German Language Award 2014 for Mount Mercy College

German Language Award 2014

Awarded by the German Embassy, the Goethe Institute and the German Teacher’s Association of Ireland



Ms Loftus is pictured above receiving the award certificate from Peter Adams, the German Embassy’s Cultural Attaché, at Trinity College Dublin, 15th November, 2014.

On the 15th November 2014, at the Annual Conference of the German Teachers Association of Ireland, Ms Loftus was presented with the German Language Award / German Teacher of the Year Award 2014. The German Department of Mount Mercy College is honoured and thrilled to accept this prestigious national award on behalf of all the wonderful students of German at Mount Mercy.

The stated purpose of the award is as follows:

“- to recognise outstanding achievement by Irish schools teaching German as a foreign language;
– to highlight and pay tribute to the work of teachers involved in teaching and pupils engaged in learning German;
– to acknowledge and encourage the commitment of the winning school to modern language teaching and learning.”
(Website for the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Dublin

The award is based on the following selection criteria:

“The award aims to pay tribute to primary and secondary schools that have made an outstanding and dedicated contribution to promoting the German language within the curriculum and beyond by

– demonstrating the use of a variety of teaching methods and resources to teach the German language, including ICT;
– demonstrating how teaching and learning of German contributes to the development of general literacy skills;
– demonstrating how German is integrated into other subject areas;
– demonstrating how German is integrated into the general life of the school community;
– demonstrating how an awareness of the culture of German-speaking countries and its relationship with Irish culture is being promoted in the German classroom and in school projects;
– demonstrating the promotion of local or regional /international outreach activities related to the teaching and learning of German.”
(Website for the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Dublin

Sincere thanks to the German Embassy, the Goethe Institute and the German Teachers Association of Ireland for this award. We are also delighted and most grateful to receive the generous prize of €500 for use by the German department of Mount Mercy College.

German Books find new home in MMC Library

image image 5th year students display a sample of some of the forty books acquired

On Culture Night, 19th September 2014, MMC German Department was delighted to acquire books from the Goethe Institut Library book sale which took place in Merrion Square, Dublin.

Carefully chosen works by the man who is considered to be the most famous living German author and recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature – Günter Grass – complete with paintings and sketches by him – as well as top quality reference books, dictionaries and works by world renowned famous authors who wrote in the German language such as Franz Kafka and Christa Wolf, are now housed in our school library and available on loan to our students. Sincere thanks to Evi Rockstroh, Head of the Goethe Institut Library, Anne Klapperstueck, Library Assistant and Andreas Zürn, Deputy Director and Head of Language Department of the Goethe Institut who generously helped to safely stow and carry the books during the hustle and bustle of Culture Night! The books are now safely in situ having been carefully transported from Dublin to Cork. This unique set of books will be called ‘The Goethe Collection’ in recognition of its origins and we are extremely pleased to add this very special collection to our school library.

Culture Night was celebrated in style at the Goethe Institut. Visitors enjoyed fresh German pretzels and the opportunity to browse the book sale, sample wine whist viewing a photo exhibition by famed Berlin photographer Oliver Mark, view a screening of truly ‘vintage’ silent movies filmed from 1896 onwards accompanied by live music and take part in the German – Irish quiz. A great event organised by the Goethe Institut which provided wonderful fun and entertainment for all who attended.

We are aiming for our Fourth Green Flag

imageWell done to our Green Schools Committee for raising awareness and to our student community who are showing a fantastic level of participation in our WOW days! ‘WOW’ stands for  ‘Walk on Wednesday’. On certain designated Wednesdays, we ask all members of our school community to walk, cycle, carpool, park and stride, take the bus or use any method of environmentally sustainable transport to travel to school. Thanks to the great efforts made by our students, despite often poor weather conditions, we are seeing a 15% reduction in car use on these days, with a connected increase in park and stride and carpooling.

The focus of the fourth green flag is on sustainable transport. We aim to reduce carbon emissions through the promotion of sustainable transport such as walking and cycling. The support and participation of our entire school community is vital in the attainment of this flag. Whilst the attainment of the flag is a huge motivator, let us not forget the serious issues at hand here.

