Pupils at Drumraney National School presented '1916: A Local Perspective', a talk focussing on the involvement of local man, Michael McCormack, in the Irish rebellion.
The presentation took place at a special ceremony in the school on Friday, April 15, where the special guest was Mairead McGuinness, local MEP and vice-president of the European Parliament.
Speaking after the event, Ms McGuinness said: “The children discussed the history of Michael McCormack who was a volunteer in 1916 and several children spoke about their own relatives who fought and died in World War I. They concluded with the message of the importance of listening to each other and talking to resolve conflicts.
"Such a message coming across so profoundly at such a young age is something that should stay with these wonderful children for the rest of their lives and inform their actions in whatever areas of endeavour they will get involved in the future.”
Drumraney NS is also participating in the Blue Star Programme, which aims to foster better knowledge and understanding among primary pupils about the European Union and how it affects our lives. Ms McGuinness said the complexity of Ireland's history and relationship with the United Kingdom was to the fore as she discussed the UK referendum on EU membership taking place in June with the pupils.
She said there may be some unpredictable consequences for Ireland depending on the outcome of the vote. “I believe it would be better for the UK, Ireland, and the EU if the UK remained a member of the EU, but that decision rests with the UK electorate," she said. “Reforming the EU is both desirable and possible but change must be made from within with all countries working together.”
Ms McGuinness complimented the Moate Community College choir for providing the entertainment at Friday’s celebrations. She also expressed her gratitude to everyone associated with Drumraney NS: “Thanks to all in Drumraney, especially school principal Laura Silke and all the staff, parents, and board of management who make this small school such a large and important part of the community", she said.