Nagle Rice Secondary School, Doneraile, Co. Cork.  Tel: (022) 24500 / Fax: (022) 24586 / email:

“Where Your Child Matters.”

Nagle Rice Secondary School

Doneraile, Co. Cork

“Where Your Child Matters.”

Tel: (022) 24500 / Fax: (022) 24586 / Email:

Pat Kiely

Pat Kiely, past-pupil of Nagle Rice Secondary School Doneraile was recently in touch with his former school.  When Pat finished school he did a Cert Course in Cork for three months before going on to do two years professional cookery in CIT.  At this time he worked around the Ring of Kerry every summer in Kenmare, Waterville and Sneem.  After graduating from CIT he went to London to work in the Savoy Hotel.  “At that time there were over 100 chefs in four kitchens.  It was a bit of a culture shock but I loved it,” he said.  Pat spent two years there before returning to Ireland, working for a few years in Cork and Mallow.  When he qualified as Head Chef he moved to Miami to work for a year.  On his return he worked in the Blue Haven Hotel in Kinsale for a few years before being offered the position of Head Chef in O’Connor’s in Bantry.  While he was there, he won the Best Seafood Restaurant in Ireland 2009 by B.I.M. and also got the restaurant into the Michelin guide for 2010.  This is the highest accolade a restaurant can get.  “Since then I have been approached by many restaurants to come run their kitchens, so I accepted the best offer, which was from the Rising Tide Bar in Little Island.  While I was there I won Best Bar with Food in Ireland, awarded by the NSA.  I also won six different accolades for food, incuding Michelin Pub Guide for 2011.”  At that stage, Pat decided to open his own restaurant which was O’Connor’s in Bantry as it had closed down eight months after he left.  He also opened a restaurant in Dublin the following year called Rocklober and the year after that, he opened Will Pa’s Restaurant.  “In my spare time, I also do Cookery demonstrations for Good Food Ireland and the Restaurant Association of Ireland, as well as judging restaurants for Puolo Tullio all over Munster, so I am kept going, but I love it!”

Nagle Rice are delighted to hear Pat’s success story to date and wish him all the best for his future!  

Tadhg Moakley

Tadhg Moakley completed his Leaving Certificate in Nagle Rice Secondary School Doneraile in June 2012. Following this, he chose an integrated pilot studies course in Atlantic Flight Training Academy (AFTA) in Cork, “integrated meaning that all the steps it takes to obtain a Commercial Pilots License (CPL) were integrated into an intense 5 days a week course and completed when you obtain your Commercial Pilots License and Multi-Engine Instrument License,” Tadhg explains. To be accepted into the course he had to undergo an assessment by AFTA. This assessment included a physiological exam, an assessment in the academy's flight simulator and an interview with some of the chief pilots in the academy. He passed that assessment and was accepted into the flight school in the third integrated class in the academy or IC03 for short in July 2012. The course started with 6 months of intensive ground school as well as flying. Tadhg elaborates: “My class began the course being taught flying at a Private Pilots license (PPL) standard. Usually a day-to-day basis began with assessing if the weather on the day was good enough for flying. If it was we would take lessons with our instructors usually lasting an hour and a half each. If the weather was not sufficient enough to fly we would undergo ground school. There was a total of 7 subjects at PPL standard. Subjects such as Navigation, Weather, Aircraft Technical and so on.” After he completed his first 6 months of the course he began his Airline Transport Pilots License exams (ATPL's). “The ATPL's are similar to the PPL exams the difference being that the ATPL's comprised of 14 different exams and are much more intense because the subjects are based on commercial aviation. The ATPL classes were on a Monday to Friday basis lasting from 9 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon. Exams were then held at the academy every two months and a student could undertake as many exams as they saw fit. I finished my ATPL exams at the end of last January.” At the moment Tadhg is hour-building. This consists of flying the aircraft solo (without an instructor) and building up roughly 50 hours solo flying. The aircraft he is flying at the moment is a Cessna 172, a single engine piston aircraft. “A typical day to day basis consists of assessing the weather to see if it is good enough to fly and if so deciding on a destination and planning the flight. The usual destinations to pick from are Shannon and Waterford airport. The furthest a typical student pilot training at Atlantic Flight Training Academy would fly is up to Sligo airport.” Once Tadhg finishes his hour-building he will be moving on to his Commercial Pilots License and Multi-Engine Instrument Rating studies. Once that is finished his course will be coming to a close and he will be looking to find a job with a commercial airline.

