Lá Fhéile Pádraig – Saint Patrick’s Day
The yearly highlight of our celebration of Irish culture will take place today in SBC!
All classes will assemble in the hall and we will have two sessions of entertainment.
The first will include singing, instrumental music, poetry and drama – all as Ghaeilge and all performed by the children under the direction of their teachers.
The second will be a big Céilí – a session of dancing where all pupils and teachers will take to the floor and enjoy themselves doing set dances, reels, jigs and hornpipes.
This is always a great celebration that everyone thoroughly enjoys.
This week we have Seachtain na Ghaeilge in full swing in our school. It is the week when all things Irish are highlighted and celebrated.
All the children and teachers in our school make a great effort to speak to each other in Irish. This week we redouble our efforts and you will hear Gaeilge being spoken and posters reminding us to keep practising.
There will be live music played in the school corridors and hall all week. Do come in and listen to our pupils and teachers playing Irish music and singing Irish songs together.
We will also have demonstrations of Irish sport – camogie and Tráth na gCeist (Table Quiz) for children from Third to Sixth Classes.
2015 promises to be memorable for our celebration of Seachtain na Ghaeilge.
The raising of our Blue Flag in September was a cause of great excitement. Scoil Bhríde (Cailíní) was awarded the Blue Flag in recognition of the great work on Europe done by the children in every class during the last school year. The children learned about many aspects of European life today and throughout history. We had visits from Ministers Joan Burton and Leo Varadkar who spoke to the older girls about the workings of the European institutions (like the European Parliament). The children:
- learned how decisions made in Europe affect us –and how we can influence the decisions that are made!
- became aware of the rich body of work by European musicians, poets, authors and painters
- explored European languages and the connections between them
- did projects on European countries.
Their work was displayed throughout the school over the course of the year and the children presented their findings to each other.
In this way, every child learned many new things about Europe and they enjoyed themselves in the process
In February 2011 the 3rd Class won an award from Irish Aid for a wonderful project they undertook with the assistance of ESL teacher Bernie Dunne. The glass plaque is on view in the school hallway. It was awarded by the Dept. of Foreign Affairs which funds Irish Aid. The children compiled a booklet outlining The Eight Millennium Development Goals and what we can do. They included their own languages and were very proud of their input.
In 2010, Ms Renee Moran had the wonderful idea of getting the then Sixth Class to make a photographic record of the old school. Over a two week period, the girls photographed our school buildings and grounds in great detail. For the girls themselves, this was a unique opportunity to heighten their visual awareness and to hone their photographic techniques. As the old building was demolished in order to make way for the current building, this publication is now a valuable reference for historians and architects. It is also a valued record for all those who have known and loved Scoil Bhríde (Cailíní). We are grateful to Sheila Nunan, General Secretary of The Irish National Teachers’ Association, for launching the book for us.
Ar Scáth A Chéile a Mhaireann na Daoine – We all Depend on Each Other
In 2010, Padraig Walshe, president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) was presented with a cheque for €800 by the pupils of Scoil Bhríde (Cailíní).
Having seen news reports of the devastation caused by flooding, especially in areas along the Shannon, the girls decided to hold a cake sale to raise funds to help alleviate distress in the households and farms affected. Padraig Walshe thanked the pupils and said that the fund would go to those most in need.
Following the Tsunami of 2004, many fundraising ventures were organised in Ireland to support victims of the tragedy. One idea involved the organising of groups to raise money to buy basic boats for the local population. These were then shipped to areas devastated by the catastrophe so that people could return to their traditional livelihoods of fishing and tourist-linked activities.
The challenge to contribute to this was taken up by Siobhán Kirwan-Keane, a teacher at Scoil Bhríde Cailíní (Scoil Bhríde is the original national school that was built in 1956 to serve the local community of Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. It now has an enrolment of almost 70% newcomer pupils from more than 40 different cultural and linguistic backgrounds). Inspired by the story of the school’s patron, St. Brigid, Siobhán encouraged her pupils to knit a woollen square and be sponsored for their efforts. Like St. Brigid’s cloak this idea grew to involve mothers and grandmothers connected with the school community, who resurrected their knitting needles to knit their own squares. Their pieces were added to the squares made by the children and all were sewn together to form a garment in the style of St. Brigid’s cloak. This was then raffled to raise the required funding to purchase a boat. This was all successfully done and the boat was purchased, named by the children, and dispatched.
Eight years later, former Irish rugby international Ron McCarten and his wife Edna, both residents of Blanchardstown, holidayed in Sri Lanka. One of their trips took them through still partly ravaged areas in the southwest corner of Sri Lanka to the village of Balapitiya near Kosgoda on the river Madu Ganga. One of the features of their journey involved a sea safari. Imagine their astonishment on being taken to their boat to find it was named St. Brigid’s NS Blanchardstown! Along with several other boats, it continues to provide livelihoods for a considerable number of the inhabitants of this region.
The Irish proverb ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine (we all depend on each other) continues to ring true!