Young Economist of the Year 2021 success for Our Lady’s students

Pictured above are Adam McBride, Erick Michailovskij and Jesse Hendry.

Congratulations to the budding young economists in Our Lady’s, who were successful in the Young Economist of the Year competition 2021, with one group winning gold, one group winning silver and two groups winning bronze, over a number of categories.  This competition which attracted a huge entry, showcases and acknowledges the work of students and their teachers in creating innovative projects across a wide range of economic concepts and topics, with a particular emphasis this year on inequality and the sustainable development goals.

Adam McBride, Jesse Hendry and Erick Michailovskij based their project on a very topical issue, “What impact has Covid-19 had on the aviation industry and the economy?” and won gold, they also won a coveted YEOTY jumper as a prize in the special interest section.

Pictured above are Grace Kelly, Beth Irwin and Alanna McCarron Walsh

Beth Irwin, Alanna McCarron Walsh and Grace Kelly posed the question “Which Healthcare system (Public or Private) is most effective and what impact do they have on the economy?” and won silver.

Kevin Hanratty’s theme for his project was “How can we create a happy safe future for the people of Ireland?”  , Ionut Lungu and Calum Madden decided to research “What has caused such an increase in online shopping and how is it affecting our economy?” both groups won bronze.

Their economics teacher, Ms Clarke praised her students for really embracing the competition despite a period of remote learning and for showing great initiative and interest in the topics they had chosen to explore.

Principal Mr Kelly was very impressed with the students’ achievement and congratulated them all at the presentation of their medals and prizes.

YEOTY Success for Our Lady’s students

5th Year Students Pictured (Left to Right)- Cian McKenna, Dara Brennan, Ruadhan Curran and Mark Burns

Congratulations to the budding young economists in Our Lady’s, who were successful in the Young Economist of the Year competition 2020, with five groups winning silver and two groups winning bronze, over a number of categories.  This competition which attracted a huge entry, showcases and acknowledges the work of students and their teachers in creating innovative projects across a wide range of economic concepts and topics, with a particular emphasis this year on sustainability.

There were five groups entered in the Transition year level.  Ruadhan Curran, Cian McKenna, Dara Brennan and Mark Burns investigated and compared the cost of living in different parts of Ireland, they received special recognition for their project from IGEES, (Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service) , receiving medals, certificates and jumpers as their prize. David McGinn, David Moorehead, Caolan O Reilly and Conor Boyle decided to research   the potential outcome if college fees were to be introduced and received silver for their efforts. Kaitlin Brereton posed the question

5th Year Students Pictured (Left to Right)- Paudie Heavin and Fionn Harrigan

“Is Poverty inevitable” and earned silver for her very interesting project. Paudie Heavin, Fionn Harrigan, Killian Carragher and Jamie Hanley investigated how many trees it would take to reduce our carbon footprint and received silver for their very topical entry.

5th Year Students Pictured (Left to Right) Thomas Hughes and Ciaran Markey

Ciaran Markey and Thomas Hughes title was “Data centres are not as green as they seem” and received bronze for their project.

6th Year Students Pictured (Left to Right)- Joseph McNaney, Kornelia Ligudzinska, Siobhan Kelly, Ciaran Martin and Gordon Chi

In 5th year there were two groups in the Senior level competition.  Gordon Chi, Kornelia Ligudzinska, Joseph McNaney, Siobhain Kelly and Ciaran Martin investigated the presence of sweatshops and their effects, winning bronze.  Vincent Chen, Lea Marie Pengal, Andrew Duffy and Joshua Ward researched how human rights will be improved by the sustainable development goals and received silver.

6th Year Students Pictured (Left to Right) Vicent Chen, Andrew Duffy, Joshua Ward

Economics teacher, Ms Kathryn Clarke was fulsome in her praise of her students whom she said had really embraced the competition and showed great initiative and interest in the topics they had chosen to explore, they are already looking forward to next year’s competition!


To view recent events that have occurred at Our Lady’s Secondary School in the area of Economics , type “Economics” into the Search box to the right hand side of this page below the school logo. You will be redirected to a Gallery of Recent Events.

Economics is a fascinating subject that students find both enjoyable and interesting. It encourages critical thinking and many students who study the subject at Our Lady’s progress to further study in the area at third level. Topics covered include Unemployment, Inflation, Wages, International Trade, Market structures, and Supply and Demand. Past pupils who have studied Economics at third level have pursued careers in a range of exciting areas including stock broking, industry and accountancy. A common refrain from such students is that they developed a passion for the subject at Our Lady’s.

What is it like for a student to study your subject at Senior Cycle?

Classes are taught in an interactive manner using a range of methodologies. An emphasis is put on linking class work to real world situations. Students are also encouraged to enter Economics competitions. Students from the school have been placed in prestigious national competitions in recent years including The Young Economist of the Year competition and the Central Bank’s Generation Euro competition. The subject can be technical and require a degree of numeracy skills in parts but these aspects of the course are taught for understanding rather than ‘rote’ learning which retains students’ interest.

