The Year I Won't Forget, Concern at Ard Scoil
18th November 2013
“The Year that I Won’t Forget”
by Clara Mannion, All Ireland Under 18 Concertina Champion.
Congratulations are due 5th year student Clara Mannion. She has delighted us in the Ard Scoil on many occasions. This past summer, Clara won the Concertina competition Under 18 All Ireland Championship - a huge honour. Below are Clara's own reactions:
"I’ve had a great year! A year everything happened together. All my hard work, practicing, paid off. It was all worth it! “You only get out of it what you put into it”. That’s very true in my case.
I’ve had fantastic results over the summer months. I have been competing inFleadh Cheoil competitions for a few years and this year I won First place in Munster in the Under 18 concertina competition. This was a big achievement for me!
To top it all, I went up to Derry to the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil and came home with the title of All. Ireland Under 18 Concertina Champion! The dream had finally come true!
To make things even better, I got a phone call from the Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann head quarters in Dublin inviting me to take part in and perform on the Comhaltas Tour of Ireland 2013, entitled “Macalla na hÉireann”
It was an honour to have been selected, of course I said YES! The tour took us around Ireland for two weeks playing music, 14 shows, 14 different venues, 10 fantastic musicians, 4 dancers, a singer and a Fear an Tí. To keep an eye on us we had a Manager.
It was a once in a lifetime, fantastic opportunity and a wonderful experience. I’ve made friends for life, a new family. It doesn’t stop there though; we will be touring England in February and Canada in October next year!"
Last Wednesday, the Ard Scoil welcomed Liam Bernard of Concern who spoke to the girls about the work of Concern across the globe. Thank you to Kayla McCarey and Jenny Maye-Twomey for the following account:
"Liam has worked for the past ten years in the education section of Concern and spoke to us about the charity’s work in Africa, Asia and South America. Last year Concern spent €120.million and saved 20 million people in some of the world’s poorest countries. 40% of Concern’s funding comes from donations, the other 60% comes from government funding.
We in the developed countries have secure homes,access to health and education and the luxuries of modern life. People in the less developed countries work for very low wages, may not afford education and not have adequate health facilities. Things we take for granted are a luxury. We learned that 3.5 million children under the age of 5 die from malnutrition every year. The three steps Concern takes to tackle the problem of hunger are: identify those most at risk, treatment, and prevention of future famine.
We learned a lot about the work is doing in different countries around the world and we would encourage anyone who can to take part in the sponsored fast and raise some funds for the very important work done by Concern.