TYDAVNET ART STUDENT IN JAPAN

Frances Treanor, Tydavnet, with some of the souvenirs including a gold medal from her visit to Japan   Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Frances Treanor, Tydavnet, with some of the souvenirs including a gold medal from her visit to Japan Photo: © Michael Fisher

TYDAVNET ART STUDENT VISITS JAPAN FOR EXHIBITION OF HER WINNING SELF-PORTRAIT

Michael Fisher    Northern Standard  Thursday 9th July

From sushi to sukiakki and tempura, temples and umbrellas: all these were part of short stay in Japan recently by 18 year-old Frances Treanor from Drumdart, Tydavnet. The trip to Tokyo to represent Ireland in an art exhibition was one of the prizes she received for coming first in the Texaco Children’s Art competition in May, along with a cheque for €1500. Her self-portrait drawing done in black ballpoint pen was part of the 16th International High School Arts Festival along with some other Texaco award winners.  Around 400 works from fourteen other countries were included at the exhibition, namely Japan, Israel, Indonesia, Egypt, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Benin, Myanmar, Laos and Russia.

Frances was the guest of Japan’s International Foundation for Arts and Culture and was accompanied by her father, Sean. The exhibition ran from June 24th to July 5th at Japan’s largest art museum, the National Art Centre. Back at her home in Tydavnet she told me about her experiences in Japan, a country she said she would return to if she got a chance.

Her five days there introduced her to Japanese food such as tempura (fish and rice) for which chopsticks were used. She was served dishes of sushi and sukiakki and also got time to do some sightseeing. This included areas such as Harajuku, the Meiji shrine and Takeshita-dori street. She also visited a rural area a few hours outside Tokyo and saw a red panda being fed in the zoo. She noticed that the streets were very clean, as well as being busy and hectic. Everyone was carrying an umbrella, Frances told me, and there were special holders at the entrance to the museum where visitors could leave them.

Souvenirs from Frances Treanor's trip to Japan for an international art exhibition  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Souvenirs from Frances Treanor’s trip to Japan for an international art exhibition Photo: © Michael Fisher

The winning self portrait was completed by her in two weeks and was described by the chair of the judging panel, Professor Declan McGonagle, as having been executed “with the skill and delicacy of a master”. Frances featured among the prizewinners in 2012 when she won second place in her age category for her work “Lighting Up the Imagination”, which also featured in the Tokyo exhibition that year alongside a number of other winning Texaco Children’s Art paintings. She is one of seven children and is in her first year studying art at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, alongside her twin sister Maeve.

Described as a showcase for the world’s best young artistic talent, the purpose of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture event is to provide an international platform for young people to engage in their artistic exploration of the world and to nurture a broader understanding of the experiences and events that impact on the younger generation across different cultures. Some 10,000 students annually from different countries submit works to the festival.

Ireland's Ambassador to Japan Anne Barrington (left) with Frances Treanor at the exhibition of her self-portrait in Tokyo

Ireland’s Ambassador to Japan Anne Barrington (left) with Frances Treanor at the exhibition of her self-portrait in Tokyo

At a reception attended by the Irish Ambassador to Japan, Anne Barrington, Frances had to speak about herself and her work. She said she was truly honoured to have had her self portrait selected for first prize in the Texaco Children’s Art. She said she felt privileged to have it exhibited on an international stage in Tokyo. She expressed her thanks to the Foundation of Arts and Culture for making it possible for her to be there to participate in such a prestigious event. She explained that for her self portrait she had chosen black ballpoint pen and that previously she had had very little experience of using this medium, therefore it was a particular challenge as every stroke she made was permanent. She said she had been pleased with the finished piece and as she had a keen interest in portrait art, this event had encouraged her to continue to perfect her skill.  She conveyed her thanks to her friends and family, and to Texaco Art who had provided the platform for her to enter such a competition. Finally she thanked her art teachers at St Louis Secondary School in Monaghan, Teresa Mahony and Stephen Penders, who she said had always encouraged and developed her talent. Her next challenge, along with Maeve, is to design some artwork for the Tydavnet jamboree next month.

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TYDAVNET NS CELEBRATIONS

Past pupils Terry Cavanagh and Frances Treanor (Texaco Art Winner 2015) raising the second green flag at Tydavnet National School  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Past pupils Terry Cavanagh and Frances Treanor (Texaco Art Winner 2015) raising the second green flag at Tydavnet National School Photo: © Michael Fisher

SECOND GREEN FLAG FOR ST DYMPNA’S NS TYDAVNET 

Michael Fisher   Northern Standard  Thursday 18th June p.39

Two flags now fly proudly at the entrance to St Dympna’s National School in Tydavnet, marking their contribution to preserving the environment. In a special ceremony last week, past pupil and now successful video games designer Terry Cavanagh from Tullyvogey returned from England to raise the second Green Flag awarded to the school. He was assisted by another former pupil, Frances Treanor from Drumdart, who received national acclaim recently when she was overall winner of the Texaco Children’s Art competition.

