the event and what followed was a fascinating and jaw-dropping story of true heroism. 

“I was on my way to work when I saw a crowd gathered around outside Costa Coffee”, Conor works in Clondalkin Leisure Centre as a lifeguard. 

As he walked over to see what was happening, it became apparent that a little girl was lying on the ground in critical condition. Conor checked to see if she was ok, and found that she wasn’t breathing. “I am a qualified Cardiac First Responder, I showed the people helping the girl my card, then called the ambulance and began doing CPR on the girl”. Conor was not asked by anyone to do this but rather stood up when others were panicking. “I did this until the fire brigade arrived and the chief took over. I assisted him until the ambulance arrived.”

The girl spent five days on life support, after multiple heart operations survived, and left the hospital after two months. In the picture, you can see how she came to visit Conor at work, hugged him and thanked him for helping her.

Conor has been invited to Dublin Castle for an award to recognise his bravery and calmness during the ordeal. Collinstown is proud of him for his heroic deeds.

Karolis Pocius – TY Press

Conor meeting the young girl