Minister for Training and Skills, Ciarán Cannon T.D., has announced Scoil Mhuire NS, Cnoc a’Bhile, as second place winners in the Provincial
Category of the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ All-Island schools history competition.
The title of the project submitted by 6th class in Scoil Mhuire is “Fr. Matt Ryan and his enduring influence in the Parish of Knockavilla-Donaskeigh”. This project focuses on Fr. Matt Ryan who was Parish Priest of Knockavilla-Donaskeigh for forty years from 1897. Fr. Matt was a cultural nationalist who played an active role in the Plan of Campaign (for which he was imprisoned), was National Vice President of Conradh na Gaeilge from 1908 – 1924, and was elected to the National Executive of Sinn Féin in 1917. He was sympathetic to the activities of the IRA 3rd Tipperary Brigade during the War of Independence and he opposed the recruitment of Irishmen into the British army. Fr. Matt died in Oct. 1937, aged 93. Eamon De Valera and Sean T O’ Ceallaigh, both future presidents of Ireland, attended his funeral.
The schools history competition is a jointly funded initiative of the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Education in Northern Ireland. This joint cross-border initiative forms part of the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ commemorations which are being organised to mark the centenary of the many important historical events that occurred in the period 1912-1922.
The competition invited primary and post primary students from schools across Ireland to examine the impact of a particular event or person from the decade 1912–1922 on their local area. Out of the 182 projects received, 12 winners were selected by a three person panel chaired by Professor Mary Daly of University College, Dublin.
The overall winning project by Scoil Choilmcille, a primary school in Termon, Co. Donegal, is entitled ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary - The Mystery of the Medal’. The project focused on a WW1 medal that was discovered in Donegal but traced back by the pupils concerned to the Hynes family in Tipperary. The overall winning entry received book tokens in the value of €1,250 along with a year’s subscription to History Ireland. An edited version of the overall winning project will also be considered for publication in History Ireland. All of the 12 winning projects will be published on-line on the Scoilnet website (www.scoilnet.ie).