The fifth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has recently been published. This report took years to create and involved hundreds of scientists. It reports with 95% certainty that humans are responsible for global warming. No country is immune to climate change. We each have a role to play and a responsibility towards caring for our immediate environment, our country and ultimately our planet. ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ Let’s make our steps count, because there is no Planet B!

Clink on this link to read recent reports on climate change:

German Movie Review: Life’s no Piece of Cake

On 11th November 2014, as part of the Cork Film Fest, MMC students of German in Transition Year, 5th Year and Leaving Cert attended a special screening for schools of the German movie ‘Das Leben ist nichts für Feiglinge’ (‘Life’s no Piece of Cake’) in the Gate Cinema, Cork city. This was presented by the Irish Film Institute in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Irland.

Read a review of the movie here written by Kornelia Bukowska, a 5th year student of German.

“In ‘Life’s no Piece of Cake’, directed by André Erkau, we are taken on a journey through loss, abandonment and grief. In this insightful drama, we discover different ways of coping with these three inevitable stages of life.

We are introduced to Markus, brilliantly portrayed by Wotan Wilke Möhring, and his daughter Kim, played by Helen Woigk. They are trying to come to terms with the loss of his beloved wife, Kim’s mother Babette. While both cling to the past, they have their own ways of escaping from sorrow and pain. In the midst of their grief, a sub-plot arises as the family also has to come to terms with the terminal illness of Markus’ mother Gerlinde. While this is extremely difficult for Gerlinde herself as she is faced with losing her life sooner rather than later, it is another shock to the family at this already challenging time. The characters set out on a journey of self discovery and in search of tranquility. They depict how gathering up the pieces is not that easy at all. Of course, we cannot forget Paula whose crazy personality brings a bit of humour and comfort to the Färber family and to us as viewers as well.

This movie also portrays the value of family, many forms of love and the shortness of life. It is an eye opening tragi-comedy, yet through the fine performances it is surprisingly uplifting. I would recommend this movie to anyone who is 16 or over.”

Well done Kornelia on writing an excellent review. Kornelia receives a voucher for Waterstones Bookshop as her prize.

Here are some more interesting observations made by MMC students who attended the screening:

‘I found the actors each delivered a raw, believable performance’ (Aisling O’ Donovan, 5th year)

‘The music added a great intensity to the film and captivated the viewer. I would definitely recommend seeing this movie even if you haven’t a word of German as the story was moving and the movie was simply “prima”! ‘ (Aisling Ahern, 5th year)

‘Despite the sad difficult moments, the film allowed itself to be humorous throughout . The comedy isn’t excessive and the characters played by wonderful actors deal with their situations as anyone else would. They are relatable’
. (Orlaith Connolly, 5th year)

‘The acting very efficiently portrays heartache and the void that someone’s death leaves in your life. ‘
(Clara Bennett, 5th year)

I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who enjoys heart-warming movies. I would give this film four out of five stars.’ (Jennifer O Leary, 5th year)

‘The film will have the audience close to tears in one scene and laughing in the next’.
(Kamila Goldman, 5th year)

‘Life’s no Piece of Cake’, 98 MINUTES, GERMANY, 2012, SUBTITLED, COLOUR.

Festivals: Zurich 2012, Reykjavik 2012
Awards: German Film Awards 2013 (Best Supporting Actress: Christine Schorn)

On tour throughout Ireland

Film screenings for schools
07.10. – 27.1.2015




Parents Association Meeting November 13th Agenda

Parents Association Meeting – November 13th


  • Minutes of previous meeting (AGM)
  • Correspondence
  • Financial Status
  • Update by Principal
  • First Year Fun Quiz Night (provisionally Nov 27th)
  • Fund Raising Ideas from AGM
    • Social Dance
    • Quiz Nights
    • Recycling Clothes Day
    • Past Pupils / Friends of Mount Mercy
  • Fund Spending Ideas from AGM
    • Whiteboards
    • Software for learning support
    • Desks for top floor
    • Set of iPads
  • Any Other Business / Suggestions
    • Díograis Sponsorship (Dec 9th)
    • Fence repair by all-weather pitch
    • Recyling / Buy&Sell listings on school website
  • Next meeting

Outstanding Expenditure

  • Water Fountain
  • Apple TVs

Parents Association AGM 2014 Minutes

Minutes of A.G.M. Tuesday 07/10/2014

Present:  Padraigin Uí Riordáin , Richard Cronin, Catherine O’Connor, Caroline Mc Namara, Aileen Coleman, Lila Browne, Mary Healy, Noreen Gubbins, Niamh Brooks, Eileen Collins, A O’Donovan, Catherine Buckley, Ashling Daly, Helena O’Sullivan, Jean Carroll, Orla Mc Carthy, Brian Shanahan, Tom Burton, Jackie Crowley in attendance.

Richard introduced the committee and welcomed all parents and then went through overview of the previous year:

  • Project for P.A for the yr was to help with setting up a 2nd computer room. We were to be I.T. focused.  It was decided to provide the school with Apple TV’S to the value of €3000.
  • There was a 1st year fun quiz night organised, great fun and lots of chocolate had by all J
  • Student representatives were invited to a PA meeting to ask what we could do for the students. It was decided to provide a water fountain for students so as each floor would have access to one.
  • A Parent’s Association section has been added to the school website.
  • PA helped by providing feedback on the Anti Bullying Policy for the school.
  • A double cuff school jumper is now available in Finns Corner following feedback from a parent on the PA.
  • Feedback on the school hall was provided by the Parents Association.
  • There was a bag packing day in Tesco to raise funds, P.A. parents supervised.  Transition year students were fantastic on the day.
  • The biggest fundraiser in the school are the monthly No Uniform Days, €2 collected from the girls, raffle for Wilton vouchers on the day. PA treasurer organises vouchers and counts money with help from members of the PA.



Financial Statement

Treasurer Catherine O’Connor talked us through financials for the year

  • No uniform days brought in €5941.50
  • Tesco bag pack brought in €883.64
  • Friends of Mount Mercy accrued €285.75

We have had a very healthy bank balance from the year, with closing balance on Aug 30th 2014 €3219.98, having paid out for the apple TVs and the water fountain. 

Update from Principal

Principal Padraigin Uí Riordáin welcomed parents and thanked them for being very supportive to the school, to her as a principal and to their daughters.


  • Expressed thanks to the Parents Association for their work for the school. A special thanks to Richard Cronin for his IT expertise, great help to the school. 
  • It has been very busy yr for the school and this is summarised in the Mt Mercy magazine.
  • Junior and Leaving Certificate exam results were very good, above national average. This is due to the hard work of the students, teachers, parents, a great partnership.    
  • Diograis Awards were explained: annual event where the school honours students who achieve highly, not only exam-wise. Guest Speaker last year Sinead Kennedy RTE who is a former student.
  • There are lots of extra-curricular activities during the yr.
  • School Mass started the year, school has a Catholic ethos. This is a lovely gathering.
  • TY has a range of activities, charity events. Last yr 4 groups from The Social Innovators programme received prizes at National level.
  • The make-up of the Board of Management was explained: 8 people, 4 from Ceist (trustees), 2 staff and 2 parents. The principal reports to the board.
  • Principal said that initiatives the school are working on improving at present are IT as a learning tool. There is also a focus on Numeracy and Literacy.
  • School is trying to achieve a 4th flag for transport. The girls were walking to school on 8th
  • Another flag the school is hoping to achieve is the Amber flag. This promotes looking after the mental well being of the students.
  • Mt Mercy College will be 50 years old in the spring of 2015. There will be events organised to celebrate during the year.
  • SPORTS HALL: We must continue to raise funds for the Sports Hall. O.M. has sought planning.  There are minor questions from the City Council.  Once sports hall is built the existing sports hall will be a student centre, canteen, and social space for the students.


 There was a brainstorm amongst parents present for Fundraising activities and ideas for events for the coming year.   


  • It was also decided that some of our funds from the PA would go toward buying white boards for classrooms that still have blackboards.
  • Election of new officers took place with committee remaining as last year:
  • Richard Cronin nominated as Chairperson by Mary Healy, seconded by Orla Mc Carthy.  Jackie Crowley nominated as Secretary by Mary Healy and seconded by Niamh Brooks.  Catherine O’Connor was nominated as Treasurer by Richard Cronin and seconded by Jackie Crowley.  Vice Chair is Leila Brown nominated by Richard Cronin and seconded by Adrianna O’Donovan.