Facilitating Students with Special Needs

Students with special needs are catered for using a variety of teaching methodologies. Attempts are made to relate all aspects of study to real world examples. Additionally, the use of alternative methodologies including IT, DVDs, role play, imagery, etc help stimulate reluctant learners. When teaching areas of the course that require numeracy skills, special attention is given to those with numeracy difficulties. Paired learning has been found to benefit such students particularly in larger classes. There is communication between the Special Education Needs Co-Coordinator and teachers with regard to students receiving both resource and learning support. To meet the broad continuum of SEN, specific thought has also been given to the needs of Gifted and Talented students. Additional reading material including The Economist Magazine is available for such students and they play a significant role in peer-to-peer teaching.

Testimonials from past pupils

Donagh Keenan – Tax consultant, KPMG Ireland
I always knew I wanted to get into the world of business so I picked a strong core of business subjects in school including Business Studies for the Junior Cert and Accounting and Economics for the Leaving Cert. Having subsequently completed an accounting degree and now working in accounting based role, it is amazing how many times I have reverted back to the fundamental accounting concepts I learned in school to help me understand even the most complex of transactions. We also used to have some interesting debates and conversations in our business and economic classes around topical business issues which we all used to enjoy. This was during a period when the economy was going through a turbulent time and from a learning point of view, this was an interesting time to study these subjects. I found this helped me have a commercial awareness, in addition to the technical knowledge we learned, that has been beneficial in college and in work and it is something that many of my classmates in college did not have. Overall, there’s no doubt that the grounding I received in the business subjects I studied in school is something which has really stood to me to date and will continue to stand to me going forward.

David Brohan- Current Job Title – Equity Research Analyst – Goodbody Stockbrokers
Having enjoyed studying Business Studies for the Junior Cert, it seemed like a good fit to study Accounting, Business and Economics for the Leaving Cert. I enjoyed getting a more in depth understanding of each subject and found the style of teaching in OLSS to be very engaging. Each subject was quite different with Accountancy being quite technical, Business giving a great primer on the finance world and Economics providing me with the tools to understand how the financial world was evolving (all the more interesting given it was in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis). My experience studying Business at OLSS has been invaluable to me as I went through further education and in the jobs I have held since then.

Ryan McVicar – PME student studying to be an Economics and Maths teacher
I found economics a very interesting subject for my Leaving Cert as it was easy to relate it to the real world with things like the banking crisis and the 08/09 recession being topics of discussion. I went on to study economics as one of my subjects at college and found the background knowledge gained from studying it at school to be a huge bonus over others who were only taking it up for the first time at third level.

Orla Atkinson – Primary School Teaching, St Patrick’s College, Dublin City University

I choose to study Business Studies in first year. It was the one subject that I had a true interest in. This subject laid a foundation of knowledge for me at such an early stage in my life. Through the study of Business Studies, my interest was provoked then and is still with me now.

Business Studies is divided into economics, accounting and finance and business. I kept on two of these subjects, both economics and accounting. Economics is a current topic; one that occurs in the news on a regular basis. It is great having the knowledge of taxes imposed, reasons as to why they are increased and decreased. Accounting, is also a subject that is practical for ‘life after school’. Unlike Maths, accounting deals with money figures alone and mainly is focused upon the single operation of addition and subtraction.

Business Studies introduced me to the area banking. Having the awareness of debits (output / transactions / expenses) and credits (inputs / income ) is extremely beneficial particularly as to when you are leaving school and having to do that almost immediately.

Planning and Budgeting was two topics that stand out for me when I think of Business Studies. This subject enables you to think about budgeting, reasons as to why one should budget, the advantages and disadvantages of budgeting. This is important because, after school, one is forced to deal with their money correctly and some students who did not undertake Business Studies would have very little knowledge of. 

Tate Donnelly- Studying Economics and Maths, Trinity College
I really enjoyed my time studying business subjects at Our Lady’s. The teachers are energetic and enthusiastic, inspiring a love of the subject in the students. Studying the business subjects in Our Lady’s didn’t only prepare me for the Leaving Cert, but also taught me how to think critically and form my own opinion, which meant that I could settle in easily at college.


Recent Events 

Our Lady’s Economics students get ‘Brexit Ready’


Our Lady’s Students Shine in European Competition…..


Congratulations to budding young economist, Gabrile Bunyte, a Transition Year student in Our Lady’s Castleblayney who was highly successful in the Young Economist of the Year competition held in Galway Bay Hotel during the week. Gabriele earned a silver medal for her efforts in this prestigious competition which attracted a huge entry.  The competition, which is the Economics equivalent of the ‘Young Scientist’ award, is going from strength to strength each year and showcases and acknowledges the work of students and their teachers in creating innovative projects across a range of Economics concepts and topics.

No stranger to success in this competition, Gabriele was part of a team who got 2nd place in 2015 under the guidance of Ms Kathryn Clarke. On this occasion, Gabriele’s project focussed on the very topical issue of Brexit. She examined the likely impact of Brexit on the border areas. As part of the project she traced the decline of manufacturing industries in Monaghan due to Ireland’s EEC accession in 1973. She also examined the benefits that membership of the Single European Market brought to the border counties. Finally, Gabriele discussed the likely implications of a ‘hard border’ emerging.

No doubt, we are certain to hear more from this young economist in the future. Gabriele was accompanied to Galway to collect her prize by Economics teacher Mr Mulroe and classmates Jade Lam, Amy Moore and Ciaran McKearney.