There were many contestants in the misery olympics this past year, and to be honest, quite a few had authentic claims on a medal: in fact, who among us actually had a good year? But perhaps a special soupçon of sympathy should be saved for the Transition Year students, up and down the country. They had had their Junior Cycle/Certificate cancelled the previous June… okay, maybe that was bearable… but and then the much-anticipated year-long break from the usual grind, the longed for mixture of adventure and novel learning experiences that is Transition Year was severely handicapped by various restrictions: the long-coveted had been long-covidded. TY is all about ‘going out’ and ‘doing stuff’ but what if you can’t go out and there is nothing to do?
Well, you turn to Transition Year Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire (and his team) and give him your trust (and a generous budget). Gav basically put paid to this idea that nothing could be done and he led from the front and the rear: he pushed, pulled and cajoled his charges into enjoying a Transition Year like no other. Yes, changes had to be made, methods adjusted, hands washed and masks worn, but the Transition Years of St. Conleth’s were the busiest in the land! From the eclectic mix of quirky versions of the regular academic subjects through the variety of special ‘extra’ courses such as Photography, Sailing and First Aid to guest speakers on careers and personal development to actual trips around Dublin such as the Zoo, rock climbing, the Epic Experience and the Simon Toal-led graffiti tour, our TYs actually kept busy! Yes, the death of Transition Years turns out to have been greatly exaggerated. But that is not to say that every TY was equally lively: some were more vivacious, vital and vivid than others. Below you see all our Transition Year Award winners, led by the winner of both the J.P. McGilligan and Neil Quinlan, our biggest TY awards, Caoimhe Moore. Well done to them and all our TYs but special recognition must also be given to Gav Maguire, who obeyed all the rules and regulations, but still managed to lead our boys and girls through some incredible experiences in they all-important year of transition.