We interviewed our Head & Deputy Head Pupils to get to know them a little better:


Head Girl - Aoibheann Christie

Aoibheann 2

What is your name and role in the school?

Dia duit.  My name is  Aoibheann Christie and I came to St Ciaran’s College after spending my primary years at St Patrick’s Primary Donaghmore.  I am  proud to be the Head Girl at St Ciaran’s College.


Which A Level subjects are you studying?

I am studying Irish, Art and Religion. I have benefited immensely from studying these subjects, but I also adore them (as well as the teachers)!

Can you recall some key highlights in your school years?

I take pride in learning Irish, but also when representing our language department when I spread the Gaelic tongue.  As part of our school’s Primary Links Programme I have taught Irish  in some of our partner primary schools (St Patrick’s Eskra and St Mary’s Cabragh), both of which were lovely to work with. The pupils loved learning the language and ultimately this experience really deepened my love of Irish.  We had to work together as pupils to organise each lesson precisely and we made sure to include lots of fun activities and songs for the children to sing.

I have attended plenty of art exhibitions, helping to develop my own artwork consequently. Attending these exhibitions really enhances my analytical skills and I believe that is very important when it comes to Art, but also in other aspects of my life, like Religion and definitely in my future career plan (law).

Over lockdown, I won an essay competition entitled, “Faith is the antidote to fear” set out by the Knights of Columbanus. This essay title really related to the time in which I completed It - a strange time, however writing the essay did actually open my mind to how I could possibly use faith to guide me through those difficult times, and it certainly did.  I am extremely proud to not only have taken part in the competition at such a challenging time, but also to have won 1st place for my age group. 

I also attended the Firs in Ballygawley last year on a weekly basis and thoroughly enjoyed spending my time with everyone there.  We spent our time cooking delicious treats as well as just having some fun and really caring for those who need it most, and helping improve their day.  I definitely loved this experience and loved the fact that I got the opportunity to develop friendships with such special people and care for them.  I know that I will never forget this experience nor the people I connected with there.


What are your hobbies and interests?

As far as interests and hobbies go, I have plenty! Not only do I have a strong interest in fitness and health in general,  I also play Gaelic football for Galbally Pearses.  You are sure to find me in the gym or at some sort of fitness most days of the week!  I also play music and thoroughly enjoy my time playing the flute (or fife) with my local marching band.  I am also a part time eyelash extension technician, so starting a small business at 17 is perhaps something unique to me!  I took the initiative to do something I love.


What are your career aspirations?

Of course being a year 14, university is only around the corner. My first choice of course is Law with Irish which is offered at Ulster University,  Magee Campus in Derry.  I am always seeking justice and the career choice of Law just seems to fit me perfectly, and along with Irish, it is sure to keep me passionate.  To support me, I attended the Living Law programme in Belfast during the course of Year 13, on a monthly basis.  Here,  I learned about what a typical day in the life of a solicitor or barrister may look like as well as many other things...however, I do have to say that my favourite aspect was hearing the real life cases they dealt with and hearing how all students responded differently and had many different opinions.  It developed my confidence also as I attended it alone, but it did push me out of my comfort zone as a result!


What message would you like to give to the students at St. Ciaran's College?

In five years’ time, I hope to be a newly educated, fresh face to the world of work and I hope that I can make a positive influence on everyone I meet. 

My advice to younger pupils of St Ciaran’s College would be to work hard and make your own path.  It’s up to you to take the opportunities that St Ciaran’s  College offers you, so I suggest you grab them and make the most of your time at St Ciaran’s College because time will pass by and at least you will know that when you are my age, you will have taken all the opportunities laid before you.  Finally, enjoy your time here because St Ciaran’s College truly is a fantastic school and you are extremely lucky to be a pupil at this school.


Head Boy - Ciaran Heaney


Ciaran 2

What is your name and role in the school?

My name is Ciarán Heaney and I am Head Boy at St. Ciaran’s College.


What Primary School did you attend?

I attended St. Oliver Plunkett's Primary School in Beragh


Which A-Level subjects are you studying?

I am currently studying Music, BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in IT and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Business.


Can you recall some key highlights in your school years?

