Presentation Secondary School Tralee
Telephone: 066 7122737 

School Roll: 61450C


As a progressive History Department we are aware of our role as key participants and stakeholders in achieving the school’s mission. As educators, we set out to nurture the unfolding minds and critical thinking of our students within the ethos of Presentation and CEIST.

We inspire an interest in History and promote an understanding of the past together with the skills necessary for the study and practice of History. As a department we are mindful of our responsibility of keeping history alive.

In establishing aims and objectives we take into account the nature of the subject we teach, the needs of students and staff and the challenge and opportunities offered by curricular and technological change.

The study of History is  available to all students. In Junior Cycle, History is a core subject and  is currently studied by all students from 1st – 3rd  Year. 


Huge range of interesting websites and video clips for use in class and at home to allow students to get a real sense of events or personalities they are learning about.

Students are provided with a wide range of hand-outs and sample essays to help them develop their skills of History essay writing.

Students are encouraged to participate in a History Essay competition in conjunction with U.C.C.

Access to Kerry County Library – Local History section and local Historians – is helpful in directing students and providing information on research topics.


The study of History allows students to use their knowledge of other subjects they enjoy. Many students have used their interest in Art/Music etc. as a basis for independent research study which is permissible.

The study of History is an asset to the study of English at Leaving Cert level and a historical knowledge can be appropriately used to develop relevant points in English composition.

History teaches the importance of structure/chronology etc- most useful in developing other writing assignments in the future.



Ms. Helene O’Keeffe from UCC who is the Project coordinator of “The Atlas of the Irish Revolution” spoke to TY and Senior History students about the project on Friday 24th of February at the end of the exhibition in the school. Thanks to Ms. Barry for coordinating the event.

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On September 15th, my class went with the rest of 3rd and Transition year on a trip to Tralee’s Omniplex cinema. We went to view the film “ A doctor’s Sword” directed by a student from IT Tralee, Gary Lennon. The film was about Joseph A. MacCarthy who at first signed up for the Royal Air Force during the 20th Century. This film was influential to our history in school as it helped us understand the seriousness of World War II.

Joseph was born in Castletownbere in Co. Cork. After graduating from UCC as a doctor, he moved to England to work. After a night of partying, a group of fellow graduates joined the Royal Air Force. As the news of World War II spread, Joseph was sent to Dunkirk in France. He and his colleagues were stranded at the beach due to bombs being dropped by the Germans for nine days. Eventually British ships and boats were sent to the beach to save the members of the armed forces who survived – a total of 338, 000. After being brought to Britain, Joseph and the other troops were sent to Singapore to battle against the Japanese. The British were defeated badly. Some troops – including Joseph – were captured in Jakarta. The Prisoners of War were badly treated, whipped and beaten up. The prisoners were moved a lot. On one trip across the ocean, their ship was torpedoed and a lot of prisoners lying on the floor of the boat died from whiplash. Luckily, Joseph was actually standing up – fighting a rat! The ship sank in the aftermath and Joseph and some of his colleagues had to claw their way onto the shipwreck. Other Japanese ships refused to take them on board. After many days at sea and starvation, eventually one Japanese whaler’s boat took the men on board and took them to Nagasaki. They were put to work in factories – known as Camp 14. Nagasaki was later destroyed by an atomic bomb but a number of the prisoners survived as they were actually underground at the time. After surviving the bomb, the prisoners were captured again and brought to yet another camp - 26 – where they experienced poor conditions and food –rationing. However, not long after this, the Japanese surrendered in the war and the prisoners were released. Many people were angered by what the Japanese had done to them and they decided to kill the leaders of the army. Joseph saved one of the Generals - General Kusuno - and was thanked and given a fighting Samurai sword – which was a great honour.

Joseph returned to his family in Cork where he died of a stroke many years later.

The film was a documentary and followed the daughters of Joseph A MacCarthey in their search for information about the sword. Clips from World War II were included as well as illustrations. Some clips from an RTE radio interview in 1994 were included in which he talked about his wartime experiences.

Compiled from reports by:

Caemnat Moore 3P,  Claudia Ward 3P and Siún Broderick 3P.


Reflective Thought

" In winter, I plot and plan.

 In spring, I move."

 Henry Rollins



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School Office Hours

8.30 A.M. – 1.15 P.M.

2.00 P.M. - 5.00 P.M. Monday and Tuesday

2.15 P.M – 5.00 P.M. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday