Education | Worried about your CAO offers? Don’t fret and have a look at these helpful tips

A recent Higher Education Authority (HEA) report has found that one in six students drop out of college – about 7,000 students overall – as some students decided not to continue second year of their course with valid reason.

The initial days of college are nervy, daunting, and exciting all in one.  Many students hope to secure a place on a course that will gain them entry into the profession they desire.  But for some, the rising points, weak subject, or just a bad day during an exam can take it out of their hands when CAO results are published.

Griffith College schools liaison officer Richard Murphy explains that there is no need for students or parents to too stressed:

·         Talk to Guidance Counsellors. This might seem obvious, but many students don’t avail of the career guidance services that their school offers. Even with cut-backs, most guidance counsellors are available throughout fourth, fifth and sixth year and significantly, many will make themselves available when the leaving certificate results are out. There are also many private guidance counsellors who will be able to dedicate more time in helping you make sure you choose the right course – it’s their job!

·         Choose the course you want to do. Many students will feel pressure from parents, siblings and even friends to do a certain course, but remember you are the one who is going to dedicate the next three or four years of your life to it. Employment prospects are also an important factor, no one wants to be leaving the student union and joining the dole queue, but don’t let that be the only major factor in your decision. Choose the course that you want to do and take time to consider your options.

·         Factor in costs. Finances are cited as one of the most common reasons for dropping out. When choosing your course make sure you factor in costs that will go with attending a certain college – will you have to seek and pay for accommodation, are there other course fees or student contribution charges, do you actually qualify for that grant? Also depending on what course you choose, you might have extra expenses – a fashion or art course for example will see you raiding your piggy bank for materials more often than a student studying business.

·         Research the college and course. A surprisingly large amount of students will accept a place on a course in a college they have never even visited. Colleges have a large number of open days throughout the year and it is hugely important that the student (and parents) visits the campus so that they can get a feel for the place and it’s ethos. A glossy prospectus and wonderful website imagery can’t hide the fact that the student union is a shed and the “canteen” is in fact a chicken fillet roll from the Londis across the road.

·         Remember your options. Most students will find themselves being offered at least two choices through the CAO – a level 8 and level 6/7 option. If your level 8 isn’t truly what you want to do but your level 6/7 is still in that area, then you would be wise choosing your level 6/7 which can often lead onto a full level 8 qualification.

Lastly, private colleges offer a huge amount of choice, excellent facilities and teaching, and can actually work out the same cost per year as going public due to lower fees in recent years and tax relief incentives.

Richard also says, “While dedicating time to school work and study is of utmost importance to secure the best results in the Leaving Cert, it is also essential that due time is given to researching what course and college will be the right fit for you.

College is an important time in any student’s development and picking the right course will ultimately secure the career you are working towards.”

Music | Ben Howard announces Irish show

Ben Howard has announced dates for his “I Forget Where We Were” UK And Ireland Tour.

The six shows, in support of Ben’s forthcoming second album, “I Forget Where We Were”, kick off In Manchester on 3 December and concludes with two nights at London’s Brixton Academy on the 10 and 11 December.

Tickets for Ben’s Olympia date are priced from €33.50 and go on sale this Friday at 9am from Ticketmaster.

“I Forget Where We Were”, on 20 October through Island Records.

Ben Howard Tour Dates:

3 December – The Apollo, Manchester

4 December – Civic, Wolverhampton

6 December – Usher Hall, Edinburgh

7 December – Olympia, Dublin

10 December – Brixton Academy, London

11 December – Brixton Academy, London

Music | O.R.B release new video ahead of Olympia gig

O.R.B (The Original Rudeboys) have released a video for new single ‘Last Of A Nation’. This is the third single from their new album “All We Are”.  The release comes just before the trio play an all ages headline show at The Olympia Theatre on Friday 5 September.

“All We Are” was # 1 on iTunes Ireland, and is HMV’s biggest selling new release of the year so far. It enjoyed the best week 1 sales of any album by an Irish band in 2014, charting at # 2; only bettered by Imelda May. The band appeared on both The Late Late Show and The Voice of Ireland.

O.R.B’s “Can’t Let Go” was released on Gotta Run / Rubyworks on Friday 4 July.

Technology | Carphone Warehouse and Sony team up for Sony Selfie Competition

Want to win a new phone for you or perhaps some special in your life?  Then have a look at the new Carphone Warehouse and Sony Selfie Competition!

Through Carphone Warehouse’s twitter platform – @CarphoneIE. The winner of the best party selfie will win a Sony Xperia E1.

Built for an active lifestyle, the Xperia E1 features Sony’s signature design. It welcomes you into the world of smartphones with an exclusive Walkman music experience, premium-feel interface, fast processor and long-life battery.  The Xperia E1 also includes a 3.15 megapixels camera capable of HDR pictures, 4 times smooth zoom and smile detection.

The Sony Selfie Competition will run until Monday 1 September. How to enter? send your best party selfie to Carphone Warehouse’s Twitter page @CarphoneIE using #SonySelfie for a chance to win the Sony Xperia E1 handset.

Competition run by Carphone Warehouse and Sony.  They will contact the winner through their respective twitter accounts.

Music | Review: “Living In An Ideal World” EP by The Hungry Souls

The Hungry Souls are a band from Dublin, who have had their EP floating around social media since the release back in March of this year.

On first listen, the short player is Blues-Rock with that jailbreak feeling.  ‘Live Game’ and ‘Ideal World’ are the opening two tracks for this vibe.  ‘First Light’ takes it down a peg.  This EP is reflective rock n’ roll on the run.

“Living In An Ideal World” is out now on Bandcamp.

Music | UFO announce date at The Academy

UFO have announced a date at The Academy, Dublin, on 21 April 2015.  They travel to Dublin once again, with the classics and upcoming material.

40 years together have seen some difficult times for the band, but also successes. UFO’s story began in London back in 1969, when vocalist Phil Mogg, drummer Andy Parker, guitarist Mick Bolton and bassist Pete Way formed the group.

Tickets will go on sale this Thursday at 10am for €26.00 includes booking fee available from

Music | Roo Panes to play Whelan’s in October

British songwriter, Roo Panes, has announced a headline show upstairs in Whelan’s on 5 October 2014.

His début album “Little Giant” due 6 October, a day after his Irish show. Having recently completed a 21-date tour of the UK, notable support for Roo Panes has come from 6Music’s Lauren Laverne & Steve Lamacq,

Tickets €13 are on sale now via Ticketmaster

Roo Panes Tour Dates:

Thurs 11 Sept – Amazing Radio @ The Finsbury, London 19.30 **Sold out**

Mon 29 Sept – The Debating Hall, Edinburgh

Tues 30 Sept – Wilton’s Music Hall, London

Sun 5 Oct – Upstairs @ Whelan’s, Dublin

Tues 7 Oct – Komedia Studio Bar, Brighton

Thurs 9 Oct – Acorn Theatre, Penzance

Fri 10 Oct – The Birdcage, Bristol

Music | In The Willows and HAWK announce Whelan’s show

In The Willows and HAWK are to play a double headline show at Whelan’s on 11 September.

In The Willows is set to release their album “Before Everybody Disappears’ in September also.  Their EP and album were recorded ny Martin Murray in Ashville Studios.

HAWK’s EP “The Sum of all things” entered the top 10 in the alternative iTunes Ireland album chart and set things up nicely for the London based four-piece, fronted by Galway’s Julie Hawk.

Both acts play a double headline show upstairs in Whelans on the 11th of September! Tickets €11 are on sale now from ticketmaster.

Music | Eoin Glackin announces details of new EP and tour dates

Eoin Glackin is set to release his new EP, “Pretty Girl”. on 19 September and a UK release date of September 22.  The EP follows Glackin’s previous album release “Rain Finally Came”.

Touring the EP in September in both the UK and Ireland.  It includes three new songs – title track ‘Pretty Girl’, ‘Morning Take Us Easy’, ‘Ride It Out’ – and a remix of ‘Rain Finally Came’.

Eoin Glackin Tour Dates:
19 Sept – The Greenroom Letterkenny Donegal

22 Sept – Boogaloo London 

23 Sept – Whelan’s

24 Sept – DCU Freshens Ball with Hot Sprockets, Hudson Taylor, Gavin James 

27 Sept – Monroes Galway

13 Oct – Southampton, Bournemouth, Winchester

14 Oct – Hertfordshire, Queen Mary London, Essex

15 Oct – Surrey, ULU London

16 Oct – Loughborough, De Montfort, Warwick

17 Oct – Bristol, Bath 

20 Oct – Keele, Warrington, Manchester Met/Liverpool 

21 Oct – Nottingham Trent, Sheffield

22 Oct – Leeds, Bradford

23 Oct – Teesside, Northumbria

Music | Listen: ‘Animals’ by In-Flight Safety

Canadian band, In-Flight Safety, have released their new single ‘Animals,’ taken from their new album “Conversationalist”  on 22 September 2014.

With a number of UK and Euro dates lined up.  The band look to build on their first two albums, “The Coast Is Clear” and “We Are An Empire My Dear”.

‘Animals’ is track that sounds like a cross between DIIV and Wild Nothing, which are two bands that inspired the album also.

“Conversationalist” is out on 22 September 2014 through Conehead (UK) and Ooh La La Records (US)