Trip to Northern Ireland end of a wonderful year for Tipperary college students

Trip to Northern Ireland end of a wonderful year for Tipperary college students

TY co-ordinator Pat Egan says goodbye to Francisco Cardeno from Seville.

It was an end of year to remember for the Rockwell College Transition Year Class with a four day visit to the North of Ireland.  On Sunday May 27th, 50 students and their teachers departed for Derry with stops at the Marble Arch Caves and visit to the Cuilcagh Mountains  on their way. 

Day two began with teacher Niall McGonagle giving a guided tour of the Bogside, the scene of Bloody Sunday.  This involved a walk of the Walls of Derry, after which the students visited the famous Free Derry Corner and got to see the many murals. 

Afterwards the students visited the Giants Causeway where they examined the hexagonal columns up to 100 metres deep, formed 90-55 million years ago from successive outpourings of lava as the North American Plate separated from the Eurasian Plate.

 Rockwell College Transition Year students enjoying their trip to Northern Ireland.

They took advantage of the fantastic weather to walk the scenic coastal route to Dunseverik.  A great day was rounded off with a barbecue at Whitepark Bay beach. 

The penultimate day began with a visit to the Dark Hedges made famous by Game of Thrones.  The students were then given a Black Taxi Tour which brought them to the Falls Road and the Shankill Road as well as other interface areas.  The day was rounded off with a visit to Stormont Assembly. 

The final day began with a well-deserved visit to Tayto Park.  The students then returned home to begin their summer holidays. 

The trip was however tinged with sadness with ten of the students who travelled leaving the college to return to their native countries.  Francisco Cardeno from Seville was dropped at Dublin Airport as the group made their way home. 

‘I am looking forward to meeting my family but I am very sad to leave. This has been the best year of my life.  I will keep in touch with my Irish friends’ said a tearful Francisco. 

TY co-ordinator, Pat Egan, paid tribute to the students, many of whom have visited Germany, France and Spain on exchange programs.  Others were fortunate enough to earn scholarships to China with a further 16 visiting Kolkata with the Hope Foundation.