Ballyhaunis Community School & DCU


The Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland provides enrichment courses for students with high academic ability. The Centre also offers university style courses for students of all ages and abilities and operates from the DCU Campus in Dublin.

CTY Ireland aims to allow all talented students to reach their potential both academically and socially by providing relevant and interesting challenges based on ability and interest rather than age. This year three students from Ballyhaunis Community School, Cathal Hosty, Roisin Cassidy & Rachel Lyons, attended the campus. Rachel has written a short piece to give us a flavour of her experience.


The CTYI (Centre for Talented Youth Ireland) is a programme for students aged six and seventeen of high academic ability.ย  Each year, a summer programme is held in DCU for 12-17 year olds.ย  Two three-week-long sessions take place.ย  Students choose between a wide variety of courses such as: Medicine; Biotechnology; Game Theory; and Criminology.ย  The material covered is of university-standard.ย  Around 200 students attend.ย  The majority are Irish but students travel from overseas.ย  Most students are residential and stay on campus for the duration of the course.ย  Students living nearby can opt to commute each day.

Weekdays in are highly-structured.ย  Class takes place between 9.00am to 3.00pm, with a short break around 11.00am, and an hour for lunch. Between 3.00pm and 6.30pm students attend recreational activities, meet their RA (Residential Assistant) and have dinner. The activities are supervised by the RAโ€™s with students choosing from a wide range of options, which could include team and individual sports, board games, discussion groups, drama, reading etc. In the evening, students return to their classrooms for a two hour study period.ย  The day finishes with social time.

My experience of CTYI was very different to what I expected.ย  There is much more to those 3 weeks than just the classes.ย  CTYI is full of traditions.ย  Each weekday is assigned a fancy-dress, for example โ€˜Pirate Wednesdayโ€™ and โ€˜Formal Fridayโ€™.ย  It has its own slang, such as โ€˜Nevermoreโ€™ (a person who is too old to return).ย  โ€˜Mafiaโ€™, โ€˜Knutsackโ€™ and โ€˜Ninjaโ€™ are frequently played.ย  Discos have a number of ever-present songs, most importantly โ€˜American Pieโ€™.ย  This song is played at the end of every disco and follows choreography passed down through the ages.ย  In the final days of the session, students pass around notebooks for everyone to sign and leave personal messages in.ย  After the final disco, all students gather for a Candlelit Ceremony, in which more songs are sung and some speeches given.ย  The following morning, Nevermores attend โ€˜Passionfruitโ€™, where they drink passionfruit juice and discuss their CTYI experiences.

No amount of words could truly do the CTYI summer programme justice. Although I have been eligible for a number of years this was my first time attending.ย  I was previously reluctant to go simply because I thought itโ€™d be too academically-centred.ย  I couldnโ€™t have been more wrong!ย  I would highly recommend to anyone interested to look at details on

Rachel Lyons, 5th Year student BCS.