On Tuesday 13th October the school was visited by Lieutenant Emma Harney and Corporal Tony Walsh of the Irish Defence Forces who came to present us with a copy of the 1916 Proclamation and the National Flag. This is part of a series of commemorative events planned around the centenary of the Rising.
Rita noted that the aspiration in the Proclamation to “cherish the children of the nation equally” chimed nicely with the ethos of an Educate Together school and in line with that ethos the rest of the ceremony was run by the members of the Student Representative Group (SRG).
The officers were introduced by Katherina Perets and they explained the significance of the proclamation before reading it out, helped by Amy Madden and Shane Corry. Dan McCartney then spoke to the school about the Irish Army’s involvement in peacekeeping missions around the world and how our school caretaker, Noel, had served in the Lebanon during his twenty years as a soldier. The National flag was then presented to Noel who in turn presented it to Cian McNamara and Breanna Magill who received it on behalf of the children in the school.
Next, Rishitha Chava and Jack Drumgoole outlined how some children have family connections with people who were involved in the Rising and in the War of Independence.
Denis McGrath (JI Jenny) had a great-grandfather who was called John Saul. He fought in the Rising in 1916 and was sent to prison afterwards. Patrick Fitzgerald (OC – Fiona) had a great-grand-aunt called Essie Merriman who was a member of Cumann na nBan. Her future husband Liam Troy was in prison in Mountjoy in 1921 and she helped him escape. Shane Kelly (OC – Aine) is a great-great-grand nephew of Michael Collins. Adam Wilkinson (6th) and Ben Wilkinson (3rd) believe their great-great-grandparents hid Michael Collins under their stairs for a night when he was on the run. Chloe Kavanagh (5th) is a great-great-grand niece of Thomas MacDonagh, who was one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising. He signed the Proclamation and was executed in Kilmainham Gaol in May 1916.
The morning ended with a rousing rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann.