Holy Family SNS, River Valley, Swords earns third National Award in 3 years.
Following on the schools success in being crowned All Ireland Primary School “Mathletes” champions in 2015 & 2016, Holy Family SNS gained a third National recognition for 2017 when being awarded a “Gaelbhratach” Gael Linn Flag for excellence in the use of the Irish language throughout the school during the 2016- 2017 school year.
The Gaelbhratach flag was presented to the school by Mr. Joe Mc Hugh, T.D. Government Chief Whip and Minister for the Gaeltacht at a ceremony held in the school on Wednesday 27th.
Welcoming the Minister to the school, Principal Mr. David O’Keeffe, complimented the Minister on his own achievement on becoming fluent in Irish, having only seriously started studying the language less than 3 years ago. He reminded the children that this showed that, if they really wanted to, they could all become fluent like the Minister and use as much of the language as possible during their daily lives at school and elsewhere.
Speaking to the pupils, teachers and parents representatives Minister McHugh commended the school, the pupils & their teachers on its achievement in winning the Gaelbhratach award. Commenting on the fact that the school caters for children from more than 40 different nationalities, all with their own language, the minister advised the pupils to compare one another’s languages and to develop a love of language and in particular their own language which he said was a very important link with their culture, their history & their past. He asked the children to continue with their efforts to use whatever Irish they had on a daily basis in their school lives and to keep up the good work which had seen the school win this very prestigious and important award.
To illustrate their new found fluency in the language the children performed a unique Irish language version of a Kodaline hit song “All I want”, called “Le Cheile” for the Minister. (Kodaline lead singer, Steven Garrigan & Guitarist Mark Prendergast are past pupils of the school) and they finished off the ceremony with a rousing version of Amhrain na Bfhiann.
The school which has more than 700 pupils from 3rd class to 6th class is now starting its third year of the Gaelbhratach programme and hopes to further enhance the level of Irish being used on a daily basis by staff and pupils.
The ceremony was attended also by members of the schools very active parents association who this week are organising the Annual “Virtual Cycle Around Ireland” fundraiser where pupils cycle a cumulative 2,050 Kilometre route around Ireland to raise funds for Educational & practical equipment for the school.
It was a joint suggestion from the Parents forum and the Staff which led to the school taking on the “Gaelbhratach” Challenge and commenting after the ceremony Parent’s association Chairperson, Nina Johnson said “ The parent body are absolutely thrilled with the award and congratulate both the Children and Staff of Holy Family SNS on their fantastic achievement”.
Sept. 28th. 2017.

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