Love the children … and make a great effort to improve their education
and raise it to as high a degree as possible. Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey


We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here at Mount Sackville Secondary School, history is a core subject at Junior Level and a popular option in Senior Cycle. The History Department is highly qualified with the majority of teachers holding a Master’s Degree in the subject. Together we work with the students to foster a love and appreciation of the subject, develop knowledge and conceptual understanding, the ability to evaluate information and to think critically. Classrooms are richly endowed with a variety of teaching resources including primary and secondary sources as well as ICT facilities. The aim is to impart some of our enthusiasm for the subject as well as foster independent learning at all levels of instruction and learning. The academic results reflect this practice with grades far exceeding the national average. As well as promoting excellence in our classes, the department engages in out of classroom experiences such as bringing in guest speakers such as Tomi Reichenthal, visiting historical sites and taking part in away-days to institutions such as the Dáil and Stormont to see history being made and to speak to those involved in the making thereof.

History Department 2023/24

Mary Delaney

Tim O’ Connor (Subject Co-ordinator)

Mairéad Kennedy

Patrick Porter

Peter Mc Kenna

Ciara Forristal

Lisa Byrne

Adrian Quinn

The Junior Cycle

At Junior Cycle level student engagement in the History classroom will focus on their development as historians. The course will focus on their historical knowledge by introducing them to historical topics and time periods, providing students with “a big picture” vision of the past.

The new syllabus consists of three strands:

The Nature of History

The History of Ireland

The History of Europe and the Wider World


Students will complete assessments for the Athena Tracker in October, November, February and May unless completing a CBA at the same time.

Students will complete one Classroom Based Assessment in 2nd Year on ‘The Past in my Place’ and in 3d year they will complete a second CBA on ‘A Life in Time’. Students will then complete an assessment task and this will account for 10% of their overall result in the Junior Cycle. In June of 3rd year students will complete a full written exam set by the State Examinations Commission.

1st Year

The Nature of history

A Study of an Ancient Civilisation – Ancient Rome

Early Christian Ireland

Life and death in the Middle Ages

The Renaissance

The Age of Exploration, conquest and colonisation

Exploration, Conquest and colonisation

Religious change: Reformation

2nd Year

Changes in land ownership: Plantation in Ireland

Political change: Revolutionary movements in Ireland and America

The Great Famine

The Parliamentary Tradition in Irish Politics


The Rise of Nationalism and Unionism in Ireland 1911-1923

3d Year

Life in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany

WWII, its causes, course and consequences for Europe and Ireland

The Holocaust

The Cold War

Women in Ireland in the 20th Century

The 1960s in Ireland and the world

The Troubles

The European Union

Patterns of Change

Transition Year

In Transition Year all students study history for a lesson per week intended as a taster module for the students will be looking at the history of African-American Race Relationships and the Civil Rights Movement.

Leaving Certificate

At Leaving Certificate Level, students will study four topics, drawn from the following:

  • Movements for Reform, 1870-1914
  • The Pursuit of Sovereignty and Partition 1912-1949
  • Dictatorship and Democracy, 1920-1945 (document question 2024)
  • The USA and the World 1945-1989
  • Research Study Report

The field of Study selected from the syllabus is the Later Modern History Field.There are 12 topics, six from Irish History and six from the history of Europe and the Wider World. Every year, one of these topics is pre-nominated by the Examinations Commission to be examined through a documents-based question.

The topic selected for 2024 and 2025 is Dictatorship and Democracy, Europe 1920-1945.

Three other topics from the following are selected:

1. Movements for political and social Reform 1870-1914

The Home Rule Movement

Land Agitation and Reform

The Rise of Unionism

Cultural Nationalism

Industrial Belfast and Decaying Dublin

2. Sovereignty and Partition1912-1949

The Home Rule Crisis

Easter Rising and the Rise of Sinn Fein

The War of Independence and Partition

The Anglo Irish Treaty

The Civil War

Consolidating Democracy, Cum Na n. G and FF

Anglo Irish Relations

Economic and Social Policies

Language, Religion and Culture in the Free State, The Eucharistic Congress

Ireland during WW11

3. Politics and Society in Northern Ireland 1949-1993

Loyal Orders

Poetry and the Arts

Terence O’Neil and Coleraine University Controversy

Civil Rights and The Troubles

Failure of Sunningdale

The Peace Process until the Downing Street Declaration

4. The USA and the World 1945-1989

Structure of US Government

US Economy 1945-1989

The American Way of Life

Racial Conflict (including the Montgomery Bus Boycott Case Study)

US Foreign Policy (including the Vietnam War Case Study)

Decline of the Cold War Certainties 1973-1989

Space and technology (including the Moon Landing Case Study)

Consensus 1945-1989

Research Topic

Students have to pre-submit a research topic of their choice.

It accounts for 20% of the exam and is submitted by April of the 6th year.

Students are free to choose any topic pre-1992 that is historically significant.

They are required to write a 1500 word account of their study and must consult at least three sources.

Along with an outline plan these sources must be evaluated as part of the final mark.

Useful links:

23 2024
Leaving Certificate 2024 Results
26 2024
1st Year Induction
27 2024
TY Trip to Carlingford
27 2024
1st Year Induction
Mount Sackville Secondary School,
Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny,
Dublin 20,
D20 WP68

01 821 3317
01 821 4061

© 2024 Mount Sackville Secondary School