Thursday 29 September 2016

Pupils focus on multicultural theme in GPO speech rewrite

Published 03/03/2016 | 02:30

First year student Ross Devine and class who have helped draw up the school's Proclamation for a New Generation at Hartstown Community School , Dublin 15. included are Principal, John Bean and teacher Siobhan Daly. Photograph: Mark Condren
First year student Ross Devine and class who have helped draw up the school's Proclamation for a New Generation at Hartstown Community School , Dublin 15. included are Principal, John Bean and teacher Siobhan Daly. Photograph: Mark Condren

When first year pupils at Hartstown Community School started to analyse the 1916 Proclamation, the first three words stopped them in their tracks: "IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN".

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According to history teacher Siobhán Daly, with families from 30 or more countries represented among the 1,100 pupils in the west Dublin school, it prompted a debate and begged the question:. "Are we all Irish?" with responses such as: "I am from Ukraine", "I am from The Philippines",

So began the thoughtful and detailed process of writing a Proclamation for a New Generation, on behalf of the school, with the class broken into groups and given the task of rewriting a different paragraph of the original document.

The opening line led to discussion about multi-culturalism, tolerance and acceptance, and then subtle changes in wording for their own document to such as "People of Ireland" and "We are distinctly Irish, yet multicultural".

According to Ms Daly, they "worked really hard on it and only came to me to ask would I help with 'flowery' language".

Other classes pursued different 1916-related projects, all of which will be showcased on Proclamation Day. One teacher has enlisted the help of a professional actress for a re-enactment of material found in documents in the Military Archives relating to the local area.

Irish Independent

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