Louise Kehoe

Louise Kehoe did her Leaving Certificate in 2002. She always had a keen interest in art & history which was only heightened once she started in Nagle Rice: “I loved art class, the practical side of a subject like this is what I found most appealing.” Louise toyed between college choices for a while as she had been born and bred into horticulture through the family business, the Early Bird Garden Centre. “However I didn't initially want to go straight into horticulture and instead started a course in interior design in St Johns Central College in Cork.” In her second year an opportunity came up the in the family business and after much deliberation Louise decided to take up this opportunity and continued an interior design course through correspondence. She is now full-time in the family business dealing mainly in purchasing and sales. Louise believes that her background in interior design can merge very well with the horticulture trade. “ There is such a broad spectrum of avenues you can take in horticulture, which is very much an evolving trade and a fantastic social profession.” Louise’s one piece of advice to students is to try during the summer holidays to get as many work placements as possible in anything you are interested in: “It is the best way to get a true feel for any possible career choice.” Reflecting on the choices she made, Louise says, “I am glad I didn't go into my now profession straight away because as much as I had a very strong love of interior design I knew after placements that horticulture was my true calling & I am so happy in my job & proud to be part of the family business.”

The Morrissey Brothers: John, Edward and Bill

John, Edward and Bill Morrissey from Newtown, Doneraile attended St Joseph’s CBS Doneraile before going on to Nagle Rice Secondary School.
John Morrissey is a full-time researcher based at the School of Engineering in University College Cork. His expertise is in environmental management, with a focus on energy, transport and planning issues for towns and cities. After leaving Nagle Rice in 1997, John completed his undergraduate degree in Environmental Science in the University of Limerick in 2001. He then went on to complete his PhD at UL, researching environmental and sustainability issues for urban areas. In 2008, John moved to Melbourne, Australia to take up a research position with the Centre for Design at RMIT University. He then moved to the University of Otago, New Zealand in May 2011 where he worked as a lecturer in Environmental Management. John’s present role in UCC began in November 2012. His work is primarily on a European project evaluating the building energy efficiency retrofit sectors as well as work on carbon, energy and waste management projects.
Edward Morrissey is an artisan, craftsman and carpenter with a speciality in cabinet making and the fine finishing of custom made furniture. Edward did his Leaving Certificate in Nagle Rice in 2000, where he excelled in Construction Studies and Business Studies. He began his training as an apprentice carpenter with OK Woodcraft on the main street of Doneraile in 2000. He was recognised for his advanced skills and competed in the Cork Apprentice of the Year Competition in 2002. He qualified as a carpenter-joiner in 2004 and went on to work in a professional capacity with OK Woodcraft until December 2005. In 2006, Edward began work with McMahon Carpentry of Buttevant before working with Lilley Construction, Doneraile and O’Farrell Carpentry of Shanballymore (2009-Present). In his career to date, Edward has worked on projects of all scales, from precise furniture restoration work to roof installation and first and second fixings of major residential building projects. In 2010 Edward completed a course in Oil Boiler Installation, Commissioning and Servicing to augment his carpentry activities during the slow-down across the construction sector.
Bill Morrissey is a metal work teacher in Midleton, Co. Cork, a position he started in September of this year. Bill attended Nagle Rice from 1998-2003. He began his apprenticeship in metalwork and fabrication in June 2003 with Roches of Killavullen, before completing his training in 2007 with BCD of Charleville. From 2007-2009, Bill worked as a fully trained fabricator for BCD on major projects for pharmaceutical and agri-food clients, including work on silo manufacture and the finishing of storage and reaction containers for industrial processes. While at BCD, Bill competed in the 2007 All-Ireland Apprentice of the Year of the Year competition, finishing in 5 place overall in the skills category. In 2009, Bill decided to return to full-time education as a mature student, and started a Bachelor of Technology (Education) in Materials and Engineering Technology at UL with the goal of becoming a secondary school teacher. His final year project, a demonstration of motor-bike engine workings on a custom made chopper bike frame, was selected for inclusion in the University President’s annual college project demonstration event. Bill graduated with an honours degree in August 2013. Congratulations to all the Morrissey brothers on their achievements to date from all at Nagle Rice!

