Relative of Rising leader helps Rebel school to mark Proclamation Day
A primary school named after Ireland's first President fittingly featured a parent who is related to Easter Rising hero Seán MacDiarmada in its Proclamation Day ceremonies.
Gaelscoil de hÍde in Fermoy, Co Cork, insisted it wanted its ceremonies to be simple, inclusive and promoting tolerance and understanding in Irish society.
The school is proudly named after Ireland's first President Douglas Hyde. The Hyde family had their ancestral home upstream of Fermoy in an 18th Century estate house on the River Blackwater now owned by Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley.
Principal Seán MacGearailt said the school was also fortunate to have another historical connection to a famous Irish figure. "One of our parents here is Clem Dempsey and he is distantly related to Seán MacDiarmada," he said.
Mr MacDiarmada (33) was a signatory of the Proclamation of Independence in Easter 1916 and was one of those executed for his role as a leader of the Rising.
"Clem kindly agreed to take part in our Proclamation Day ceremonies here," he said.
Mr MacGearailt also said the school had cause for celebration in that they've cleared the final hurdle in their long bid for a new, purpose-built premises. "Our Proclamation Day ceremonies were very simple. We had a ceremony to raise the national flag, then the students read out the proclamation and finally their own Proclamation for a New Generation," he said.
There was also music and poetry from the 411 students.