History and art were linked in the best possible way at Timahoe NS recently thanks to the commemoration of the 1913 Lockout.
Always keen to bring every subject alive, school principal Ann Bergin was delighted to discover that Mary O’Reilly, the Great Aunt of a 5th class student, Niamh McKitrick, had been part of a group working on a commemorative tapestry which will be glazed and displayed in Liberty Hall, Dublin.
Under the direction of artists Robert Ballagh and Cathy Henderson, the visual narrative of the story of the 1913 Lockout was designed to include over 30 individual panels laid out in comic book style. Ms O’Reilly worked on the large centerpiece of the tapestry depicting Jim Larkin making a speech.
She was delighted to accept her grand-niece’s invitation to come to the school. While she was not in a position to bring the tapestry the children had been encouraged to go to see it at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska.
She showed photographs to the enthusiastic students and explained the stages of the large-scale work, and the historical facts linked to each panel.
In turn the children shared with her their knowledge of the 1913 Lockout, the depth of which amazed her.
The renowned artist brought many other examples of her work – from wall hangings, to fabric books to an embroidered family-tree. She even brought a piece of fabric, threads and a needle for each child to work on.
It was a very special experience for Mary’s grand-niece Niamh McKitrick. “I felt very proud,” she said. “I’d never seen all that stuff she makes before.”
“Up until now she was just my aunt, but now I see how great my great-aunt really is!” she quipped.
She also had high words of praise for her teacher Mrs Bergin, “I love the way Mrs Bergin teaches us history,” she said. “It’s not a dead and dusty subject at all. She makes it so much fun”
According to Principal Ann Bergin, “The visit was a huge success. Míle buiochas to Mary for coming to us”