Meet The Team @ The Carlow Academy

Mr Niall Murphy

Founder of ‘The Carlow Academy’ and the Director of Education & Studies.

Niall is a secondary school teacher of French & Mathematics since 2007. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in French and Mathematics from N.U.I. Maynooth where he achieved 1st class honours and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from University College Cork where he achieved honours and a Grade 1 in his teaching practice.

Niall also now works as a Placement Tutor in Dublin City University (DCU) where he plays an important part in the development of the students as trainee teachers and supports, mentors and evaluates teachers’ professional practice.

He has been employed as a State French Oral Examiner since 2013, has worked as a Written State Examiner for several years and has been employed as a Superintendent by the State Examinations Commission since 2012.

Niall has also written his own French oral notes covering all key information and topics for the Leaving Certificate oral exam and for the new Junior Cycle Classroom Based Assessments. As a result of these notes and his dedication to his subjects and work, many of his students have achieved very high grades; most achieving H1-H3 grades at Leaving Cert Level and Distinction-Higher Merit grades at Junior Cycle Level.

Niall facilitates and creates a student-centred environment where he not only instils the love of his subjects in his students but also provides them with the skills set needed for life after secondary school. He does this by making learning fun through building on students social, communication and critical thinking skills. He entered his Junior Cycle students into the National Modern Foreign Language Digital Story Award this year and they won this prestigious National Award announced in July 2020. He has also previously entered his students into the Alliance Française French Debating annual competition in Dublin, ‘Les Joutes Oratoires’ , as well as placing in the top 10 in Ireland with his 5th and 6th year Higher Level maths students in the LearnStorm Mathematics competition. Niall believes that it’s extremely important for students to become involved in such extra-curricular events so that they become more accustomed and prepared for the next chapter of their lives as well as highlighting the importance of teamwork.

Niall has completed a certified course in ‘Leadership in Education’ accredited by Hibernia College School of Education. He also regularly attends in-service training in both his subjects as well as in areas of new and innovative Teaching and Learning classroom methodologies. He graduated from an Instructional Leadership course in October 2019 and is also part of the ‘Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century’ team in his school; a programme set up by N.U.I. Maynooth.

Niall is a qualified Droichead mentor where he assists Newly Qualified Teachers in the first two years out of their teacher training courses by means of observation and communication. He has also completed the ‘Cosán’ course; the National Framework for Teachers’ Learning (CPD) which has been developed by the Teaching Council.

Niall is a T.E.F.L. qualified teacher accredited by ACELS and he has taught English as a Foreign Language in both Ireland and France for over a 4 year period. This experience has really enhanced his understanding of English grammar which, in turn, has had an immediate positive effect on his teaching of French grammar. This is why he makes French grammar seem easy as he teaches the English grammar point first before teaching the French grammar point thus leading to ultimate clarity for students to make real progression. He aims to improve his students confidence and understand the real beauty of the French language.

He was also a former ‘Meitheal’ leader in his secondary school as well as a Prefect, Student Council committee member and Vice-Captain to his 6th year group. These roles were highly significant in Niall’s life as they helped to cement his vocation to become a secondary school teacher.

Niall believes that education is an art of appreciating life and that its main purpose is to teach us values, develop stimulated intellect, dig out opportunities to question what exists, and to ultimately contribute to the growth of our society.

Mr Eoin Houlihan

Eoin’s specialised areas include:

Career Guidance, Subject Option Talks, CAO talks, Wellbeing, Restorative Practice, Study Skills & Programmes, Target Setting Plans, PLC & Apprenticeships and CV preparation.

Every student has a skill and a talent and there are a myriad of opportunities on offer.  There are many paths that can be explored and experienced to get you to where you would like to be.  It’s your choice, your future so why not plan for it and be prepared?

Eoin will help you identify your strengths, weaknesses, interests, goals and dreams so that you can make an informed decision about your future prospects

Eoin can offer one-to-one and/or group career guidance counselling.

About Eoin

Eoin has been teaching since 2002, graduating with an Honours Degree in Humanities from St. Patrick’s College Carlow and a Higher Diploma in Education from Maynooth University. 

He has been working as a Guidance Counsellor in a school setting for several years after completing a Master’s in Education Leadership and Management and a Post Graduate Diploma in School Guidance and Counselling from Maynooth University.

Eoin is a trained Restorative Practice practitioner and facilitates workshops in prisons and in-service training for other teachers.

He is a member of the Advisory Panel of St. Patrick’s Hospital for Mental Health Services and lectures part-time in Maynooth University.

Eoin would be delighted to assist your son or daughter in any way that he possibly can in relation to any of his specialist areas listed above. Please see the link below for further information on the vast variety of exclusive services Eoin provides here at The Carlow Academy.

Please feel free to contact us using the link below to book an individual, group or course with Eoin and we will arrange an appointment at your earliest convenience as per your needs and selected programme(s)

Ms L Breathnach-JC HL & LC HL Irish Tutor

Experienced Tutor who has been teaching and tutoring since 1996

Mr John Murphy

John has been teaching since 2003 having obtained a degree in English and History from UCD and a Higher Diploma in Education from NUI Maynooth.. 

He has vast experience in all levels of English teaching and has a track record of success and achievement in Higher level at both Junior and Senior Cycle. 

