Bagenalstown -

CYBER-BULLYING INITIATIVE - On Wednesday, March 20, Muinebheag Vocational School launched their Cyber-Bullying Awareness initiative by inviting parents and members of the community to a talk on cyber-bullying. This initiative is a joint venture by the Home School Community Liaison Department, the Guidance Counselling Department and the IT Department. The team organised guest speaker, Brian Comerford, to come to the school to talk about the dangers of Social Networking sites and offer advice about how to use Social Networking sites safely. He also offered advice to parents about how to deal with cyber-bullying if their child was affected by it.

CYBER-BULLYING INITIATIVE - On Wednesday, March 20, Muinebheag Vocational School launched their Cyber-Bullying Awareness initiative by inviting parents and members of the community to a talk on cyber-bullying. This initiative is a joint venture by the Home School Community Liaison Department, the Guidance Counselling Department and the IT Department. The team organised guest speaker, Brian Comerford, to come to the school to talk about the dangers of Social Networking sites and offer advice about how to use Social Networking sites safely. He also offered advice to parents about how to deal with cyber-bullying if their child was affected by it.

Brian is a Guidance Counsellor himself and has worked with the Department of Education in devising a nationwide anti-bullying policy for schools. In recent months, he has devised an anti- bullying programme, which schools can implement with their students in an effort to raise their awareness about the issue. At Muinebheag Vocational School, Imelda Kelly, Guidance Counsellor, is currently doing the programme with the Transition Years and Maire Lee is doing the programme with her 2nd year CSPE class. They hope to roll the programme out to all years before the end of the year to ensure that everyone is singing from the one hymn sheet.

When the school advertised this talk, William Clarke from Clarke/Jeffars Solicitors, offered to come to talk on the night. Their firm has dedicated significant resources to the area of cyber-bullying and has a stated commitment to deal with the issue. They have published, free of charge, legal information relating to the topic. While they are certainly not trying to convince people to bring cyber-bullying into the legal arena, they are showing alternatives in the event that the behaviour does not stop. They will also educate people on how to go about getting harmful material removed from the likes of Facebook, Twitter etc.

Both speakers were excellent and one piece of valuable advice that they both offered was that parents should become friends with their children on Facebook (and other such sites). A spokesperson for the school said “It’s no longer enough that we can plead ignorance and dismiss Facebook and the other social media platforms as being something for the young folk. It’s no longer enough to ban our children from using these sites – they will anyhow. To protect our vulnerable children, we need to jump in ourselves, learn and understand how these powerful and very useful social media platforms work, discover the risks and plan so that these can be managed and minimised.

That is why, as a follow up to this, the IT Department at Muinebheag Vocational School is going to offer classes for parents on ‘ Bridging the Technology Gap” in order to educate parents about these Social Networking sites and how to monitor their children’s use of such sites. Everyone at the talk signed up for the classes, the dates of which are to be confirmed.”

BAGENALSTOWN PARADE - The crowd at this year’s parade in Bagenalstown on St Patrick’s Day was smaller than usual and the number of participating floats and walking groups also seemed to be down, perhaps this is due to the recession or the fact that there are so many parades on at the same time. However the weather held fine just long enough to do the business and those who came out enjoyed the day. After the entertainment on the reviewing stand it was off to the comfort of the McGrath Hall for the Talent Show which has become part of all festival occasions in Bagenalstown. This event was again organised by the two young members Michael Cahill and Dean Egan who are always full of energy and ideas for events like this.

A multitude of talent was on display here from the primary schools of the parish and a good crowd turned out to support all the acts. The winners of this event were. 1st - a group of girls from Newtown called Up Beat; 2nd - Aoife McGagh, and joint 3rd Leanne Wall and Connor Carew. At the interval the crowd was treated to a display of Irish dancing by the Dargan School of Dancing from Carlow. There was also a colouring Competition which produced a great display of talent. Prizewinners were Category 1 - 1st Rachel O’Brien, 2nd Charley Whelan and 3rd Aidan Dowling: Category 2- 1st Chantelle Kelly, 2nd Sinead Bric, 3rd Kevin Mullins and 4th Rachel Kidd.

The Committee would like to thank the judges of the talent show, Fr Declan Foley, Ann Marie Meaney and Annette Reddy and of course the sponsors of the show Bagenalstown Credit Union. Other winners were, Mystery St Patrick (Ken Hickey) - Sinead Thompson; Best Overall Float- Bagenalstown Resource Centre; Walking Groups – 1st Baden Powell Scouts, 2nd Bagenalstown Camogie Club. Vintage; 1st Eddie Cullen, 2nd Tractor Reg No MEI 794. Special prize went to the Home Care Team, and the best window display to Rea’s Family Fashion, Fair Green.

The committee very much appreciates the generosity of those who made donations and those who supported the Flag Day collection last January as they help to make the parade possible every year.

SCRAP SATURDAY - On Saturday, April 6, the Ballinkillen Hurling club committee members are collecting all unwanted metal and clothes, all scrap metal- steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminium, zinc, dishwashers, fridges, car/tractor batteries, cookers, washing machines, cars, bicycles etc. clothes- clean reusable clothes, shoes, hand bags, curtains etc. Bring what you can to Ballinkillen Hurling Club grounds on Saturday, April 6, between 10am and 4pm or ring any of the following numbers to have anything collected:- Sean Minchin 087 6280710, Pat English 087 6782098, Mick Kinsella 087 2037394, Lar Kinsella 087 6977417.Your support is much appreciated

WELL DESERVED WIN - Bagenalstown Family Resource Centre is the proud winner of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade “ Overall Float” and would like to thank everyone who took part, “We could not have done it without all your hard work and dedication. On behalf of the Board of Management and staff, thank you!”

VEC STUDENTS FUNDRAISER - On Wednesday, March 20, Transition Years from Muinebheag Vocational School held a fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society and Relay for Life. The fundraiser consisted of a No Uniform Day. Students were allowed for a nominal fee, to wear their normal every-day clothes into school. All of the students participated in this event. They also held a bake sale. Everyone helped out by baking, selling and buying the products. Badges and daffodils were available to purchase on the day. A soccer tournament was organised for all students. It was enjoyed by spectators and participants alike. Everybody had a great time and it is hoped that next year’s Transition Year group will continue this tradition. The day was very successful with €306 raised for the cause. Ashley Byrne and Jennifer Lillis would like to thank all those who made the day such a success.

CRICKET CLUB - The new cricket season is starting soon and new members are very welcome. Five members of the club recently completed their Level 1coaching course, for that little bit of extra coaching. Training will start on Thursday April 4 at 6.30. For more information contact Diarmuid Power on 0851411316 or check out Facebook page.

DAWN MASS -The fifth annual Dawn Mass will be celebrated at 6am on Easter Sunday, March 31, on Mount Leinster at the Nine Stones area. Please feel most welcome to participate in this memorable morning of celebration.

50th ANNIVERSARY - Muine Bheag Vocational School 50th Anniversary Committee is once again calling all past students and teachers to come along to the school on Thursday, April 11 at 8pm to discuss their celebration plans. Tickets will be on sale that night for the Celebratory Dinner Dance. Cost €25.

ROAD RACE - road Race and 5k Walk on Good Friday, March 29 at 6pm in Oak Park, Carlow. Spot prizes galore. Cash prizes: first 3 men / women. Refreshments available after the run. Entry Fees: Running €15. Walking €10, Under 18 €5. Enquiries, Shem 087 8175476, Dan 087 9164098 or Ann Byrne 087 7384483. Registration from 5pm. Proceeds from this event will go to both the Carlow Town Hurling Club and Carlow County Hospice.

RAMBLING HOUSE - Rambling House, Killoughternane Hall, on Wednesday, April 3. If you have a story to tell, a song to sing, a tune to play, perhaps a dance, or just want to go along and listen do join in. All visitors welcome, young and old.

POKER CLASSIC - Fenagh GFC will hold their Annual Poker Classic in their Clubhouse in Fenagh on Good Friday, March 29. Game will start at 10pm sharp and cost €20. Game will be played for an allotted time with no buy back in and winner from each table will go through to the final where all are guaranteed a cash prize. Thanks to all those who supported their recent Monster Bingo and made it a huge success.

SUICIDE AWARENESS - Bagenalstown Family Resource Centre together with Console are carrying out an Information Evening on Suicide Awareness and Prevention on Tuesday, April 16 at 8pm. “We would encourage you to come along to this information evening as if we were to ask ourselves we probably all know someone who has suffered the heart ache and devastation associated with suicide, lets come together as a community to learn more about recognising the signs and hopefully preventing suicide.” For more information contact Marie on 059-97-22028/087-9316279.

PARKINSON’S INFORMATION AFTERNOON - The Sacred Heart Hospital, Carlow and the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland invite you – a person with Parkinson’s, a carer, relative or friend to a Parkinson’s Information Afternoon on Friday, April 12 from 2pm to 4.30pm in the Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow. No admission fee but prior registration is necessary. Phone 1800 359 359 or email infor@parkinsons.ie. Registration closes on Tues. April 9.

BEREAVED - Deepest sympathy to Austin Kinsella, Ballytimon, Fenagh, whose aunt Mary- Paul Webber (nee Kinsella) Chicago and Ballytimon, died recently. May she rest in peace.