Altan

 

Mairead and Frankie

 

The school is very proud of its association with the wonderful Traditional Irish Music Group, Altan. Both Mairead Ní Mhaonaigh and the late Frankie Kennedy taught in our school.  Mention of these two to any of our staff or the many parents who knew them,  will elicit a smile followed by a knowing nod and a remark that they were "just brilliant".

 Frankie's great strength was his wit.  There was a constant smile on his face, an impish grin which was a sign of the restrained mischief that underlay his every waking moment.   He could reduce the staffroom to howls of laughter with his one liners.  He had a joke for every occassion.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Mairead was a wonderful teacher, charming, caring, with a warm sensitive personality and talents in abundance.  She freely gave of her time for the school and the pupils, and, to her, each one of them was special.

The above picture was first published in"The Irish Times"

 

A Living Memorial

Despite knowing of his illnes, the school community was devestated on the morning of September 26, 1996 to learn of his death.  

As a memorial to the late Frankie Kennedy a tree was planted in our Garden of Peace.  In this area there are many trees to honour the memory of past staff and pupils.  The tree chosen for Frankie was a Wild Pear -  because of its association with the flute and flute making.  It many ways it was fitting that the wild pear was chosen because it summed up in a special way the lives of Frankie and Mairead while in the school.  They were wild about life and lived it to the full.

At the tree planting ceremony the Principal, colleagues and past pupils spoke of Frankie in very fond terms.  The inscription on the plaque was:

On the day of the planting ceremony over 400 of the school pupils, many past pupils and staff members put on a very special day-long marathon festival of music, song and dance.  There was a three fold purpose.  We wished to honour Frankie. We wished to celebrate his life in the way he enjoyed most, showing the joy and happiness that we can get from music, song and dance.   Thirdly we wanted to raise funds for cancer research and the Hospice Foundation.  We achieved our aims and had a marvellous day in the process.  Mairead and Altan's Dermot and Ciaran came and played for huge audience who had gathered.  It was at once a very poignant though terribly happy day.

 

Seasonal Changes in our Garden of Peace

Each season has its special place in our Garden of Peace, but the The Spring and Autumn are special time.  The Spring reminds us of the great pleasures we can have from the simple things like the petals on our flowering trees,  and as the seasons change and nature takes its course our pupils are reminded of the passing of time and the constant beauty that surrounds us with peace and joy and yet a sorrow for what is changing and moving on.  Man is but a moment on this planet and, thanking God for the opportunity, we must seize that moment and make it our own.  The Garden is always alive with the sounds and smells of nature and the children sense its special relevance in the life of the school.

Back to top

 

Homepage Celebrating 25 years The Altan Connection School News
School Calendar Parents Guide School Crest Old School
St. Sylvester's Parish US Links SLD Unit Malahide
School News Archives Picture Gallery