Ministers to launch Ireland 2016 Schools Programme at Pádraig Pearse’s former school

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, and the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, will today (September 22nd) launch the Ireland 2016 Schools Programme at Pádraig and Willie Pearse’s former school in Dublin city centre.

An extensive nationwide programme of activities, research projects, competitions and awards is being rolled out in primary and post-primary schools across the country from this month as part of the Youth and Imagination strand of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.  The Schools Programme has been developed in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills.

Highlights of the Ireland 2016 Schools Programme include:

  • The ‘Proclamation for a New Generation’ project will see students being asked to write a new proclamation for their own school to reflect the values and hopes of the 2016 generation, starting with an analysis of the ideals, principles and aspirations of the 1916 Proclamation.
  • A special ‘Proclamation Day’ will take place in all educational institutions on 15th March 2016.  This is the moment when every school in the country will showcase the results of their ‘Proclamation for a New Generation’ and all other creative projects relating to 1916 that the student body have developed.
  • The ‘1916 Ancestry Project’ will invite all primary and post-primary pupils to trace their family (or another family) tree back to 1916.  Students will be encouraged to find out what was happening in their local community in 1916 and embark on a trail of discovery using the resources of our national cultural institutions.
  • A range of arts awards and competitions, based on themes relating to 1916 or Ireland in 2116, have been developed by the Department of Education and Skills in partnership with the Department of Education in Northern Ireland, which will be open to all primary and post primary schools on the island of Ireland.
  • All of the​ N​ational C​ultural I​nstitutions are creating exciting and diverse programmes of events and activities specifically to engage young people and children, not just with the events of 1916, but also to explore and express their vision as young artists for the Ireland they want in the future.

Speaking at today’s event Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, said: “It’s fitting that we are here in the school attended by one of the signatories of the Proclamation to launch the Schools Programme, which is such an important element of Ireland 2016.  Children and young people are at the heart of the commemorations. We’ve worked with the Department of Education and Skills to develop an interactive programme of activities which I hope will catch the imagination of our young people and help them to reflect on the events of 100 years ago, while also looking to the future.  I am delighted that our National Cultural Institutions, such as the National Library and the National Museum, are intertwined in the schools programme, with specially developed initiatives to engage young people and children in the Centenary Programme.”

Minister of Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, encouraged teachers and pupils from primary and post primary schools for getting involved: “I am delighted to be here today to launch the Ireland 2016 Schools Programme.  It is a really exciting and innovative programme with lots of opportunities for teachers and students to explore the events of 1916 but also to re-imagine Ireland’s future through initiatives like Proclamation for a New Generation. It’s also a brilliant opportunity for students to trace their family tree and discover the hidden histories of their local communities through the Ancestry Project.  There will be a wealth of online resources made available to teachers and students throughout the year and I would encourage all schools to get involved and help make 2016 a very special year.”



Note for Editors


The Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, led by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, T.D., is a year-long programme of activity to commemorate the events of the 1916 Rising, to reflect on our achievements over the last 100 years and to look towards Ireland’s future.

The Ireland 2016 Schools Programme is part of the Youth and Imagination strand of Ireland 2016.  It is designed to facilitate participative and engaged history learning, with practical as well as art-based projects.

Some of the awards and competitions for students include:

  • A special exhibition featuring work by students on the theme of Ireland 2116 will be hosted by the National Gallery of Ireland in September 2016.
  • Students are invited to write a short drama based around any aspect of the events of 1916, film the performance and submit the short video to RTÉ. A public vote will be launched to select the best plays, with the winning schools invited to perform them on the stage of the Abbey Theatre in Spring 2016.
  • Your Ireland is the topic for the Libraries and Post-Primary schools special 1916 Poetry Competition.
  • The Poetry Aloud all-island poetry speaking competition is encouraging poems on 1916 themes.

CBS Westland Row is celebrating 150 years in education at both Primary and Secondary level. A love of learning, culture and the arts are core elements of the ethos of the school. The secondary school has hundreds of past pupils, both from the local community and from the greater Dublin region. The two most historically significant figures were the Pearse Brothers who attended the school in the 1890’s.  However, many students of CBS Westland Row were involved in the 1916 Rising including Michael Malone, who died in the Battle of Mount Street bridge, former Dublin Alderman Peadar Macken (who was killed on Macken Street), Daniel Murray (who was shot in the College of Surgeons and later died) and John O’Reilly of the Irish Citizen Army who was killed in the fighting at City Hall.  CBS Westland Row is very proud of the rich traditions and history that are attached to the school.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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