Donal Murphy

Past Pupil of Nagle Rice Secondary School, Donal Murphy, paid a visit to the school on Friday 15th and spoke to Transition Years, Fifth Years and Sixth years about his chosen career path in Banking, widening their perception of banking and I.T. as a career path, as well as offering them solid advice for their own futures. Donal encouraged the students by sharing his own work ethics and principles; namely, to always make the best decision you can with the information that is available to you at that time and in that way you won't let yourself or anyone else down; to show respect to everyone; to always be honest and try your best at work and this will show your boss and colleagues how reliable you are; to try to get some work experience in an area you think you might like to study; to be aware that the most valuable gift anyone can give you is their time; to be respectful of the wisdom and experience that comes with age. Donal spoke about how his education in Nagle Rice has proved invaluable in life, even outside of his chosen career, mentioning how his A1 in Construction and B1 in Technical Graphics have proved very useful in understanding house drawings and building, and he encouraged the students to work hard at every subject, because they will all prove useful at some stage or other.
Donal started working with AIB as Relationship Manager after his Leaving Certificate. Donal also worked in the AIB Securities Department and as HR Officer in the Department. He then moved to the position of Assistant Manager in charge of Home Mortgage customer accounts, managing a team of 40 staff. Donal also has experience in the Litigation Management Team with AIB Financial Solutions Group. Donal received his Honours Degree in Financial Services with the Institute of Bankers, UCD in 2007, as well as various other qualifications such as Certificate in SME Credit, Diploma in Wealth Management, Certificate in Banking Operations, Financial Services Diploma, Certificate in Investment Advice and also in Mortgage Practice. The school was delighted to welcome Donal back and wishes him well in his future career!

Nollaig Hallihan
Nagle Rice Secondary School is always delighted to hear from its past pupils, and the latest in the series is Nollaig Hallihan who completed her Leaving Certificate in 1999. Nollaig started first year in Nagle Rice in 1993 and writes "what a first year and introduction to secondary school, mixed classes, fun, a great variety of subjects to choose from and a fabulous beginning to six great years."
"Yes, even with my father being the school principal, this didn't put me off doing Transition Year and looking back now this year was great. I was a year older and more sensible when I finished school, but it also gave me an insight into real life through work experience and some of the life-lesson classes that we did, such as running a business."
One of the things Nollaig remembers most is the encouragement she received from all the teachers, including for progressing with her love of basketball.
"Many an evening after school was spent in the gym training and practicing which led to me being selected to represent Cork for two years at Under 15 level and one year at Under 18."
Nollaig's first choice of career was to follow in the footsteps of her father and become a teacher, with Home Economics in Sligo being the subject of her choice.
"Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in getting a place on this course, but I did get my second choice, Environmental Health in the Dublin Institute of Technology, the only place to study for this profession. Again this was quite apt, as with "Hallihan's Bakery" I had first-hand experience of this job, and Nagle Rice Secondary School also set me up well for this."
Nollaig says that Environmental Health was a hard course with long hours of lectures and labs and "the dreaded Technical Drawing but again Nagle Rice prepared me well for a future of hard work and study and challenging myself to do well away from home."
On graduating with an Honours Degree in Environmental Health, Nollaig was successful in getting a job immediately and began her career as a Health Inspector in Limerick before moving back to Cork City in 2004.
In 2005 she decided to broaden her horizons and moved to London to work for Westminster City Council, which is home to a number of famous landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square, to mention but a few. Nollaig writes, "Environmental Health is London is very interesting and every day is different. I have been successful here and was promoted to Manager in 2010 and now have responsibility for Food Safety in one of the largest cities in Europe."
Paying tribute to her former school, Nollaig says, "I have a lot to be thankful to Nagle Rice for, including a good grounding and common sense, but mostly the ability to work hard and strive for the best by challenging myself and others around me. The Nagle Rice experience and my education and time there have given me great prospects and opportunities for the future."
Nagle Rice are very proud of Nollaig's achievements to date and wish her all the best for the future

