Coláiste Dún an Rí Teaching Staff

Mr Fergal Boyle (Principal, Geography and Histroy)

               Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB) has announced the appointment of Fergal Boyle as principal of its new post-primary school, Coláiste Dún an Rí  in Kingscourt.

                 Fergal is a native of County Longford he is a past pupil of Ard Scoil Phadraig in Granard. He has a keen interest in GAA - among other sports. He attended NUI Maynooth where he completed a BA, MA and H. Dip Ed. In 2013 he was awarded a Masters in Education Degree from Trinity College Dublin and was awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Leading Learning from NUI Galway in 2014 - a qualification held by only 10 other individuals in Ireland.

                 In 1998, Fergal commenced his teaching career at Scoil Chonglais, Baltinglass, Co Wicklow as teacher of History and Geography. During his time there, he was appointed assistant principal and was heavily involved in Gaelic Games. In 2006 he managed the Co Wicklow Vocational Schools team to an All-Ireland victory, defeating Ulster rivals Tyrone in the final. He was also secretary to the County Schools’ Board from 2005-2008. It was during his time in Scoil Chonglais that he completed Post Graduate Diplomas in Education Management in NUI Maynooth and a Post Graduate in School Planning from NUI Galway.

               In 2009 Fergal took up the position of Deputy Principal in Avondale Community College, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow, where he has been the leader of school development. Fergal is a keen believer in and is committed to Instructional Leadership practices in the classroom. He fully intends to utilise this approach in the establishment and development of teaching and learning in Coláiste Dún an Rí .

               Fergal played a lead role in the development of an Instructional Leadership Network across 20 schools in Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training board (KWETB) and has been involved in the teacher training aspect of the KWETB New Teacher Induction Programme.

               He has served as acting principal of Avondale Community College during 2013 and 2014. While working in Avondale he completed his Masters in Education Degree in Trinity College Dublin and Post Graduate Diplomas in Education Management and in Leading Learning through NUI Galway. These qualifications will greatly assist him in his perception of the role of Principal at Coláiste Dún an Rí  and in developing the College in accordance with the vision of CMETB and its chief executive.



Mr Thomas McCormick(Deputy Principal, English and History)


Mr McCormick is a well-known and highly regarded teacher of English. Mr McCormick is a graduate of NUI Maynooth and also University of Ulster Jordanstown where he completed an honours Masters of Education Management focusing on policy and strategic planning and staff and curriculum development.

Mr McCormick is a highly successful teacher of English and has worked in Ballybay Community College for a number of years where he was also an Assistant Principal. A past member of the Board of Directors of Monaghan Education Centre and a former member of Monaghan GAA Management Committee Mr McCormick has most recently worked for the DoES in the Junior Cycle for Teachers Training Programme. In this role Mr McCormick was responsible for disseminating the specifications for the new Junior Cycle English Syllabus. Mr McCormick has worked in many schools training a large number of teachers across the state. He will now bring his considerable expertise to Coláiste Dún an Rí.


Ms Gráinne Farrelly (French, Geography and Business)

Ms Gráinne Farrelly is a past pupil of Eureka Secondary School Kells and has studied French since primary school. Ms Farrelly’s fluency in French was developed as she spent time in France during her teenage years. A graduate of Dundalk Institute of Technology Ms Farrelly completed an honours Bachelor of Business Degree in Marketing and French. During and after her studies Ms Farrelly worked in Annecy, France and subsequently she worked in Canada for the Bank of Montreal in personal and commercial banking services (bilingual)

          In 2010 Ms Farrelly returned to Ireland to teach French at Second-level and share her love for the language. During this time she also returned to academic study at Maynooth University to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Geography and graduated with Double First Class honours.

Ms Farrelly was awarded the NUIM Prize and Graduate Scholarship for French at the NUI National Awards in that year. She was also recipient of the French Government Medal for proficiency in French and linguistic services during all three years of the degree course.

Following her graduation she completed her Professional Master of Education at Maynooth University achieving an honours award. During this time Ms Farrelly also worked with primary schools teaching French.

         Ms Farrelly is passionate and excited about language learning, committed to continuously improving her teaching and skillset to best facilitate each individual learner in her classes.   Opportunities afforded by technology to enhance language learning and the development of life-long skills among all learners are embraced in her classes.

        Ms Farrelly also participates in equestrian sports, particularly show-jumping and developing environmental awareness. She looks forward to encouraging student participation in both school sports and non-sporting clubs such as language club and the Green School initiative.


