Friday, 22 January 2021

Donegal student, Megan Callaghan is in her second year at St. Angela’s College, studying Home Economics and Gaeilge Teacher Education. Her grá for Gaeilge was obvious throughout all of secondary school but living with a visual impairment meant that learning was always a challenge, often not being able to see her classroom board. But this didn’t stop her from pursuing a teaching career, something she feels privileged to do, educating and inspiring future generations. It was when she began her College journey that Megan learned about the Gerard Byrne Bursary Award, an award offered by the National Council for the Blind Ireland to only a few students each year who went through school with a visual impairment and who have overcome significant challenges. Megan explains ‘I first heard about the bursary when the Disability and Learning Support Officer, Ms Vivienne Ryan, sent me the details and encouraged me to apply’. As part of the application, Megan also submitted a 1,500-word essay outlining the challenges she encountered as well as her career aspirations. Successful candidates at this stage were then invited to interview by a panel from the NCBI. ‘This was my first ever interview and I was nervous but a week later I got the news that I was to receive the award - I burst into tears as I had never won a thing in my life, never mind something I got because of my poor sight. It felt as if everything had come full circle and all those challenging times throughout secondary school got me to this point. Mar a deireann an seanfhocal: ‘An áit a mbíonn an dólás bíonn an sólás ina aice’ agus nuair a fuair mé an glaoch gutháin sin, thuig mé brí an tseanfhocail áirithe sin láithreach’. Dr. Mairéad Conneely, one of Megan’s Gaeilge lecturers, is delighted and proud of Megan’s achievement and award. ‘Is duine díograiseach, tuisceanach agus paiseanta í Megan, agus tá mé cinnte go mbeidh sí ina heiseamláir iontach amuigh sna seomraí ranga agus sna seomraí foirne chomh maith’. As a future teacher, Megan will continue to advocate for students living with visual impairments within the Irish education system and has already formulated her strategies to achieve equality for all learners. The awards were streamed live on 3rd December 2020 and speaking at the event, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Mr Simon Harris mentioned ‘ensuring equity of access to education is a priority for the Department, and the Gerard Byrne Bursary is especially critical given the low numbers of students with visual impairment and blindness studying in higher education’. The award consists of two annual grants to the value of €1,500 per year and continues for the duration of the undergraduate programme.

Thursday, 7 January 2021

St. Angela’s College together with the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queens University Belfast, collaborated in a survey earlier this year when many countries were under some form of lockdown and used a sample of 2,360 adults across four regions - the island of Ireland; Great Britain; USA; and New Zealand. The main findings have now been published in the Nutrients journal titled “Changes in Consumers’ Food Practices during the COVID-19 Lockdown, Implications for Diet Quality and the Food System: A Cross-Continental Comparison” This specific type of research is believed to be the first published across multiple continents on changing food practices due to COVID-19. How we shop for food, cook and eat has changed significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. And positive changes such as an increase in home-cooking and cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients were recorded. However, there were also negative trends, such as a reported increase in saturated-fat intake. A spike in bulk buying - which causes pressure on already-stressed food systems and can lead to shortages, triggering further panic-buying - was also observed during the study. Overall, there were fewer changes in food behaviours in the USA compared to the other three regions and the most marked differences between regions occurred between the USA and elsewhere. For example, an increase in vegetable intake was evidenced across all regions except the USA. There was also an upturn in home-cooking and home-baking frequency in all regions except the USA. Parents cooking (and baking) with children was also found to increase in all samples except the USA (interestingly, parents who included their children in the preparation of family meals more frequently had a higher diet quality).Conversely, though, an increase in saturated-fat intake was seen everywhere except the USA. Overall, there was a decrease in the consumption of takeaway food and a rise in ‘organisational food practices’ (planning ahead, shopping with a grocery list, etc). When it came to ‘management food practices’ (preparing in advance, batch cooking, etc), however, there were no changes apparent for Ireland or New Zealand. This may be connected to the fact that Irish and NZ restrictions were stricter than in other areas, so there may have been less of a need to prepare food in advance. Amanda McCloat, St. Angela’s College President and Dr Elaine Mooney, Lecturer in the School of Home Economics at the College, provided valuable insight and a wealth of knowledge and experience as contributors to the research. “In such exceptional times it is important to focus on our own continued health and wellbeing in the face of a global pandemic and this begins at home with the fundamentals of healthy eating and a balanced diet” explains Amanda McCloat. “The evidence is clear that changes in food consumer practices and trends varied between regions which indicates a cultural shift in attitudes towards eating habits. With the likelihood of more people working from home this year we would hope to see a continuation of children being encouraged and involved more in home-cooking and home-baking”. Lead researcher on the project, Dr Fiona Lavelle from IGFS said: “These findings not only provide crucial data for how our food behaviours and systems have adapted to the pandemic but they have important implications for public health as we continue to try to manage COVID-19 with ongoing lockdowns and restrictions. “We wanted to find out what impact the pandemic and lockdowns were having on people’s health but we also wanted to try to find a way of measuring the effect on global food systems.” The full Research Project can be downloaded HERE

Monday, 14 December 2020

Dr Mary Shanahan, Director of Religious Education here at the College, recently recorded a podcast with The Religious Education Podcast. The title of her podcast is, 'The One with a Catholic' and it can be accessed here These podcasts are aimed at R.E. teachers and their students, which makes them perfect Christmas listening for all budding R.E. teachers at St. Angela's College and beyond!