Maria Cuddihy
This week’s focus is former pupil, Maria Cuddihy of Richardstown Doneraile, who completed her Leaving Cert at Nagle Rice in 2007 and in her own words, has "many fond memories of her time there". Maria went on to complete a four-year Degree in Biological and Chemical Sciences at UCC. In her 3 year of the degree she chose to specialise in Physiology (out of a range of options such as Microbiology, Biochemistry, Zoology, Neuroscience etc) and continued studying this for 3 and 4 year. Maria took a year out after she graduated in September 2011, as she had been thinking about a Masters in Physiotherapy. “I took this year to work and save money towards this prospective Masters,” Maria explains, “and to also work-shadow in order to get a realistic interpretation of the job.” Maria applied for a Pre-Registration Physiotherapy 2-Years Masters Course in Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was accepted and started in September 2012 and is currently thoroughly enjoying her studies there, hoping to graduate in 2014.

Hilary and Barbara Ryan
Sisters Hilary and Barbara Ryan, Doneraile were recently in touch with the school. Following her Leaving Certificate, Hilary went to Mary Immaculate Training College, Limerick where she received her Bachelor of Education. Her first job was a mainstream teaching job in Ballyhea National School. She has been teaching there ever since and is now happily married with two children.
Barbara Ryan following her time at Nagle Rice went on to get a BSc in Multimedia from DCU. With that degree she got her first job in Dublin as a Marketing Executive for a Pharmaceutical Technology Company. She then spent some time in Australia, primarily based in Brisbane. Barbara says, “My education definitely stood to me as I instantly got a role as a Media Editor for a publishing company and they sponsored me to stay in the country. I stayed in Australia for two years but decided the distance was a little too great, so I thought London might be a good compromise.” Barbara has worked in London now for three years as a Multimedia Developer. She currently works for NCALT (the National Centre for Applied Learning Technologies) as an E-Learning Developer. They supply E-Learning solutions to police forces in the UK. Barbara also has her own freelance company (Barbara Ryan Media). “We make all things digital,” she writes, “websites, apps, graphic design and that sort of thing. It’s still pretty much a one-man-band but I am hoping to grow the company substantially this year.” Making touch with the school again for the “Where are they now?” series, Barbara took the opportunity to also thank all the staff at Nagle Rice for the “terrific education” provided to her. “Wherever I go in the world, I’m struck by how lucky we were to get such a thorough and practical education for free, something a lot of my friends had to pay thousands for. I’ve never found myself in a situation where I thought “I’m out of my depth here” or “I can’t figure my way out of this one” and I genuinely put that down to the confidence I acquired in school.” Congratulations to both Hilary and Barbara from all at Nagle Rice.

Brendan O'Brien
Latest to make contact with Nagle Rice as part of the tracing past pupils series is Brendan O’Brien, Hazelwood. Brendan completed his Leaving Cert in the summer of 1997 and after leaving Nagle Rice completed his primary degree, “BSc Computer Science” in UCC. Brendan graduated in 2001 and worked for a US Company Called 'Snap-on Diagnostics' for five years who are based in Cork. In his line of work he was involved with the Production of software for the automotive sector. “I developed software for wheel balancers, wheel alignment units and also for handheld diagnostic devices to communicate with vehicles.”
In 2006 Brendan completed a Masters in 'Software Development' from CIT and also around this time he started a new job with a company called DeCare Systems Ireland. “I'm a Senior Software Engineer with DeCare, who provide enterprise application software for Healthcare companies in the U.S. My role with DeCare involves the architecture, design and development of entire claims management systems for these companies,” explained Brendan. With many of his clients based abroad, travel is an essential part of the job with destinations including several states and cities in the U.S., along with Germany, Netherlands and the UK. Brendan continues to live close to Hazelwood where he grew up as thankfully there are many opportunities in the software sector for employment in the Cork area.

