Ratoath College

Ratoath College

Mol an Óige agus Tiocfaidh Sí

Dayna Feeney


Dayna Feeney



Class of


LC Points:


3rd Level Course:

BSc Speech and Language Therapy @ Plymouth Marjon University in the south-west of England.
Why did you choose this course?

I attended a talk at NUIG about Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) and the work speech and language therapists do. It changed my entire perspective on what I wanted to – I had previously applied for medicine but knew I wouldn’t get the points. I also watched lots of YouTube videos on what SLTs do and decided I wanted to spend my life helping people to communicate with their loved ones.

How long is/was the course? 

3 years, 5 months

Current role / employment:  I have worked as a carer in Ratoath nursing home during the summer to get some experience working with adults with dementia. I have done placement during my course – working with children with speech and language disorders, autism, special needs and cleft palate. My main interest is working with adults – I have previously worked on a brain injury rehabilitation unit, and in a hospital with adults who have acquired swallowing disorders from strokes, heart attacks or dementia.

My final placement starts in September – I will be working full time on a Brain Injury Rehabilitation unit in Bristol and this is the job I want to apply for once I graduate. It’s a tough place to work – I have seen people who have been through really tough times in their life and people who are coming to the end of their life. I wouldn’t change it for the world – if I can walk into a hospital room and feed someone the last meal they will ever eat, I have helped to make their last few moments special. My dissertation (thesis) is a new approach to treating adults who have acquired speech disorders after a brain injury.

Once I graduate, I can work all over the world and I want to spend a year working in Canada or New Zealand. As I will work for the National Health Service in England, I can apply for a funded Masters programme as a researcher – it’s still a while away though!

Best career achievement to date: 

Hearing a little boy who was born with a cleft palate say his own name for the first time at the age of 7 and watching my tutor cry as she realised his mam would be able to hear her son say his own name for the first time in his life.

Have you any advice for our current students?  Do not let the leaving certificate define you, or even your CAO offers. I was 80 points short of the entry requirements when I received my offer from the UK. I think everything that happens has a reason behind it, and no matter how scary and difficult it is now – you will end up where you need to be doing what you need to do, whether it takes 3 years or 30 years.

Keep fighting and pushing for what you want – volunteer, watch YouTube, work hard but most of all remember you are more than some numbers on a piece of paper.

Best memory of Ratoath College:  Our TY camping trip.