Ms Megan O'Brien (Mathematics and Geography)

A past pupil of Eureka Secondary School Kells Ms O’Brien graduated from NUI Maynooth with a first class honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Maths and Geography. She subsequently studied for a Professional Masters of Education in NUIM and qualified with first class honours. Ms O’Brien is well known in the locality for supporting students achieve high grades in mathematics and geography.

Ms O’Brien has represented her local football club at intercounty level and also represents East Cavan Eagles in basketball. As a committed sports person she has also coached numerous teams in her local club.

Demonstrating a keen commitment to volunteerism Ms O’Brien has previously worked with Trocaire and helped organize the Climate Change Challenge event in NUIM. She also is an active member of her local Foroige club. As part of our school programme Ms O’Brien will be heavily involved in extra-curricular activities in Coláiste Dún an Rí focusing on sporting activities and also developing projects for the BY Young Scientist and Scifest.


Ms Órla Patton (English, History, CSPE and Special Education Needs)

Ms Patton is a past pupil of St Louis Secondary School Carrickmacross. She is a graduate of NUI Maynooth where she completed an honours BA and Higher Diploma in Education. Ms Patton has also attended UCD and NUI Galway where she achieved honours degrees respectively in Special Education Needs and School Development Planning.

Ms Patton has previously worked in Our Lady’s Secondary School Castleblaney and she worked for the last 13 years in Colaiste Bhride Carnew where as an innovative and creative teacher she achieved excellent results in English and History. During her time in Carnew she was responsible for the development and coordination of the school’s SEN programme and also worked as part of the school planning team. Ms Patton played a major role in the school’s pastoral care programme and worked as an Acting Year Head in the school. As a teacher in the school she acted as teacher liaison for the Student Council. Ms Patton also helped to coordinate the school’s Literacy strategy and was responsible for the restructuring and development of the school library facility.


Mrs Lorraine Hickey (Science, Biology and Mathematics)

Mrs Lorraine Hickey is a past pupil of Bailieborough Community School. She attended University College Cork where she graduated with a first class honours degree in Food Science and Technology. Ms Hickey worked for Glanbia plc as part of their graduate programme for 3 years specialising in various aspects of the food industry.

Mrs Hickey returned to UCC to complete her Post Graduate Diploma in Education where she achieved a first class honours. Mrs Hickey is also a graduate of the ETBI Instructional Leadership programme focusing on active learning methodologies.

Since qualifying Mrs Hickey has been teaching in Colaiste Choilm, Ballincollig, Co. Cork for the past 6 years. She has been heavily involved in the promotion of science extra curricular activities especially the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Colaiste Cholim are one of the most successful schools to participate in the BTYSE and Mrs Hickey has co-ordinated the school entry to the Exhibition for the past 5 years. During this time Mrs Hickey was shortlisted for the ‘Analog Devices Educator of Excellence’ award and the school was awarded ‘Best school in the Republic of Ireland’.

Mr Michael Lynch (Materials Technology Wood, Construction, Technical Graphics, Design and Communication Graphics and IT)

Mr Lynch is a native of Co. Longford and is a past pupil of Moyne Community School. He is a teacher of Construction Studies/Materials Technology (Wood) and Design and Communication Graphics/Technical Graphics. After qualifying as a Technology teacher from GMIT Letterfrack Mr Lynch has worked in St. Benildus College Dublin for the last three years. Mr Lynch creates a positive and constructive learning environment in my classroom and with this approach he has achieved excellent results.

Mr Lynch has furthered his own professional studies in NUI, Maynooth undertaking a Post Graduate Diploma in School Leadership.

A sports enthusiast particularly focusing on soccer and Gaelic football Mr Lynch plays both sports and in a school context he has been heavily involved in soccer during his time in Dublin, winning Dublin and All-Ireland College titles with age groups ranging from u14 to u17. In other extra-curricular activities Mr Lynch has involved with the technology based subject activities, particularly the ‘F1 in Schools’ competition and ‘Sumo Robotics’.

Mr Lynch is currently on secondment to Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) to assist with teacher training and the roll-out of the new Junior Cycle Framework.



Mr Darrell O'Brien(Metalwork, Engineering, Technical Graphics, Design and Communications Graphics and IT)

Mr Darrell O’Brien is a former student of O’Carolan College, Nobber and graduated from the University of Limerick with a First Class Honours Degree in Engineering and Technical Graphics Teaching. Mr O’Brien is part of the first cohort of teachers trained to meet the specifications of new Junior Cycle Framework. As the new framework is developed Mr O’Brien will assist in leading the training of teachers in the implementation of the new programme.

