In late March 2019, a group of Second Year students visited Belfast for the annual exchange trip to Belfast. This exchange trip has been in place for many years now, since relations were forged with Mr Paul Buchanan, a History teacher and Promotion Officer for De La Salle College, Belfast. For years, students from St Kieran’s College have had the opportunity to visit Belfast, De La Salle College and the local hurling clubs in the area. Students play hurling matches and get to visit many local tourist attractions and restaurants.
It is always a very enjoyable experience and this year was no different. Over the years, these exchange visits have enabled students from both schools to develop friendships, learn about one another’s communities and to experience something new through travel. It is wonderful to be able to continue our relations with our friends from Belfast. We look forward to welcoming Mr Buchanan and his group of Year 8/9 students to our school later this year. Many thanks to Mr David McCormack and Mr Richie Ruth for organising this trip on behalf of St Kieran’s College and to Mr Paul Buchanan, who dedicates so much of his time to these trips every year.
Below, David Mulrooney tells of his experiences on the most recent of these exchange visits in March:
When Mr.Ruth told our class about the schools Belfast exchange, I was intrigued and immediately wanted to be a part of the experience. I was soon delighted to have been chosen to go up to Belfast and represent our school.
We set off on the bus to Belfast at the early time of 6:15 and we were all eager to arrive at our destination. We reached De La Salle at around 11:30 where we were given a warm welcome by Mr Buchanan and his students. A delicious hot breakfast was provided in the school canteen before we played a challenge match against De La Salle’s junior team. After a quick stop in McDonald’s we were treated to an open top bus tour of Belfast with Mr Buchanan teaching us about Belfast’s astonishing heritage, culture and history. After the tour we had our dinner before heading to one of the highlights of the trip… The O’Neills Superstore. We were all in awe as we got to see the best of what O’Neills had to offer with jerseys from all around the world including DR Congo of all places! After cleaning out the store we headed over to the cinema to cap off a great day.
On Friday Morning while eating breakfast in our hotel Mr.Bucannon quizzed on our tour of Belfast with right answers winning a De La Salle jersey, in fact I was lucky enough to win one myself. Soon after we were given a great session by the local gaelfest coaches which I found was a great bonding experience for all of us.
We then capped off our trip at the Airtastic trampoline park where we had great fun bouncing around and battling on the balance beam. Unfortunately we had to say goodbye and return to Kilkenny but the trip will live long in the memory and I look forward to seeing the lads down here in September.