Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai along with all other educational institutions in Ireland, celebrated Proclamation Day on 15th March 2016.
Preparations for the day had been going on for many weeks in advance with many students and teachers involved in 1916 themed project work which is currently on display in the school.
On 7th March two of our students accompanied by Ms.O’ Sullivan travelled to Croke Park to a State ceremony led by President Michael D. Higgins.
They received a new Tricolour from the Thomas Meagher Foundation on behalf of the State. The flag now stands proudly on a hand carved base in the school foyer along with a framed copy of the 1916 Proclamation which was also presented on the day. The students said that there was a great sense of occasion in Croke Park with music and drama depicting the Rising adding to their enjoyment of the day.
We held a lovely ceremony in the school sports hall on Proclamation Day itself. Sergeant Pierce O’ Regan and Trooper William O’ Hare attended the ceremony and spoke to the assembled students about the History and importance of our national flag. The assembled students, teachers and soldiers stood to sing Amhran na bhFiann.
Students from each year group read parts of the Proclamation aloud accompanied by Kate Murnane on the flute. Other students read our Proclamation for a New Generation written by second year students.
We watched a nice clip called “ Mise Eire” in which a selection of Irish people gave their view of Ireland in 1916. This is well worth another view and can be watched again on the official Ireland 2016 channel on U Tube.
We then celebrated other aspects of Irish culture in poetry , song and dance. Ms Warren read out a poem she wrote inspired by the Proclamation.
Five first year students danced a reel accompanied by Conor Doody and Cathal Tisdall, first year and Niall Shields, sixth year. We finished with a fabulous rendition of “The Foggy Dew” by Canon Charles O’ Neill. Niamh Crowley sang beautifully accompanied by Ms. O’ Donovan on the piano, John O’ Sullivan, Leaving Cert on guitar and Claire, our French assistant on flute.
The soldiers complimented us on the beautiful ceremony, our lovely school and the excellent attentive students. We hope that good memories of the day will remain with our students into the future and that they will be able to tell future generations that they participated in an important centenary event.