Throughout my years at the school, I have been given the opportunity to partake in multiple things such as clubs and extracurricular activities, including taking part in events such as the school mass, open nights and carol services. In year 10 I took part in the YPI (Young Persons Initiative) challenge, in which we had to prepare a PowerPoint presentation on a charity of your choice and present in front of the junior year groups, where the winner’s charity was awarded £2,000. Sadly, my group did not win the prize money but I was then awarded the Spirit of St. Ciaran’s award later that year at our Key Stage 3 prize giving for the speech I gave during the presentation.

I take part in a few extracurricular activities, such as the choir, the latest musical production of Legally Blonde and I even volunteered to teach a class of junior students the ukulele once a week. I even got the chance to take part in the BBC Choir of the year competition which was a fun and exciting experience throughout.

In my other subjects, IT and Business, I have been given the opportunity to attend multiple talks and lectures from outside companies, such as Sandvik and Deloitte, that come to discuss their careers and possible choices for us to take in the future, such as higher-level apprenticeships. Our Business class were even given the chance to visit Sandvik and were given a tour of their facilities, which helped us to evidence our portfolio work.


What are your hobbies and interests?

Outside of school, my hobbies and interests include music, reading and photography. I have been learning to play the piano for the past few years and have been able to complete up to grade 5 both practical and theory. I also volunteer once a week at the local youth club on a Friday night and four weeks out of the summer at the summer scheme. I have also attended a safeguarding course in which I have achieved my Safeguarding Certificate and 200-hour volunteer certificate.


What are your career aspirations?

In the future, I would like to pursue a career in screen production as I have a strong passion for film and tv, especially the production side. I am hoping to attend Ulster University to study a screen production course next year.


What message would you like to give to the students at St. Ciaran's College?

I would like to wish all pupils the best of luck returning to school in these usual times. I hope that all pupils achieve their full potential and strive to be the best they can be. I think this quote gives a great message, especially in these times of uncertainty. “You can fail at something you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance doing what you love.” A quote that actor Jim Carey.


Deputy Head Girl - Emma Gartland



What is your name and role in the school?

My name is Emma Gartland. I am 18 years old. I am the Deputy Head Girl in St Ciaran’s College for 2020.


What primary school did you attend?

I attended St Brigid’s Primary school, Augher.


What A-Level subjects are you studying?

I am currently studying Maths, Chemistry and Biology at A-level.


What are your hobbies and interests?

A hobby I have is traditional Irish music. I have been playing the banjo for the past 5 years and am the Youth Officer for Clogher Valley CCE. I have also recently taken an interest in running, which I find to be a very good stress reliever.


Can you recall some highlights in your school career?

There have been many highlights throughout my school career. An excellent example was taking part in last year's school production of “Legally Blonde” the Musical, which I found to be a very enjoyable experience. I am a member of the school choir, and have been for the past 7 years. This is an extra-curricular activity that I really love. It has enabled me to become much more involved in the school community and form a number of new friendships. It also provided me with the opportunity to travel to Rome with the school in 2017. Throughout the trip we visited many different historical and holy sites and sang in a number of different churches. The highlight of the trip was no doubt singing at morning mass in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. This was an incredible experience and one that will stay with me forever.

Throughout last year I volunteered on Friday mornings in the Firs residential home in Ballygawley. We took part in activities such as arts and crafts, and Makaton classes with the day-care members and residents. I found this experience to be so worthwhile that I decided to apply for a job and I have been working there for the past few months. I find the work to be very rewarding and fulfilling.

I was incredibly happy with the results I achieved in my GCSEs in fifth year, as I was top achiever in the year, and aspire to achieve the same level of results at the end of seventh year.


What are your career aspirations?

I hope to apply to Medicine in Queen’s University Belfast and pursue a career in medicine next year.


What message would you like to give to the students of St Ciaran’s College?

I would like to let the pupils of St Ciaran’s know that I am very honoured to be Deputy Head Girl this year. I would also like to welcome them all back to school, especially the new year 8 pupils. Although I know they are transitioning at an especially difficult time, I hope they will all settle in with ease. I encourage them, and every other student at the school, to take the next quote into account, “Stay positive, work hard and make it happen”- Joel Osteen.


Contact us

15 Tullybryan Road,
Ballygawley, Co. Tyrone
BT70 2LY
Telephone: 028 8556 8640

Fax:  028 8556 8660

Email: info@stciarans.ballygawley.ni.sch.uk