Friday October 16th ten 6th year student leaders accompanied by two teachers slept on the school grounds as part of Focus Ireland’s Shine A Light Night to raise much needed funds and awareness of the homeless crisis. Alanna and Mia Mackie, Niamh Mullin, Jodie McQuillan, Barry McCrarren, Cormac McCusker, Senan O’Brien, Louise Murphy, Amy Cadden and Katie Mohan all sacrificed their home comforts along with teachers Ms. Cara Murray and Ms. Liza Hughes sleeping out from 8pm until 8am the following morning.

While raising vital funds for Focus Ireland it also gave the participants first hand experience of the challenges many homeless people face on our streets every single night. It’s safe to say at 8am there was a newfound appreciation for all the small things that we so often take for granted, like the comfort of a warm bed!

Spirits were kept high by the numerous visitors who called down to the participants and the unseasonal mild evening! Reflecting on the experience Cara Murray commended the young people involved saying ‘these young leaders are fantastic role models and provided us with much needed laughter and joy, the night had passed before we even realised!’. Liza Hughes found it to be a massive success on so many levels ‘our student leaders showed the very best of what our school is about. They showed empathy and maturity beyond their years by not only sleeping out in solidarity with the homeless but also in how they minded each other and us teachers on the night!’

Initially the group were aiming to raise €500, the fundraising total currently stands at nearly €4,500! Students leaders and staff involved would like to thank the immense generosity of the school community for their contributions and to all the people who called to show solidarity, the many offers of tea/coffee from the community throughout the night and An Garda Síochána for their support on the night. Special thanks to Mr. Eddie Kelly for his permission to sleep on the school grounds and for all his support of the sleepout!