Today I visited two of the three schools in the parish. Fr John visited the third.
Like many others, we attended Flag Raising Ceremonies in the schools for today had been designated as the day when the Tri Colour would be raised in our schools. Some months ago, members of the Defence Forces visited every school in Ireland and presented a copy of the Proclamation and our National Flag.
In Kilkelly school, I was very taken by the Principal’s referencing the fact that though the school numbers are small, there are children there born in many different countries. I think he said that in one class there is one child who was born in Kilkelly, one in Egypt, another in Dubai, one in Poland and two in England. He made the point that such diversity was not the norm 100 years ago. How right he is. It is to this diversity we look for the shaping of the Ireland of 2016 and beyond.
In Kilmovee the children read the Proclamation and I was very taken by their delivery of that solemn and far reaching message. They read it in parts and I thought that so appropriate as its message may well be too much for any one person. The variety of voices, the passing from one to the other seems so appropriate.
I could not help but reflect the Proclamation began and ended with reference to God and the invocation of His name and assistance. Could not help but wonder how many political statements would be so encircled today? Closeness to God, not least in the face of uncertainty seems well placed.
We had lovely music and poetry in both places and the point was made that three of those who died in 1916 were poets. Out of their minds and hearts were born lyrics that have endured.
That we may search for the poet within ….