1848 Tricolour Celebration, Bord Gáis Student Theatre Awards, Seachtain na Gaeilge School Show
23rd March 2015
1848 Tricolour Celebration
Students receiving the Irish flag at the tricolour celebrations. Pictured at the Tricolour Celebration are Back Row: Member of the Irish Navy, Jill Montgomery, Kevin Vickers(Canadian Ambassador to Ireland), Genna Crotty, Front Row: Laura Keeley, Cllr James Tobin (1st Mayor of Waterford City and County Council), Aisling Curran.
Last week in Waterford city from the 8th to the 12th marked the Flag Festival in Waterford and four students from Árd Scoil na nDéise were lucky enough to be a part of the celebration.
The Flag Festival is a celebration of the fact that the Irish Tricolour was invented by a Waterford man, Thomas Francis Meagher, and that the first time our national flag was flown it was from a house in the centre of Waterford city. Students were invited from schools all over the country, from Dungarvan to some very dedicated history students from Tory Island off the coast of Donegal. They weren’t disappointed as the afternoon was certainly interesting and amazing to be a part of.
As we arrived at Kingfisher Hall in Waterford, dodging traffic wardens and the lashing rain, we took our seats in the hall and we were greeted by Mary Kennedy who got the crowd warmed up with some not-at-all awkward Mexican waves. She went on to introduce President Higgins who opened the ceremony with a rousing speech about the peace and unity that our flag symbolises. We then heard from a Waterford member of Comhairle na nÓg who spoke beautifully about the lasting truce between “green” and “orange” seen in the Irish tricolour, along with the brotherhood and pride that is encapsulated in the flag.
We were entertained for a few minutes by an actor playing Mr. Meagher who gave a more detailed insight into the man whose achievements we were all there to celebrate. Another guest who received a warm welcome was Molly Sterling, the 16 year old musician who will be representing Ireland in the Eurovision this year; she performed a song of her own composition to rapturous applause. There was then great excitement and gasping (mostly, if not all from Mr. O’Shea) as a video of Robbie Keane came on the big screen. The soccer player addressed the attentive crowd and announced that he had taped tickets to an Ireland soccer match under the seats of two lucky audience members.
Then began the part of the ceremony that was most significant. Each school sent up a chosen representative to be presented with an Irish flag that had been flown from the very same house that Thomas Francis Meagher had flown the original tricolour from in 1848. After every school had received their flag, Molly came back up on stage to close the ceremony with her own rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann which we all enthusiastically sang along with despite most of us being out of tune.
After the ceremony, some schools began the journey home. However, our interest was piqued about Thomas Francis Meagher and we went to the Bishop’s Palace museum to see if we could learn more about him. We were taken on a tour of a room dedicated to Mr. Meagher by our lovely guide, Donnchadh, who shed some light on his life and character for us. We learned about his life, upbringing and political beliefs. We could even see from the window the very house he had lived in. After thanking Donnchadh for his time, a quick bite of lunch and a nice jog through the rain back to the car, we headed home.
I really enjoyed the day, especially as a history student. The whole event was well run, lively and had a genuinely engaging atmosphere. I think anyone who was fortunate enough to be able to attend the ceremony would agree that it was an enjoyable day that sparked immense pride in our fellow Waterford man, Thomas Francis Meagher.
Aisling Curran, 5th Year
Bord Gáis Student Theatre Awards
Lauren Mulvihill receiving her award from English teacher Mrs. Simons
Congratulations to Lauren Mulvihill, 6th Year, whose dramatic critique of Shakespeare’s “Othello” was recently shortlisted in the Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards. Lauren was presented with her award by her English teacher Mrs. Simons.
Seachtain na Gaeilge School Show
Ard Scoil na nDéise students performing at Scoil Mhuire for Seachtain na Gaeilge
Seactain na Gaeilge 1st – 17th March 2015 saw many Irish orientated activities taking place in schools all over the country which promoted our unique Irish language and traditions. An event that girls from 1st to 5th year participated in was a concert in Scoil Mhuire on Friday 13th March. It included songs as Gaeilge agus as Béarla agus daoine ag damhsa, explanations of tunes such as reels and jigs and a variety of instruments on show.
Performing in front of approximately 470 children, well practised and prepared we played, danced and sang to our hearts content until we reached the end of our programme. Three talented girls from Scoil Mhuire participated and danced three dances together. The aim of our presentation was to bring their attention to the Irish tradition of music, song and dance.
A great day had by all involved as we gained invaluable experience. Thank you to Scoil Mhuire for the welcome and hospitality.
Muireann Walsh, 4th Year