Heritage awards time for Laois and Offaly schools

Heritage in Schools Exhibition at Laois Education Centre

Lynda Kiernan


Lynda Kiernan



Heritage awards time for Laois and Offaly schools

Principal Richard O'Connor with friends and pupils of Shanahoe NS, receiving the 1st prize in the Primary Art & Design category, at the Heritage in Schools Exhibition in Laois Education Centre.

Students' heritage projects and essays on everything from batik landscapes to the Garryhinch bombings, were rewarded recently at the 6th annual Heritage in Schools exhibition.

“Heritage is alive and well in midland schools,“ said Laois Education Centre Director Jim Enright, praising the “extraordinary display” of local heritage projects and essays in Laois Education Centre on Wednesday November 30.

Schools, pupils, teachers, principals, parents and grandparents had gathered to celebrate history and heritage in Laois, Offaly and North Tipperary.

Certificates were presented to all the primary and second-level schools that took part in the competition, organised by Laois Heritage Society with Laois Education Centre and supported by Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society.

The competition had two categories, at primary and second-level, for written projects and art and design.

26 teachers and 137 pupils from 16 schools exhibited projects, and wrote 43 essays.

Michael Parsons, Chairperson of Laois Heritage Society, praised the enthusiastic embracing of the project.

“ It reflects an underlying passion in younger generations to find out about the world around us and where we came from. This hands-on approach, where students researched using libraries, technology, site visits and interviewing, is surely the way forward in making heritage a living and useful subject, and a life-long pursuit. Getting young people interested in the people, events, and changing natural and political landscape, and lessons we can learn, is hugely beneficial to society,” he said.

Participating schools were Sacred Heart Secondary School Tullamore, Tullamore College, St Mary’s CBS Portlaoise, Borrisokane Community College, Coláiste Choilm Tullamore, Presentation Secondary School Thurles, Shanahoe NS, Arles NS, Cloneyhurke NS, Rosenallis NS, Ballyboy NS. St Paul’s COI NS Mountmellick and St Philomena’s NS Tullamore.

The prizes were awarded by judges Teddy Fennelly, Michael Parsons and Dolores McEvoy of Laois Heritage Society, and Fran Bates & Kathleen O’Connor Management Committee Laois Education Centre.

Jim Enright, Director Laois Education Centre thanked and complimented the teachers, principals and particularly pupils on their work.

‘The real value of projects like this is that they serve to inform and promote the heritage and culture that lies at our own doorstep. We get a very clear snapshot of our very local history and heritage,” he said, thanking the Education Centre staff particularly Yvonne Lacumber for making the evening a success.

Michael Parsons, Laois Heritage praised the quality and quantity of the entries, thanking partners and supporters of the project particularly Laois Heritage and the MC Paddy Bates for his immense support.

Winners of Post-Primary Art & Design are: 1st €100; St Mary’s CBS Portlaoise TY year with A View From my Window, 2nd Prize €75; Sacred Heart SS Tullamore 1st Year, with Historical Remains in Laois/Offaly, and 3rd €50: St Mary’s CBS Portlaoise TY with Batik Landscapes.

Post Primary Essay/written project winners: 1st Prize €50; Ruby Ryan, 5th Year, Borrisokane Community College, with A Woman in a Workhouse. 2nd Prize €35; Shane Enright, TY Year, Colaiste Choilm Tullamore with Eamon Bulfin Local Legend, and 3rd prize €20; Cian Underwood, 5th Year, Tullamore College, on Leap Castle.

Primary Art & Design 1st Prize; €100; Shanahoe NS 5th & 6th Class, for 'Celebrating John Keegan’s Bicentennial'. 2nd Prize €75; Rosenallis N 5th & 6th Class for 'The Cones', and joint 3rd €50: Gaelscoil an tSlí Dála 3rd – 6th Class, 'Sídheoga Cill a Bhile' and Cloneyhurke NS 3rd – 6th Class on 'Bombing in Garryhinch'.

Primary Essay/Written project 1st Prize €50: Simon George, 6th Class Arles NS, 'The History of Laois GAA'.

2nd Prize €35 Emily O’ Brien, 6th Class St Philomena’s NS for 'The Great Hot Air Balloon Fire of 1785', and and 3rd €20: Naomi Senior, 5th class, St Paul’s Mountmellick, 'A Journey Through the Years at St Paul’s NS

Highly Commended Primary €20' St Philomena’s NS Tullamore 6th Class, 'Clonmacnoise'.