Mr O’Brien has also advanced his interest in Robotics, Programming and Coding and this formed the basis of his final year project in which he achieved an A1 grade in his UL examinations. Mr O’Brien intends, where possible, to implement such aspects of technology within the school through a Junior Cycle Short Course or the Transition Year Programme.

Mr O’Brien has a background in agriculture and industry which he believes form a crucial part of the subjects he teaches and indeed a crucial part of many of our livelihoods within the local community.


Ms Michelle Hough(Home Economics, Science, Biology and SPHE)

Ms Michelle Hough is a past student of Borrisokane Community College and has recently qualified from St. Angela’s College, Sligo with an Honours Bachelor of Education Degree in Home Economics and Science/Biology. She is a member of the ISTA (Irish Science Teachers Association) and the ATHE (Association of Teachers of Home Economics).

During her time in St. Angela’s Ms Hough passed her teaching module with a first class award. Ms Hough’s teaching methodologies focus on active learning and exploration. She has also been involved in various literacy and numeracy programmes in her schools.


Ms Claire O'Reilly (Music and Religious Studies)

Ms Claire O'Reilly completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of Ulster in 2010. On completion of Second Level in St Aidan's Comprehensive Cootehill Ms O'Reilly continued her studies at the University of Ulster, graduating with a Master of Music, specializing in vocal performance. During her studies she was a member of the University of Ulster Choir and Chamber Choir, performing in many concerts, including with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast’s Odyssey Arena.

Ms O'Reilly completed her teacher training in 2012, studying a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. In 2016 she completed a Higher Diploma in Theological Studies with St. Patrick’s College Maynooth as part of her training as a teacher of Religious Education. In addition to a number of years teaching experience Ms O'Reilly is musical director for the Bailieborough “Hardtimes Chorus.” Her concerts with this choral group has raised funds for local charities since their first event held in 2012.


Mrs. Carol Lynch (Physical Education, CSPE, Geography and SHPE)  

Mrs. Carol Lynch is a native of Co. Mayo. She is a graduate of University of Limerick where she completed a B.A. Honours Degree in P.E. and Geography and subsequently completed a National Certificate in Exercise and Fitness through the University of Limerick specializing in weight training, aerobics and circuit training.

Mrs. Lynch has worked for the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, devising, testing and implementing strategies for Assessment for Learning in Physical Education. She has twenty years teaching experience in O’Fiaich College Dundalk, De La Salle Castlebar and Inver College Carrickmacross and has attended numerous course in P.E., Geography, S.P.H.E. and C.S.P.E. for Continuing Professional Development.

During this time, she has been a passionate and dedicated, teacher engaging in strategies to promote learning, achieving excellent results in Geography. She has always has been committed to promoting health and wellbeing and life-long participation in physical activity among her students. She coached De La Salle, Castlebar to Connaught Colleges Gaelic football finals and lead teams to Badminton, Track and Field and Cross-Country All -Ireland finals.

An avid sports person she has represented her school, club and college on Gaelic football and hockey teams.

Mrs. Lynch will facilitate the development of a programme of extra-curricular activities that will be inclusive of all students across a wide range of disciplines to ensure the holistic development of all our pupils at Coláiste Dún an Rí.

Ms Deirdre McCabe( Gaeilge and Religious Studies )


Ms Deirdre McCabe is a native of Kingscourt and graduated from NUI Maynooth with an honours degree in Theology and Nua-Ghaeilge. She then completed her Higher Diploma in Education in NUI Galway.Ms McCabe also holds an honours Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership from NUI Maynooth. Ms McCabe began her teaching career eleven years ago teaching Irish and Religious Education in Cavan/Monaghan ETB most notably in Castleblaney College. Demonstrating her passion for the Irish language and has spend numerous summers teaching in the Gaeltacht. She is currently a state examiner for the Irish oral exam.


