They stayed in Coláiste Acla, the islands’ gaeltacht. The students were separated into three groups of 15 and each group was assigned a house with a Bean an Tí. Here, they had breakfast, dinner and bedding. This allowed friendships to flourish as groups of friends were for the first time ‘living’ together.
The first day on the island, the students set off on their 25km hike. They were accompanied by their teachers and instructors from the Coláiste. They hiked for two and a half hours before enjoying a rest and sandwiches on top of the mountain. They then proceeded to reach the summit, where they rested in the shade of the Virgin Mary. With its scenic views and clear seas the students had never before seen such beauty in their home country.
The second day of the trip, the students struggled to put on wetsuits as they prepared to do both sea kayaking and cliff jumping. The kayaking began with a brief game preparing the students for using the oars. All students really enjoyed the kayaking and didn’t mind the brief dips in the sea. However, a firm favourite of all the students was the cliff jumping. As well as the adrenaline rush the students also enjoyed a cheesy sing-a-long on the bus ride there.
The third and final day of the trip the T.Y.s embarked on the most anticipated part of the trip: surfing. After a brief lesson and safety orientation the students all ran eagerly into the sea at Keel Beach. Many students successfully rode waves and the sea was alive with laughter.
Other activities on the trip included: Ceilí in the evening and games, they watched a movie on their second night and chatted with the other houses as well as the Coláiste instructors.
On behalf of the Transition Year students we’d like to thank our teachers, the Bean an Tís and the Coláiste Acla instructors, especially Martín (affectionately nick named ‘Bon Jovi’ by the students).
A quote from a student, Ciarán Gallagher, about the trip, “Achill proved that in a short space of time you can make friends that last a lifetime.”
For more pics go to Galleries/2014/2015/TY Achill Trip