Kaye Burgess
Kaye Burgess, Baltydaniel was in touch recently with the school, chronicling her successes since leaving Nagle Rice. Kaye left Nagle Rice in 1996 and studied Biological and Chemical Sciences, specialising in Microbiology and she completed her primary degree in 2000. Kaye then decided to undertake a PhD in UCC. She studied the production of vitamins by bacteria used in the production of cheese and yoghurts as part of a European funded project. “During my studies,” Kaye writes, “I spent a number of months working in partner laboratories in the Netherlands. After completing my PhD I got a job in the research division of Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority.” Kaye is now based in Dublin and works in the Food Safety Department within the Teagasc Food Programme. Her main research interest in understanding how food poisoning bacteria move through the food chain and how this may be minimised. “I really enjoy the challenges my job poses each day.” Well done to Kaye, from all at Nagle Rice!

Lorraine Smyth
Nagle Rice Past-Pupil Lorraine Smyth, Ballybeg, Buttevant was recently in touch with the school. Lorraine was a student at Nagle Rice from 2001-2005 and then went on to study a four-year Commerce Degree in UCC. She majored in Economics and minored in Law. During the summer holidays from college, Lorraine worked with an accountant in practice and thinks this is very important when choosing a career. She was also eligible for a J1 Visa to the USA, where she worked for 3 months in Boston. Lorraine says, “These are important things I would have missed out on if I hadn’t been fortunate enough to attend third level education.”
Lorraine graduated in 2005 with a First Class Honours Degree. “Before applying to jobs, I spent some time travelling the world. On returning I was lucky to be successful in the “milk round” (Graduate Career Opportunities) and secured a training contact with the Big 4 Accounting Firm, PricewaterHouse Coopers in Dublin. During my training contract I studied for my professional exams by night and at weekends. While the hours were long with work and study, it was an enjoyable time and plenty of support was provided from PwC in terms of study leave etc.”
Lorraine sat her final Admitting Exams in 2009 and successfully qualified as a Chartered Accountant. She worked with PwC until August 2010, when she took some time out after all the years of study and spent three months in a Certificate Cookery Course in Ballymaloe. “Cooking was something I always had an interest in but had little time to pursue while working and studying consecutively. I have much more time these days to use the sill as my studies are complete (for now!)”
Lorraine currently works with Hutchinson 3g Ireland, which owns the 3 Mobile network in Ireland. “My role, as a commercial accountant with the finance department, is extremely varied and I find myself learning new things about the telecommunications industry on a daily basis. There was much coverage about the Irish 4g spectrum sale at the end of last year in the media. The outcome was a very important €854.6million in total paid for the spectrum rights t the exchequer including €481.7million in up-front fees along with annual spectrum usage fees totalling €372.9million paid in instalments until July 2030. Needless to say, monies much needed.”
Lorraine feels her career choice has allowed her to pursue many diverse roles and to be presented with great opportunities to even work abroad. “I am lucky that my career choice was relatively recession-proof. It wasn’t always easy, working on audits until the small hours only to attend lectures the next morning, but I’m glad to say it was all worth it!”
Lorraine is still in touch with many from her class in Nagle Rice and feels she made some great friends during her time at the school.
Nagle Rice are very proud of Lorraine’s achievements and always interested in hearing from past pupils.