Ms Sinead Leahy (Art, Craft and Design)

Ms Sinead Leahy is a native of Co Cavan and has previously worked in St Brichin's College, Belturbet. An experienced teacher of Art, Craft and Design, Ms Leahy has a proven record of excellent results for her students and brings a wealth of talent and creativity to Coláiste Dún an Rí


Ms Sharon Cumiskey (Guidance Counsellor)


Ms Sharon Cumiskey is a native of Magheracloone and Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan.  She attended Inver College and from there went to Dublin Institute of Technology where she obtained an honours Business Studies Degree in Marketing.  Ms Cumiskey was awarded honours Master in Guidance Counselling and a Professional Masters in Education, both from DCU.
Ms Cumiskey worked for ten years as an Education Youth Officer with Foróige - the National Youth Organisation. She is passionate about enriching the lives of young peoples and empowering them to develop and reach their potential.
During her time with Foróige, Sharon very successfully implemented the Alternative Learning Programme, which reintroduced young people back into education to enable them obtain a FETAC Award.
Ms Cumiskey joined the staff of Gormanston College, Co. Meath in 2013, where she held the position of Guidance Counsellor. She taught Business Studies, SPHE and CSPE during that time in Gormanston College and was instrumental in setting up and establishing the Jigsaw Mental Health school team.  She has a special interest in Well Being programmes in schools and has attended numerous CPD sessions in this area.  
A member of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, Ms Cumiskey has also acted as examiner for the State Examinations Commission for three years.  

Mr Hugh Fitzpatrick (Materials Technology Wood, Construction, Technical Graphics, Design and Communication Graphics)

Mr Fitzpatrick is from Drumlane, just outside Belturbet. He is a past student of St. Bricin’s College, Belturbet. After studying in the University of Limerick for 4 years he started teaching in Roscommon CBS and then moved to Dublin where he worked in St. Benildus College for 2 years and then 3 years in Collinstown Park Community College, Clondalkin. Mr Fitzpatrick likes to create a fun and creative learning environment, where students are encouraged to think outside the box.

Mr Fitzpatrick has a history of participation in a range of sports including football, handball, equestrian and kitesurfing. Mr Fitzpatrick has trained many teams inside and outside of school. He has trained u-16 and u18 with his native Drumlane and underage soccer in Collinstown Park Community College, along with handball during his time in Roscommon CBS.

Ms Linda Kelly (Science, Biology, Chemistry and Agricultural Science)

Ms Linda Kelly is a past pupil of Our Lady’s Secondary School Castleblayney. Ms Kelly attended Maynooth University where she qualified with an honours degree in Science. From there she went on to pursue a career in the science industry and worked as a microbiologist in Lakeland Dairies for 4 years.

She then attended Dublin City University, where she completed a Professional Masters of Education degree and achieved a first class honours. During this time, she mentored students in both the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, who went on to achieve 4th place in their category. She has also been involved in the SciFest exhibition and endeavours to promote students’ interest for science beyond the classroom. She is also a member of the ISTA (Irish Science Teachers Association) and is fully committed to encouraging STEM in education.

Mr Dean Gallagher  (Construction Studies, Design and Communication Graphics, Materials Technology (Wood) and Technical Graphics.)

Mr Gallagher completed his four year concurrent teacher education course, Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Design and Technology Education, at GMIT Letterfrack and graduated with a First Class Honours Degree. He was also presented with an Academic Achievement Award in recognition of his academic excellence throughout the course.

Mr Gallagher would see his role as an educator as central to affording students opportunities to gain both knowledge and skill that will assist them in successfully integrating and developing as valuable members of society.  This concept strongly influenced his final year dissertation “An investigation of The Skills Shortage in the construction industry: A critical Assessment of the role of Education and Skills Training with particular reference to The Irish Construction Industry” which is displayed in the  GMIT Letterfrack collection.

Ms Caroline Hourigan (Gaeilge and Geography)

Is as Co. an Chabháin do Ms. Hourigan ó dhúchas. Tar éis a cuid staidéir ag an dara leibhéal a chur i gcrích in Iarbhunscoil Oiliféir Naofa, Seanchaisleán, lean Ms. Hourigan ar aghaidh le Baitsiléir Ealaíon agus ansin Máistir Gairmiúil le hOideachas in Ollscoil Mhá Nuad. I gcaitheamh na mblianta ag staidéar, bronnadh go leor duaiseanna éagsúla ar Ms. Hourigan, dhá dhuais náisiúnta ó Ollscoil na hÉireann don Ghaeilge san áireamh.

Tá taithí ag Ms. Hourigan mar theagascóir deonach don ‘Droichead’ in Ollscoil Mhá Nuad agus mar mhúinteoir sa Ghaeltacht freisin. Le déanaí, thug Ms. Hourigan faoi fhorbairt ghairmiúil leanúnach i réimsí na folláine agus na riachtanas speisialta oideachais. Is iad an litríocht, an drámaíocht agus an díospóireacht, trí Ghaeilge agus trí Bhéarla, príomhábhair spéise Ms. Hourigan.

