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 On the buses with Sarah HorganKate Beamish, Ellen Connolly and Katie Collins. Picture Dan Linehan
On the buses with Sarah HorganKate Beamish, Ellen Connolly and Katie Collins. Picture Dan Linehan

On The Buses: The accommodation crisis impacting our students 

A CIT student voiced concern at the lack of accommodation in the city as she struggles to find a place to live.

Kate Beamish from Leap was previously staying in a digs but the arrangement was only temporary. The 19-year-old said her journey to college now takes around an hour and a half.

"I had initially applied for CIT accommodation but when I missed the call with an offer it went straight to someone else," the Social Care student explained on the 201 route linking Cork city to CIT. 

"Every spare room is taken on the same day it's advertised.

"I don't mind travelling such a long distance up until December but another semester of this would be exhausting.

It's hard to get into doing assignments when you're travelling to and from West Cork every day."

She confessed to completing much of her course work on public transport.

"I start a lot of my college assignments on the bus as I have such little time when I go home. There's only so much you can do on a bus, but I try to do as much research and reading as possible."

She acknowledged that she is one of the lucky ones.

"There are people out there who don't even have a roof over their heads. I'm lucky to have my family and some place to go in the evenings."

 On the buses with Sarah HorganJack Lynch and Julie Murphy. Picture Dan Linehan
On the buses with Sarah Horgan
Jack Lynch and Julie Murphy. Picture Dan Linehan
Katie said she hopes to share with other students next year.

"I'm hoping to get something outside of a digs. I enjoyed living in a digs but it would be nice to have something further removed from the family home environment. In student accommodation you can come and go as you please, unlike a digs."

Meanwhile the 19-year-old's classmate, Katie was dealing with another issue.

"There are some days where I might be coming in for an hour-long lecture," Katie said. "I think it would be more practical if the college time-table was more geared towards working students. The fact that I have to come in for an hour on Friday means that I'm missing out on a whole day's work."

"If that hour was allocated to another day I would be able to earn more money to live as a student. It's different in secondary school where you can get by on €50 a week. There are so many other costs to take into consideration in college.

On the buses with Sarah HorganMatthew O’Mahony. . Picture Dan Linehan
On the buses with Sarah Horgan
Matthew O’Mahony. . Picture Dan Linehan
Matthew O'Mahony from Dungarvan discussed his quirky antique collection.

"I love visiting junk shops to buy antiques. I mostly get furniture and old pushbikes. I picked up a rally bike two weeks ago that's around 50 or 60 years old. I'll be using it around the city soon. I've always like cycling. Back in 1982 I ended up getting knocked down while cycling in Dublin. I spent a week in hospital and didn't cycle for a while after that. There were a lot less bikes on the road in those days."

Marie Gaul from Farren Street had some wise words for young people leaving school.

"My dream was to become a nurse. I was due to travel to start a nursing job in the Old Church Hospital in Essex. I was planning to go there with my friend. She left but I stayed. After meeting my husband I decided to get married instead. I often wonder what life would have been like if I'd waited so I could follow my dream of becoming a nurse.

"My advice to young people would be to go away first before settling down and do whatever feels right."

Her friend Margaret O'Mahony from Magazine Road praised the work of CASA where she's been volunteering for 20 years.

"CASA organises events for people with intellectual disabilities. They do everything from bingo to disco nights," she said.

On the buses with Sarah HorganMargaret O’Mahony and Marie Gaul. Picture Dan Linehan
On the buses with Sarah Horgan
Margaret O’Mahony and Marie Gaul. Picture Dan Linehan
Ellen Connolly from Carrignavar is studying social care at CIT but still has fond memories of her time in secondary school. She cast her mind back to the Junk Couture contest during transition year.

"While in school I made a dress entirely from five cent coins and receipts," she said. "I turned the receipts into paper flowers. I remember spending Christmas Day glueing the coins on. It took between four and six months to finish it. After that it was put on display for the entire school to see, complete with a headpiece

On the buses with Sarah HorganMercy Adebambo and Emma Cotter. Picture Dan Linehan
On the buses with Sarah Horgan
Mercy Adebambo and Emma Cotter. Picture Dan Linehan
made to look like a handbag."

Mercy Adebambo, who studies Culinary Arts in CIT, marked her transition to college with a bold statement.

"There were no wild colours allowed in secondary school so I dyed my hair blue before starting college," the Carrigtwohill woman said. "The whole thing took between five and six hours and was done by a family friend."

Her classmate Emma Cotter from Carrigtwohill has dreamt of studying Culinary Arts from a young age.

"When I was 14 years old age my family signed me up for a cooking course. That was when I realised that cooking was what I wanted to do in life. By 15 years old I was making roast dinners for my family.

Now, I'm hoping to go down the road of nutrition as I feel that would be really interesting."

CIT's International Business Studies students, Jack Lynch and Julie Murphy are looking forward to a new adventure.

"We're going to be travelling to Germany as part of our work placement," Jack said. "I'm most excited about seeing the big cities,"