Are Women Taxed More Than Men For Being Female? – Alicia Loftus

Part of growing up is going through puberty and for females that includes getting your period. This is something women get naturally, some women don’t get their periods because of a medical reason. So if women get their period naturally, why should we be taxed on feminine products?

I believe that the government should give out free tampons to underfunded families and young girls/ women. This is what Scotland is doing. The Scottish government announced on 24th August 2018 that they have a plan to provide students, schools and universities free period products.

From my calculations, women will spend over €300 just on tampons. This doesn’t include painkillers, new underwear, new bed sheet, new trousers/jeans, hot water bottle, panty liners and birth control. All these factors will add a lot more to the cost.

The government has a tax named VAT; this stands for Value Added Tax. VAT is charged at different rates on products and services, the standard rate is 23%. Feminine products fit into this rate of tax. Along with other items that are not deemed a necessity. A lot of people say that feminine products are taxed as a luxury which is true yet false at the same time. Like I said before the government doesn’t have VAT on what they deem a necessity (bread, milk, tea) so in a way, they’re making a statement that everything else that is taxed with VAT is a luxury.

Another name for this is ‘pink tax’ – this is not anything actually pink or a tax, but it is a gender-based price that consumers face when purchasing products aimed towards girls or women. This name came by consumers who observed that products affected by this were pink. The problem is that over a lifetime the ‘pink tax’ can cost consumers, mainly females, thousands. A 2015 study by New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs entitled ‘From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer’ found that women’s products cost 7% more on average than items for men.

Men’s and women’s razors have a difference in price. I went onto the Boots pharmacy website and got the prices of some of the razors. A Gillette Venus & Olay Sugarberry razor is €14.50 and three refills are €15.99 (women’s product). A Gillette Skingaurd sensitive razor is €7.99 and a refill of three is €11.99 (men’s product). There is a €6.51 price difference between the razors, not including the refills. Other than the price difference there’s an obvious colour contrast but the effect of this on price is questionable. This points to the ‘pink tax’ that I mention in my last paragraph being projected on the razors commercialised to women.

With all the information that I have given, I think that I have shown women are taxed on feminine products and other products on the sole fact that they are women. There are no big differences between men and women for there to be the price gap that there is. There are countless reasons why this may be the case. There is no shock in saying women have been oppressed by society and men for centuries. Society has countless beauty standards for women, which have changed throughout the years. Women keep up with these beauty standards because this what has been told and expected from them, which makes them spend money on whatever it may be to achieve this. Since women already spend money, why not tax them more on goods geared towards them since the government already have a high tax on goods that are not ‘necessities’.?  Women need to stand up for themselves and demand equality in taxation and costing of feminine products.

Alicia Loftus



Since September The Transition Year Journalism group has been working on a variety of different projects. They keep the website regularly updated with reports on events that are happening in Collinstown Park. 

To showcase the talent and diversity of their writing, an article will be uploaded on a weekly basis from a member of this module until May. We hope you enjoy the creative, diverse and well thought out articles the TY Press group have written.  


Collinstown Poetry Slam Is A Great Success

On Tuesday the 7th of May CPCC hosted our first ever ‘Poetry Slam’. CPCC’s writer in residence Colm Keegan and Librarian Ms Ford organised and advertised the slam in the weeks leading up to the event. There was a great turnout from students, teachers and even former students.

Standing up in front of your peers to talk takes quite a lot of courage. Standing up to talk about your thoughts, emotions and feelings through your poetry takes even more courage. Well done to the twelve students who took part and performed admirably on the day.

As is the way with every poetry slam, there are prizes for the winners. This does not take away from all those who took part and contributed significantly to the event. The winners were decided by the content, delivery and structure of their poetry.

Well done to Emma Nangle, Katelyn Hillary and Victory Luke who emerged victorious on the day. Thanks to Ms Ford and Colm Keegan for organising the event and finally thanks to all in attendance who made the event the success it was. Lets hope that this is the start of further poetry slams that highlight the creative ability and brilliance of our students in CPCC.





Are We Serious About North Korea? – Hannah Ingram

On the 12th of June 2018, a summit meeting was held between US president Donald Trump and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-Un, in the Capella Hotel, Sentosa, Singapore. This was the first ever meeting held between leaders of the US and North Korea. The meeting was one-on-one with interpreters only. It was agreed for peace between both countries, to denuclearise Korea, to recover soldiers’ remains and for the US to help North Korea build a lasting and stable peace for Korea as a whole.

In 1910 Korea came under the control of the Japanese Empire like most of Asia. When World War Two ended in 1945, Korea gained independence from Japan. North Korea was occupied by the Soviets while the South was occupied by the Americans. This led to Korea being split by the 38th parallel. The Korean War in 1950 lasted three years. After three years of fighting and nearly three million people dying, an armistice was signed on July 27th, 1953. As a result, Korea was and is still split on the 38th parallel.

Today North Korea is so cut off from the rest of the world that we are not fully aware of what goes on within it. From 2004-2008 there was a mobile phone ban in North Korea. Every mobile phone permitted is only to be with the North Korean phone service called Koryolink. It is near impossible for citizens to own a mobile phone, only government officials can own them. There is also no internet connection available to the public, only people with authorisation can connect to it. No one can give or receive calls from North Korea. Tourism in North Korea is completely different from other countries. Tourists coming to North Korea must change their phone service to Koryolink or else their mobile phones will be taken off them once they are there. Every tourist must stay with their tour guide and are not permitted to leave the tourism boundaries, because they would see the harsh reality of North Korea.

The government control what North Koreans watch on television, what stations are on the radio, what music they listen to and what books they own. Does any of this sound familiar? The way Koreans are currently being treated in North Korea is similar to how the German people were treated by Hitler and the Nazis, and their hatred of South Korea is similar to that of the Jews.

Everyone knows about the mass murder of Jewish people during World War Two in the Concentration Camps, but no one talks about the Concentration Camps that opened twenty years after the Holocaust ended. Hoeryong Concentration Camp or otherwise known as Camp 22 in Haengyong-ri, North Korea, was founded in 1965 and is probably the most known out of the camps. Camp 22 is surrounded by an electric fence and roughly 1,000 armed guards. Most prisoners were prisoners of war or people who criticised the government. According to online sources and witnesses, prisoners were treated horribly, had to work 19 hours a day, were brutally tortured, beaten, starved and experimented on. Women were even being raped by guards and were forced to either have an unsafe abortion or sometimes killed. Only seven years ago, in 2012, Camp 22 was closed. Three thousand prisoners in Camp 22 were relocated to another concentration camp that is still running to this day.

According to experts, it is estimated that more than 130,000 people are currently held in North Korean camps. If such horrible things like concentration camps still exist in 2019, who knows what else could be happening in isolated North Korea.

Shin Dong-Hyuk was one of the only survivors of the concentration camp, Camp 14. Shin was born and raised in Camp 14. He talked about what he witnessed, he saw people being beaten to death, tortured, starved, forced labour, children being beaten, people dying every day. Shin had his finger cut off for punishment for breaking a sewing machine. Shin and a man he met planned to escape over the electric fence but only Shin survived. Now he is a human rights activist, spreading his story around the world and trying to raise awareness of the North Korean regime.

Peace talks like the ones Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un are engaging in at this moment are a good move and a step towards a hopeful future for citizens and prisoners in North Korea. Raising awareness is vital for these people. People should be aware of the horrors we learn about in history books that are happening right now, this minute, in North Korea. If people start talking and acting about this unknown problem, then perhaps things will change for the innocent people of North Korea.

Hannah Ingram – TY Press


Since September The Transition Year Journalism group has been working on a variety of different projects. They keep the website regularly updated with reports on events that are happening in Collinstown Park. 

To showcase the talent and diversity of their writing, an article will be uploaded on a weekly basis from a member of this module until May. We hope you enjoy the creative, diverse and well thought out articles the TY Press group have written.  




My Thoughts On Transition Year – McKayla Costigan

Transition Year is a big change compared to my three previous years at Collinstown Park Community College. Firstly, it is the first year you get to wear the wine uniform as a senior and we get to go on plenty more trips than in our first three years.

First, Second and Third Year were very intense with the workload we had for our Junior Cert, this was compounded by CBAs. Transition Year is more about the experience and getting to socialise more with other students and teachers.

I can definitely say since I have been in Transition Year I have built a stronger bond with my friends and my teachers. We get more of a chance to do this in TY because of all the exciting trips and the teachers are more easy-going this year because there is no big exam or no preparing for a big exam.

There are two blocks in Transition Year. When it comes to work experience and trips, I am in block two. Block two went on all their trips before Christmas and their work experience started in January. Block one is the other way around, and are currently going on their trips now. For the trips, we go every Wednesday to places like The Laughter Lounge, The National Museum of Ireland, VUE Cinema, The Ploughing Championships, Paintballing and other fun and interesting places.

In Transition Year we also get the chance to take part in charity events. For example, on the 5th of March some of Collinstown Park TY students took part in a wheelchair basketball match for The Irish Wheelchair Association. These experiences would not be possible if it was not for Transition Year. That we get to do events like this for such a good cause makes it better.

At the moment, I am on my eleventh week of work experience. I am doing it at Gill & Co. Publishing, some people may also know it as Gill & MacMillan. I am working in the accounting and finance department and I love it. I have learned so many new things and met so many new people who are all so kind. Some days I get work to bring home with me. I find it very interesting to see what things are really like in the working industry as I have always been curious about it.

