Bunscoil McAuley Rice and Coláiste Éamann Rís, Callan, enjoyed a visit by a representative from the Austrian Embassy to Ireland and Minister of State Malcolm Noonan as part of Europe Day celebrations on Monday.
Europe Day is held on May 9 every year to celebrate peace and unity in Europe. As we welcome families from the Ukraine into our community, it is more important now than ever before to highlight the importance of living and working together in peace.
Principal John Moloney of Bunscoil McAuley Rice has been principal for 20 years. He was very proud of his students.
“We have a fabulous school here, a wonderful school community, very vibrant staff and great parental support,” he said.
“Today, we have 26 different nationalities in our school, which really adds that special flavour to the school as well. Callan is a vibrant town, with a wonderful Secondary School project, starting in September with the establishment of Coláiste Abhrainn Ri, so it’s really a special place to be at the moment.”
Embassy representative, Austrian Trade Commissioner Dr Josef Treml said the events were a nice way to show that togetherness on Europe Day.
“It’s my first time in Kilkenny and I really enjoyed the exchange with the students. The secondary school had a lot of questions, not only about Europe itself, but also interests in the Balkans,” he said. “Europe Day is a good way to reach out to each other and discuss Europe and to think about what Europe brought to all of us,” said Dr Treml.
In Bunscoil McAuley Rice Ms Shelly’s second class took part in the Blue Star Programme. The Blue Star Programme teaches primary school pupils about European cultures and the EU through creative activities and projects which complement the national primary curriculum.
Minister of State Malcolm Noonan said it was a great privilege to welcome Dr Treml to Callan.
“We had a walk around all your European stalls, and they are just absolutely wonderful with colours and food,” he told students.
“The Blue Star Programme is a wonderful initiative and it’s really important more than ever to learn about our European neighbours. In particular we are mindful of our friends and family in Ukraine, and those from Ukraine in this school.
“This war is placing challenges across us all, but we are responding, and I think that is the wonderful thing about Europe, that we respond as a family, and we look after and cherish each other as a family.”
All classes have been learning about European countries this month in advance of Europe Day ‘VIP visits’ are a long-standing tradition of the Blue Star Programme where ambassadors and government representatives visit schools and speak to the pupils about their relevant field regarding Europe.
The VIP visits are a great opportunity to showcase the pupils’ work and knowledge as part of the Blue Star Programme and for pupils to learn about the EU in a practical, personable way.
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