As part of the 1916 centenary celebrations, St Brigid’s NS in Killoughter re-enacted how school would have looked in bygone times, complete with a cane-wielding school master. The Redhills pupils, dressed in keeping with children from the turn of the 20th Century era, were enthralled by these performances on last Monday morning.
The proclamation was also read aloud and a respected member of the community, Maureen Hayes was joined by pupils Dylan McDonald and Aoibheann Dunne to raise the national flag as part of the 1916 commemorations.
“This was with a view that the pupils would take away some memories from that time,” explained Principal Kenny Kerins of the day’s events. “Different classes did different things to celebrate the day - some of the classes wrote poems, and they also wrote out the Proclamation which remembered the past and envisioned the future. The senior classes also wrote a song which is currently on YouTube and has over 1,200 hits at present. The song is called ‘To the People of Ireland’ and it can be located by searching ‘St Brigid’s NS Redhills’.”
"We also invited one of the oldest members in the community in to raise the Tricolour together with the two youngest pupils in the school, Dylan McDonald and Aoibheann Dunne.”
Completing the commemoration activities they also organised the burial of home-made time capsules.
“All the pupils sealed messages, coins, pictures of their families, their homes and of pets in plastic bottles and they were all then placed in a hole in the ground adjacent to the school and these will all be dug up again in ten years’ from now. The pupils can come back in ten years’ time and they will be immediately taken back to what they were doing in school at that time, and hopefully it will prove of some significance to them,” said Mr Kerins.
Walter Pringle of ‘Clones Community Forum’ played the role of a teacher back in the Famine times.
“We do a reenactment of what the school would have been like back in Famine times and try to get the message across to the boys and girls of 2016, that at that time, school was totally different from what it is today. The children were very poor and the teachers were very cross, dictatorial and rude even – never said, ‘Good’ and never said, ‘Thanks’ or ‘Well done’, and we endeavour to convey that image to the boys and girls of today. “Teachers have said that the experience for the pupils of being involved in the dramatisation as we present it, has been much more effective than anything they have been able to teach the children,” said Walter.