Making the courses accessible and opening opportunities for students is a key element of his approach, his style of tuition aimed at building the confidence of the students so that they can express themselves freely in exam situations. 

Outside of the classroom John has a track record of success in sporting circles, his coaching experience is based on groups and individuals getting the best out of themselves and this approach crosses over successfully into the classroom.

Mr Paul Carbery

Paul graduated from Dublin City University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Applied Physics degree (Hons). After a worldwide work/travel experience utilising his new knowledge, he returned to the same university in 1996 and obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Optical Electronics. He then found employment in the engineering and scientific sectors before returning to education to study website design and the Visual Basic programming language in 2001.

In 2003, Paul went back to education, this time to become a teacher. He obtained his Postgraduate Diploma in Education in 2007 from Maynooth University. He attended all the “Project Maths” workshops and has been teaching all levels of maths since its introduction. He is a member of “The Institute of Physics” as well as the “Irish National Seismic Network”.

Paul is a good communicator and has inspired many of his students to pursue careers in the technical fields. He has a deep understanding of, and is passionate about his subjects.  

Mr Cormac Dollard

Cormac is a Science, Biology, Chemistry and Maths Teacher.

He graduated from NUI Maynooth with a degree in Science Education and following the completion of this course; he studied the Professional Master of Education, also in NUI Maynooth, where he achieved an overall 1.1 Honours degree. As part of his PME he completed research on the “The Impact of Student Self-Efficacy in Science on Subject Choice at Senior Cycle”, receiving a 1st class honours for his work.

He has teaching experience in a variety of different educational settings and the diversity of these schools has contributed greatly to his development as a professional.

He is a hardworking, motivating and encouraging teacher who believes that education is not only about a final grade, but also about the social and moral development of the whole person. He is passionate and enthusiastic when it comes to teaching and strives for an inclusive, student centred and engaging classroom where every student is presented with the opportunity to reach their potential and experience success.

He is a friendly and approachable Tutor with several years of tutoring experience and is more than willing to go to whatever lengths is needed to support his students in reaching their full potential.

In his teaching, he uses a variety of methodologies, resources and personalised notes that he has built up over the years to ensure the needs of his students are always being catered for and help them to develop a better understanding of the curriculum and love for the subject. He places great focus and emphasis on exam techniques in his tuition classes and regularly revises past exam questions and marking schemes.

Student Wellbeing and positive mental health is at the core of his teaching philosophy, and he has undertaken several courses in this area. He feels that it is extremely important to regularly check in with his students, develop positive relationships with them and promote positive mental and physical health to help cope with the stresses and anxiety of school life.

Mr Shane O’Halloran-HPAT Tutor

Shane is a medical student in NUI Galway who has been teaching the HPAT for 3 years. He achieved the 98th Percentile in his HPAT exam.

He has a deep knowledge and understanding of the Official HPAT Material and what is required to master it. Contrary to popular belief, this knowledge is not innate, and can be taught and learned. This knowledge is key to achieving medicine in Ireland.

Shane is a passionate and engaging teacher who always works with the students to inspire their own independent learning.

He has a diploma in German and has a passion for travel, music, culture, and learning.

He is also an experienced rower and rowing coach and volunteer who loves working with young people.

In his classes, the nature of the exam will be studied intently, and the skills required to master it will be taught. His classes are intensely exam focused, with frequent testing and deep analysis of the papers.

Mr Matthew Hughes

Matthew is a graduate from St. Patrick’s College Carlow and has had a passion for teaching and learning from an early age. He progressed to study a Professional Master of Education at University College Dublin thereafter and spent several years teaching English and Religious Education in Dublin post qualification before relocating to Carlow.

Matthew completed many inservice training courses centred on teaching methodologies and approaches to enquiry based learning. He has a keen interest in discovering what motivates young people to learn and is of the premise that students experiences need to be shaped by a broad spectrum of guidelines that are all critical in the measurement of effective instructional intellectual growth.

Matthew has taught in various capacities and is an advocate for promoting positive mental health in young people. Matthew has previously been employed by the State Examinations Commission as a Superintendent and by the Department of Education and Skills as a Tutor providing fundamental home tuition to more vulnerable children. He has also worked in a residential care capacity where he helped reintegrate young people back into education and supported them in making positive contributions to the world.

Matthew continuously attends inservice courses in his subject areas and uses this to support his classroom instruction.

Matthew will be part of the supervising team in our study centre and will implement all his acquired skills, tactics and strategies to help create a positive, safe and stress free learning environment for your son or daughter.

Ms Amy Sullivan

Amy is a teacher of Physics and Chemistry and has experience of teaching these Leaving Certificate subjects to both Higher and Ordinary level students. Amy holds an Honours Bachelor of Science Education degree from the University of Limerick.

She has a deep passion for Science, having taken the three Science subjects for Leaving Certificate herself and is also qualified to teach Biology and Agricultural Science. Amy has years of experience teaching the Leaving Certificate course and has also spent time teaching Science in both the UK and volunteer teaching in Guyana, South America.

Last year, three of her students represented Ireland in The Royal Society of Chemistry Analytical Chemistry Competition in Britain. Her students also regularly take part in other Science competitions such as Scifest and The Young Scientist Competition.

In her grinds, particular focus is placed on gaining an understanding of the curriculum, as well as teaching exam technique. Amy uses a variety of teaching methods to cater for the individual learning styles of the entire class group.