Caitriona O'Connor
Nagle Rice is delighted to hear how well former student Caitriona O'Connor is doing in her chosen field, Medicine. Caitriona in recent correspondance to the school, writes: "Following my vibrant school days in Nagle Rice I went on to study medicine at University College Cork. My primary degree took five dedicated college years, having qualified with an honours degree, I then completed my medical internship in Urban and Rural hospitals in the broad Cork area which was a challenge to say the least. Following this hard but exciting year, I took a year off from my career to fullfill my life long dream of travelling with my fabulous friends from both Nagle Rice and UCC. During my college years between study, hospital placements and part time work I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to American where I spent three months in San Franciso. I worked here for a short while catering at weddings to fund an extended trip prior to returning home. On this trip we went to several iconic places including Arizona where we camped at the Grand Canyon, Los Vegas and Hawaii to name but a few. As part of a medical charity my travels continued, I ventured to Malawi after my fourth year of college. This has been one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever had. I worked in a hospital in a rural town called Nkoma, although this was demanding and emotionally though it was an amazing experience. One might say the hospital was not quite what I am used to with each day bringing a new adventure be it a dead dog in the middle of the female ward, a rambling cow on hospital grounds or a patient selling chickens from under her hospital bed. While in Africa I also made some personal achievements including reaching the top of Africa's tallest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro and getting an up and close view of the Serengeti. This year I have spent much of my time backpacking which has brought me to South East Asia including Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. From here I went on to soak up the sun in Australia and pack in as many adventures as possible in New Zealand. As money started to become scarce I have returned home and am now working as a medical Senior House Officer in cork to fund yet some more travelling. I am currently keeping my fingers crossed for upcoming interviews for medical training schemes for next July. If I am successful this will allow me to work in acute hospitals while completing my training. My ultimate long term aim is to become a hospital consultant while continuing to see the world." All at Nagle Rice are very proud of Caitriona's achievements to date and wish her well in her current career path and adventures.

Alan Cuddihy
Nagle Rice are delighted to hear of the success of past pupil Alan Cuddihy, who completed his Leaving Cert in 1998. Alan studied Electronic Engineering in UL, and later travelled for 18 months around Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He worked as an engineer with PCH International, which led him to be based in Shenzhen, China for three years. In 2007 he left China to pursue a Masters in Renewable Energy Technology in Germany at the Universitaat Oldenburg. On completion of the masters he returned to China and to PCH International to head up the Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) for the company. For the past few years they have been working to drive his ESG performance within the company and across their partners in the region. Currently he is the Head of Sustainability with PCH. Congratulations to Alan on this fantastic achievement from all at Nagle Rice!

Sarah Breen
On Thursday 24 January, Nagle Rice celebrated the success of former student, Sarah Breen, who had been conferred with a Doctorate in Biomechanics in the University of Limerick just the day before.
Sarah is currently on a one-year appointment at Northern Michigan University as Assistant Professor in Biomechanics. Prior to coming to NMU she was at the University of Limerick where she taught biomechanics and performance analysis, and completed her PhD. research investigating the biomechanics of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Sarah is also currently active in the following research areas: performance analysis in sports, specifically GAA Handball and Rugby; the biomechanical effects of pre-cooling cyrotherapy; running form technique in ultra, trail and road running. Sarah has received notable awards in her field: she was awarded a scholarship from the Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology, for the completion of her PhD research. At the International Society of Biomechanics in Sport conference 2012, which was held in Melbourne Australia, Sarah was awarded a student travel grant and second place in the new investigator award. Sarah spoke to 3, 5, 6 years and Transition Year students on Thursday about her own positive experience in Nagle Rice, the subjects she chose, the value of Transition Year for her and how keeping on extra-curricular activities in school such as Camogie and Music were so vital for her. She encouraged them to work hard to achieve their goals and to believe in their potential to achieve anything they put their mind to. Sarah encouraged the students to work hard because if you do things will go your way; to take opportunities as they arise; to be prepared to work for free; to meet people and don’t be afraid to ask questions. She gave the very practical example of how she voluntarily worked with the Kanturk GAA team recording matches and providing performance analysis for them – which led to a similar position with the Dublin Senior Hurling team and more recently Limerick GAA – all of which have proved very important in her chosen career. The staff of Nagle Rice in particular were delighted to welcome Sarah back and congratulate her on her tremendous success!

Where are they now?

Nagle Rice celebrates its past pupils! If you are a past-pupil of Nagle Rice, we'd love to hear how you're getting on! Contact us at or speak to Deputy Principal, John Linehan at 022 24500 or