President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, visited St. Macartan’s College on Wednesday,
Feb 18th to mark an innovative Monaghan Collegiate School /St. Macartan’s College,
Peace III project.
During the last eighteen months, Transition Year students from both schools came
together to study the involvement of people from North Monaghan in World War 1. Working
under the direction of History teachers Ms. Wendy Sloan (Monaghan Collegiate School)
and Mr. Dermot Mc Aree (St. Macartan’s College) and assisted by Ms. Grace Maloney
at the Clogher Historical Society, the students involved, had an opportunity to meet
on a regular basis to develop their project and plan a trip to Belgium during which
they visited some of the locations encountered during their research.
President of Ireland, Mary McAleese met the students at a special event held in the
Sports Hall at St. Macartan’s College. This event saw both school communities coming
together to mark the project and joining in an ecumenical prayer of thanksgiving
for peace in Ireland. This prayer was led by Bishop Joseph Duffy and Bishop Michael
Jackson, who officially launched the Monaghan Collegiate School /St. Macartan’s College,
Peace III project in November 2009.
A book researched and published by local historian Kevin Cullen, containing the names
of every person from Co. Monaghan who died in the First World War was presented to
the President, while the students who took part in the project outlined the findings
of their research. As part of this event the names and places of birth of over 500
people from throughout Co. Monaghan who left to fight and die in World War 1 was
on display at this event.
The student body from both schools were present as were the staff and Boards of Management,
Trustees, Parents Committees and Public Representatives. The President in her address
congratulated the students and hailed the initiative and leadership in both schools
to undertake and complete such a magnificent project. She encouraged all never to
take peace for granted and hoped that the celebration of all the upcoming anniversaries
of times in history will not be a cause for further divisiveness and a resurgence
of our toxic past.