From the 25th March to the 29th March I was chosen to do a week’s work experience with the famous newspaper company, ‘The Echo’. I was excited to experience what it is like to work with a newspaper company and what it is like to be a journalist, because it is a career I have a real interest in.

These are the reasons why I love Transition Year. I have the opportunity to sample a wide range of activities and new experiences. It definitely helps you decide what subjects you would like to do for LC/LCA and it can certainly help you decide what you would like to have as a career in the future. Many people told me before I came into Transition Year that it is “a gap year” or that it is “not hard work”, but so far I have really enjoyed it and my friends have too. To use an old cliché, you get out of Transition Year what you put into it.

Transition Year is, so far, my favourite year since I have been in Collinstown Park Community College.


McKayla Costigan – TY Press


Fourth Year Accounting Students Visit Microsoft Datacentre And 1 Microsoft Place

On Thursday the 28th of March four Transition Year students got the privilege of visiting the Microsoft Datacentre in Grange Castle and also their impressive building in Sandyford.

From February this year our Fourth Year Accounting class had been availing of a fantastic programme from Junior Achievement Ireland. Students had different sessions about financing their future. This was delivered by Justin Trehy who is the Due Diligence Project Manager in Microsoft Datacentre at Grange Castle. Justin did a fantastic job teaching the class how important it is to stay in school and plan for their futures. We were very grateful for all the hard work that Justin put into each class and for helping us understand the importance of planning for their financial future.

As a reward for their hard work and involvement in the programme Justin arranged for four students to visit the Datacentre in Grange Castle and also the Microsoft offices in Sandyford. Students got a first-hand experience of the type of security that is in place in Grange Castle and the type of work that they do there. We were then whisked away to Sandyford where we got to see the other side of Microsoft filled with 2,000 employees working hard. We also got to see how much Microsoft look after the well being of their staff with an onsite hair dressers and nail salon! We were then given a tour by a Microsoft Intern who explained what she did and how she came to work in Microsoft

Students walked away from this visit knowing what hard work and dedication can get them!

I would love to work in Microsoft as it’s nice to see that for all the hard work the employees put in, I know that they are treated very well. I am sure there are a lot of jobs in Dublin and in America where the other big Microsoft place is.                Jodie O’Reily

Overall I thought the trip was really good because it was something that not a lot of people know about and it was interesting to learn about. In the future I’d love to work there.                          Emily Conway

Justin showed us some machines that can be found in ships and we were all surprised when he told us the price of them; there were 15 and all together they were worth 15 million euro. After the tour we met with some workers in Microsoft and they told us how they got where they are today. For example, one girl got to Microsoft even though in her early life she had no interest in IT; she actually was a beauty therapist before she came to Microsoft.

Ben Palmer

We got to meet three employees from Microsoft. Their stories of how they came to work in Microsoft were very interesting. They all came from different backgrounds and had different qualifications.                             Emmanuel Bankole


Energy Efficiency Evening Hosted By CPCC

On Thursday evening 4th  April 2019 Collinstown Park hosted an information evening covering energy efficiency in the home, renewable energy generation and other available supports. Representatives on the night included SSE Airtricity, SEAI and Microsoft. This event was attended by students of the college together with their parents and guardians and members of the local community.

Exhibitors on the night included home energy saving techniques in addition to interactive resources including solar PV panels and remote control home heating applications. Representatives from SSE Airtricity and SEAI were on hand to give expert advice in energy efficiency in the home.

Victory Luke spoke on behalf of the TY ‘Energy Five Day Challenge’ leaders. Victory gave an insightful account of Generation Green and their wonderful work to date.

There was a presentation on the night to all competition winners and spot prizes were awarded to members of the public.


Ireland – Céad Míle Fáilte? – Rokas Galinauskas

Over the past decade, Ireland has seen an increase in its foreign population. Right now, according to the Irish census, there are over five hundred thousand non-Irish residents in Ireland and over one hundred thousand who hold dual Irish citizenship. This could have never been foreseen as, before the 2000s, a typical Irish person was, generally, white and spoke English and Irish, but now it has all changed. A typical Irish person now does not meet that stereotype. Considering Ireland’s past, being opposed to the idea of having a foreign population is quite hypocritical since, during the nineteenth century, many Irish people were forced to move away from Ireland. So, is Ireland really the land of “céad míle fáilte”?

As many Irish people know, the nineteenth century was bad for Ireland. The Irish famine caused a severe decrease in population. Many people died but there were many people who felt leaving Ireland would be the best option. Popular destinations for the Irish people were America, Canada, Britain and Australia. Upon arrival, they faced discrimination. A lot of people were hated for their ethnicity and some even had to face being attacked. Those who were accepted got jobs and actually benefited the economy of the country they were in. In fact, Irish people helped to build American railways that are still being used ‘til this day, such as the Union Pacific railroad. There are American cities that have a large percentage of Irish ancestry, such as Boston with around 21% of people having Irish ancestry and Philadelphia with 14% of people having Irish ancestry.