Ms. Hourigan is a native of Co. Cavan. Having completed her second level studies in St. Oliver Post Primary, Oldcastle, Ms. Hourigan went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree and subsequently the Professional Master of Education in Maynooth University. Throughout her studies, Ms. Hourigan earned a number of awards in various subjects, including two national NUI awards for Irish.

Ms. Hourigan also has experience as a voluntary tutor in Maynooth University’s ‘Droichead’ and teaching in the Gaeltacht. Ms. Hourigan has recently completed CPD training in the areas of wellbeing and special educational needs. Of particular interest to Ms. Hourigan are literature, drama, and debating, through Irish and English.

Ms Grace Talbot (Home Economics and Economics)

Grace Talbot is a past student of Colaiste Naomh Cormac, Co. Offaly. She attended St. Angela’s College, Sligo where she graduated with a Bachelor of Education in Home Economics and Economics. She has recently completed a Master in Home Economics Education from St. Angela’s College, Sligo. She is an active member of the IFHE (International Federation of Home Economics) and the ATHE (Association of Teachers of Home Economics).

Ms. Talbot has three years teaching experience in Borrisokane Community College Co. Tipperary and has attended numerous courses in Home Economics, S.P.H.E and Wellbeing for Continuous Professional Development.

Ms Lorna Atkinson (PE, Science and Biology)

Ms Atkinson is a  past pupil of Our Lady’s Secondary School Castleblayney and qualified with an honours degree in Physical Education and Biology from Dublin City University.

Ms Atkinson is a  member of the PEAI (Physical Education Association of Ireland) and the ISTA (Irish Science Teachers Association) and she has experience in teaching PE to all year groups, Junior Cycle Science, Leaving Cert Biology, IT, SPHE and CSPE.

Ms Atkinson’s teaching experience includes Loreto College, Mullingar, Deansrath Community College and more recently Adamstown Community College. She has completed numerous CPD in PE, Science and SPHE. Ms Atkinson’s teaching style is characterised by Instructional Leadership, giving student’s ownership for their learning. Ms Atkinson also has a keen interest in promoting Restorative Practise within the classroom, something which always creates a positive atmosphere for learning.

Ms Atkinson also has a keen interest in student wellbeing and has been involved in setting up wellbeing activities for students throughout my years in other schools.

Committed to the promotion of physical activity for all in schools she has experience coaching GAA and Soccer, reaching the Leinster semi-final in girls’ soccer last year for the first time in Adamstown CC’s history.

Ms Atkinson also plays GAA and has represented her club, school, and college in Gaelic Football and had the honour of captaining the DCU Lynch Cup team in 2009.

Ms Joan Callaghan (English and History)

Ms Joan Callaghan is a native of Co. Galway. She is a graduate of NUI Galway where she completed a B.A. Honours degree in English and History. She subsequently completely her Higher Diploma in Education and a Master’s degree in History, both in NUI, Maynooth. Ms Callaghan has taught History and English to all levels for the past 13 years in Maynooth Post Primary School. More recently she has completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership, also in NUI Maynooth.

In her teaching career to date she has been involved in a wide range of areas, including being responsible for implementing the Literacy initiative in the school and the production of school publications. She has a keen interest in the Arts and has directed and produced numerous school musicals. She has also worked as an examiner with the State Exams Commission.

Ms Helen Keenan (Maths and Physics)

Ms Helen Keenan is a native of Co. Monaghan and attended St. Louis Secondary School, Monaghan Town. She completed a Bachelor of Science in DCU, specializing in Mathematics and Physics education. During her studies in DCU, she was selected to take part in the STEM Teacher internship programme, where she gained experience working in the Technology industry. In her final year school placement, she obtained a first class grade. 

Ms Keenan is also a dedicated musician and singer. She has won awards from the Royal Irish Academy of Music and was an Arts Bursary Scholar in DCU. 

SNA Staff:


Mrs Lisa Lennon


Mrs Clare Marron


Mrs Yvonne Clarke


Office Staff:


Ms Ashling Heery


Mrs Tracie Shekleton


Caretaking Staff:


Mr Padraig Crosby


Ancillary Staff:


Ms Denise Kieran


Mr Stephen Owens


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Coláiste Dún an RÍ
Co. Cavan

042 969 8294

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