Thursday, 3 December 2020

We are delighted to be involved with this eight country Erasmus+ funded project. Research Instruments are currently going through final piloting phase and we look forward to implementing new and innovative participatory pedagogies in second-level schools soon. The Ireland team is led by Prof. Gerry MacRuairc, Dr. Manuela Heinz and Dr. Elaine Keane from the School of Education NUI Galway in collaboration with Dr. Mary Shanahan from St. Angela’s College Sligo. For those interested, enjoy reading the LIFE TWO Newsletter

Thursday, 26 November 2020

***UPDATE*** COVID-19 Laptop Scheme There are some laptops available from the Covid-19 Laptop Scheme. If you need a laptop for your studies, please see eligilibity criteria below: If your own or your family income is up to a limit of €60,000 gross per annuum, you may apply to be considered for a laptop loan (evidence must be uploaded). If your family income has been impacted by Covid 19 restrictions, and your family are in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, you may also apply for a laptop loan (evidence must be uploaded).    Evidence of income for 2019 AND evidence of the Pandemic  Unemployment Payment (if applicable) must be supplied.Please note that if there are more applicants than there are laptops available, applications will be ranked in terms of disadvantage.  For eligilility and applications, click  

Thursday, 19 November 2020

We are both proud and delighted for BNSc student, Maria Isabella Shankey who has been awarded the Third Prize in National University The NUI Dr H H Stewart Medical Scholarships and Prizes are offered in a range of subject areas and disciplines across Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, and Health Sciences. Competition is rigorous from other participating NUI institutions including UCD, UCC, NUI Galway and RCSI; also included are overseas campuses linked to NUI institutions, including RCSI and UCD Malaysia Campus, RCSI Bahrain and Perdana University (RCSI). The awards in Nursing and Health Sciences are based on the submission of students’ examination materials and nominations by the College Department.                                                                          Congratulations Maria on this amazing acomplishment.

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Cooking up a Chemical Storm with Kitchen Chemistry St. Angela's College students took part in the Virtual Sligo Science Festival 2020 on Sunday 8th November with a pre-recorded Kitchen Chemistry event titled “Cooking up a Chemical Storm”. Ellen Gilheaney and Ellen Fayer in third year BAPME (Home Economics and Biology) will blow your minds with their chemical wizardry just using a few ingredients from the kitchen cupboard! You can now view this event HERE Science Week Photography Competition We are delighted to host our Photography Competition again which is open to all our students. The theme for this year's Virtual Science Week and St. Angela's Science Week photography competition is 'Choosing our Future’  focusing on how science can improve our lives in the future, and in the present. The competition is open to all St Angela's students and to be in with a chance of winning please send your captioned entries (max 2 per/person) to before 5pm Sunday 15th November 2020.This years winners will receive One4All vouchers which can be used in store or on-line in multiple stores. 1st prize: €60 voucher 2nd prize: €40 voucher 3rd prize: €15  voucher So get snapping or have a look through your photos to see if you already have a winner!Photos will be judged and winners announced the week after Science Week.(N.B. please ensure that all entries are your own work)  

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Financial aid for students is known as the Student Assistance Fund (SAF) and provides financial support to students who are experiencing short or long-term financial difficulties while attending higher education. The SAF is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020. The Fund is intended to support students whose participation in higher education would otherwise be at risk as a direct result of financial difficulties. Applications are now open, for more click

Monday, 31 August 2020

Important Information for our College Community. The Campus will reopen on Tuesday 1st September 2020. Students and Staff will be informed by email of the national procedures and protocols that have been put in place to ensure the safety of everyone. Regular updates will be communicated as they become available. For more see

Thursday, 10 September 2020

A request to make fabric face masks to protect against COVID-19 and to raise funds for the North West Hospice was initiated by pharmacist Kay Curley from Higgins Pharmacy on Teeling Street, Sligo in March of 2020. The call was answered by many volunteers from St. Angela’s College and other sewing enthusiasts in Sligo and the surrounding area. What started out as a fundraiser hoping to raise €3,000 ended up raising €10,550 and is still growing. The initiative was advertised on Facebook, in text groups, emails and by word of mouth and customers from as far as Cork, Waterford and Galway all placed their orders. The masks went on sale in Higgins Pharmacy at €10 each with all the proceeds going to the North West Hospice. A dedicated team of sewing volunteers included BAPME Home Economics students and staff from St. Angela’s College, friends of the College and sewing enthusiasts in the locality made the individually designed cotton face masks. A cheque for €10,550 was presented to representatives of the North West Hospice in June on behalf of Higgins Pharmacy and the group of volunteers. Many thanks to all those who gave their time so willingly making the masks including students Lauren Cawley and Kimberly Austin from the BA PME Home Economics Programme, staff including Ursula O’Shea, Mary Clare Conneelly, Denise Kenna, Linda Kerlin and sewing enthusiasts Bernie Brooks, Kathleen Healy, Jo Mullen, Anna O’Brien, Darrie McCoy, Maree Cooney, Leanne Moran, Mary Walsh, Laura Byrne and Mary Dunbar.