In Ireland, right now, there are hundreds of different cultures. According to the CSO, the biggest groups are Polish with around one hundred and twenty thousand people, British with around one hundred thousand people and Lithuanian with around forty thousand people. Why do people from different nations decide to come here? Well, from personal experience, finance plays a big role. Some countries have economies that are terrible compared to Ireland’s. In fact, most of Eastern Europe has an average monthly salary that is below one thousand euro. Ireland’s, on the other hand, is around two thousand five hundred euro. For many people, less than one thousand euro isn’t enough to live a stable and secure life. Ireland and Britain are some of the first countries people look to move to. Both countries speak English and both have jobs that pay well enough to have stable lives. Another reason could also be that relatives already live here so they already have a network of people to engage with.

There are both positives and negatives to immigrants coming to Ireland. If we look at the nineteenth century in America, we can see that large communities of foreign residents led to gangs, some of which are still present right now. A famous example of an Irish-American gang leader is Whitey Bulger. It may not be common in Ireland but, statistics show that large foreign communities can lead to xenophobic behavior toward people of a different cultural background. There are positives though. Some immigrants help in educating people to the discrimination they face, which in turn, helps to reduce discrimination.  Those who are in employment help to grow the Irish economy just by working but of course, there are some who do decide to manipulate the system and even some who decide to get involved in illegal activities.

Many immigrants are happy to call Ireland their home and so, when eligible, gain Irish citizenship. A few famous examples are the Irish rugby players, Bundee Aki, who was born in New Zealand, and CJ Stander, who was born in South Africa. They have grown in love with the Irish culture and people and feel like they are as Irish as someone born in the country.

Ireland must become a more tolerant place. In the latest ESRI report, 75% of Irish people were against Roma people living in Ireland and 59% of Irish people were against Muslim people living in Ireland. Clearly, the Irish attitude towards diversity can and has to improve. During the Irish Recession, the report showed that people’s attitudes towards diversity worsened.  Many people seem to forget the fact that one of the reasons the Second World War happened was because one man blamed others for his struggles. Knowing this, we should really try to become more tolerant of other people who may or may not be of the same ethnicity as us because:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana.

The ever-changing Ireland is definitely on its way to becoming more accepting but there is still a long way to go to becoming the country of “Céad Míle Fáilte”.

Rokas Galinauskas – TY Press

Since September The Transition Year Journalism group has been working on a variety of different projects. They keep the website regularly updated with reports on events that are happening in Collinstown Park. 

To showcase the talent and diversity of their writing, an article will be uploaded on a weekly basis from a member of this module until May. We hope you enjoy the creative, diverse and well thought out articles the TY Press group have written.  




Collinstown Park Celebrates Microsoft Awards

On Thursday morning 11th April 2019, 183 students from First to Sixth Year were awarded for their success in the Microsoft Awards for Excellence January initiative. To date, over five hundred students have received this award. Representatives from Microsoft were on hand to present students with their certificates and prizes.

That Thursday evening, fifty-nine students together with their parents and guardians, teachers, representatives from Microsoft and DDLETB and our Board of Management celebrated the Citizenship awards. All written pieces and posters were displayed on the night and extracts from each application were shared. Twenty-four special prizes were awarded.


First Year: Grace Shelley, Ammar Syed Shah, Codie Brennan, Jayne Higgins & Tracey Ijezie.

Second Year: Holly Dooley, Cian Somers, Alex Kennedy & Courtney Whelan McManus.

Third Year: Emma Nangle, Rhianna Higgins & Aoife O’Connor.

Fourth Year: Leah Byrne, Shane Murray Lavelle & Emmanuel Bankole.

Fifth Year: Luke Murphy, Chloe O’Flaherty, Grace McCormack, Lee McDonagh and Luke Nolan.

Sixth Year: David Reddin, Nadine Church, Sonia Khan & Aoife Hanley.

Well done to all students involved in the Microsoft drive.


TY Water Experiments With First Year Students

As part of the school’s Green Flag program,  water experiments were conducted by Transition Year students.  Their findings were collated by the students.  These Fourth Year students then presented the experiments to our First Year students. The First Years learned about Pollution and Climate Change in a fun interactive way. Well done to all.



Collinstown Sports Day Is A Great Success

On Tuesday afternoon, Collinstown held its annual Sports Day. Students across every year group took part in a range of activities, ably assisted by the helpful teachers who were on duty.

Students got to take part in penalties, bubble football, tug of war, high jump, long jump and a range of different inflatables. An ice-cream van was on hand for those who needed to cool down with a ’99.

Thanks to Ms Rooney and Mr Higgins for organising a great day for all involved. A special thanks to the teachers who also made it all possible.