Tydavnet National Shool Principal Fiona Connolly at the start of the Green Flag celebrations  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Tydavnet National Shool Principal Fiona Connolly at the start of the Green Flag celebrations Photo: © Michael Fisher

The Green Flags are part of a international scheme to encourage schools to develop action programme for reducing litter and waste and conserving energy. Green-Schools is an international environmental education programme, environmental management system and award scheme that promotes and acknowledges long-term, whole school action for the environment. At European level, Eco-Schools is operated by the Foundation for Environmental Education whose main partners include the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Pupils at Tydavnet National School celebrating the second Green Flag   Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Pupils at Tydavnet National School celebrating the second Green Flag Photo: © Michael Fisher

Green-Schools in Ireland is operated and co-ordinated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce in partnership with local authorities throughout the country, such as Monaghan County Council, and is sponsored by the Wrigley Company Ltd.

Over 3,800 primary, secondary and special schools in Ireland are currently participating part in the programme and 2991 schools have been awarded a Green Flag. The Irish Green-Schools programme is one of the most successful within the international network.

Pupils at Tydavnet National School celebrating the second Green Flag   Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Pupils at Tydavnet National School celebrating the second Green Flag Photo: © Michael Fisher

Green-Schools is a themed and seven-step programme. Schools undertaking the programme work through the seven steps one theme at a time. The themes in sequence are:

  1. Litter & Waste
  2. Energy
  3. Water
  4. Travel
  5. Biodiversity
  6. Global Citizenship – Litter & Waste
  7. Global Citizenship – Energy

The school drew up an action programme last year as part of their attempt to earn a second flag. Led by the principal Fiona Connolly and the Board of Management chaired by Peter Cavanagh, they applied to the Summer Works Scheme for funding to replace single glazed windows with double glazing in order to conserve energy.

Example of project work on Energy by pupils at Tydavnet National School  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Example of project work on Energy by pupils at Tydavnet National School
Photo: © Michael Fisher

At the start of the new school year last September, two members from Senior Infants were chosen to replace sixth class pupils on their action committee. The principal and senior pupils organised senior pupils to do door duty on the main door on cold or wet days to ensure the doors remain closed in order to retain heat as much as possible in the building. They also organised a low energy action day, and formed a ‘Switch it Off’ squad to monitor lights and appliances. Pupils were asked to write poems or draw pictures on the theme of energy conservation and these were displayed near the entrance to the school, along with a diagram showing the reduction in the amount of electricity the school had used over a twelve months period.

Example of Green Flag project work on Energy by pupils at Tydavnet National School  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Example of Green Flag project work on Energy by pupils at Tydavnet National School
Photo: © Michael Fisher

Among the snappy slogans the children came up with were:

“When you’re in bed, make sure all the energy is dead”, “Don’t waste energy”, “Energy misused cannot be excused” and “Switch the switch to slow down global warming”. The event was described succinctly in this report (published on the school website) by one of the pupils:  Caoimhe McCarra, 6th class, Secretary of Green Schools Committee

The Green Flag ceremony started at 11:00 sharp. Miss Connolly told Ben and I to start. Ben welcomed everyone and talked about what he does as Chairman of the Committee. I talked about what I do as secretary.  Mrs Slowey’s class did a poem called ‘Growing’ by Linda Hamill and sang a song called ‘Marvellous Things’. Mrs Meehan’s class said a poem called ‘Éirigí a pháistí’ and sang ‘An Brat Glas’. The Senior Speech and Drama class performed a wonderful mime. Miss Connolly’s class sang ‘Happy’ and a One Direction Medley.  Miss Connolly made a presentation to Mrs Mc Crudden because she is sadly leaving us at the end of the year. Peter Cavanagh said a few words on behalf of the Board of Management. He then called on his son Terence Cavanagh who came from London for the day! Terence showed us equipment he used to code and programme when he was our age. Miss Connolly got a massive shock the whole school kept secret from her! We made a card and everyone in the school signed it. She also got a lovely present. Mrs Finnegan got  a bunch of flowers. We then proceeded down to where the flag was being raised. We counted down 5-4-3-2-1 and up it went! Everybody got ice cream and sauce. We were delighted!

FIVE MONAGHAN WINNERS IN TEXACO ART

Frances Treanor from Tydavnet receives her prize from Arts Minister Heather Humphreys T.D. and James Twohig of sponsors Valero (Texaco).  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Frances Treanor from Tydavnet receives her prize from Arts Minister Heather Humphreys T.D. and James Twohig of sponsors Valero (Texaco). Photo: © Michael Fisher

TYDAVNET ART STUDENT’S WINNING PORTRAIT TO BE EXHIBITED IN TOKYO 

Michael Fisher   Northern Standard  Thursday 4th June p.1/2

Art student Frances Treanor from Drumdart, Tydavnet, a neighbour of mine. who won this year’s Texaco Children’s Art Competition, will travel to Japan later this month to see her stunning self portrait exhibited in Tokyo. At the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin last Thursday, 18 year-old Frances was one of five Monaghan entrants to collect their prizes. She was presented with a cheque for €1500 by local TD and Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys. Frances is the first person from County Monaghan to win the overall prize in the 61 years of the competition. Minister Humphreys told the 126 prizewinners and their families:

“The very inventive work on display here today is expressive, colourful and uplifting. The attention to detail is amazing. It shows us just what is possible when young people work to fulfil their creative potential. Being involved in the arts can have a hugely positive impact on schoolchildren. Young people who are active in the arts have been shown to perform better academically and go on to lead fuller and indeed more creative lives,” she added.

Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D. Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D. Photo: © Michael Fisher

The Minister paid particular tribute to Frances Treanor and said she was delighted to see the overall winner coming from her own county. Frances created her self-portrait using a single black Bic pen. She described the young artist’s piece as “incredible” and praised her painstaking attention to detail. “Your art is a labour of love for you”, she said. She wished Frances well on her trip to Japan to take part in an international exhibition. It will be hosted by the International Foundation for Arts and Culture in the Tokyo’s National Art Centre.

No doubt you will do Monaghan and Ireland proud, she told Frances, who was joined at the event by her twin sister Maeve, her neighbour and friend Helen Keenan from Drumcoo Woods, and her parents, Sean and Anne. James Twohig, Director Ireland Operations of Valero, the company that markets fuel in Ireland under the Texaco brand, also wished Frances well on her travels and said it would be a wonderful experience for her.

He praised all of the winners for their skill and enthusiasm and thanked the many teachers from schools throughout Ireland who had given their support to the competition throughout its 61 years. He thanked the judges, headed by the Director of the National College for Art and Design, Professor Declan McGonagle. Mr McGonagle said that it was a hard decision to choose a winner but he believed that Frances Treanor’s was the most impressive.

“What’s amazing is the effect which she’s produced. It’s quite remarkable when you look at it because it’s very hard to see how she got that effect with something as ordinary as a biro. It’s a demonstration of the skill, concentration, motivation, and commitment which goes into something like that,” he said.

Rachel McKenna, Scotstown, with her special award painting, "The Script -- Tired of Posing".  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Rachel McKenna, Scotstown, with her special award painting, “The Script — Tired of Posing”.
Photo: © Michael Fisher

Another Monaghan winner was 16 year-old transition year student at St Louis Secondary School Monaghan, Rachel McKenna from Scotstown. She received a special merit award for her entry called “The Script – Tired of Posing”.

Sophia Goodman from Killanny with her painting "The Nice Flowers" that won 3rd prize in Category E. Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Sophia Goodman from Killanny with her painting “The Nice Flowers” that won 3rd prize in Category E. Photo: © Michael Fisher

In the younger age groups, there was a remarkable success by three pupils from the same school near Carrickmacross, Scoil Naoimh Éanna in Killanny. Sophia Goodman, aged 7, came third in the 7-8 years age category. She won a €125 art voucher for her entry entitled “The Nice Flowers”. In the same category, Kate Norton (7) who painted “The Cute Kittens” got €50 and an art box while Grace Conlon (6) got €30 and an art box for her work “Bird Tunes”. Both received Special Merit Awards.

Kate Norton, Drumever, Killanny, receives her certificate from James Twohig of sponsores Valero (Texaco).  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Kate Norton, Drumever, Killanny, receives her certificate from James Twohig of sponsores Valero (Texaco). Photo: © Michael Fisher

Professor Declan McGonagle was assisted by a panel of judges including Dr. Denise Ferran (Artist & Art Historian), Eoin Butler (Artist & Lecturer in Visual Arts), Seán Kissane (Curator: Exhibitions, IMMA), Aoife Ruane (Director, Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery, Drogheda) and Colleen Watters (Head of Learning & Partnership, Ulster Museum, Belfast).

Grace Conlon, Lannat,  Killanny, receives her special merit certificate for her painting "Bird Tunes".   Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Grace Conlon, Lannat, Killanny, receives her special merit certificate for her painting “Bird Tunes”. Photo: © Michael Fisher

The Texaco Children’s Art Competition is the longest running sponsorship in the history of arts sponsoring in Ireland – and popularly regarded as Ireland’s longest-running sponsorship of any kind. It has an unbroken history that dates back to the very first Competition held in 1955. This year, as has been the case throughout its life, it has been a platform on which young artists have had their talents recognised and a springboard on which many have risen to national and international prominence. Aside from giving students the space to give expression to their talent and skill, the Competition has focused a spotlight on the quality of art teaching in Irish schools and the importance that the educational establishment attaches to the subject of art education.

Kate Norton's painting "The Cute Kittens" won a Special Merit award in Category E.   Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Kate Norton’s painting “The Cute Kittens” won a Special Merit award in Category E. Photo: © Michael Fisher

Past winners whose early interest in art and the arts may well have been encouraged by their participation in the Competition include artists Graham Knuttel, Robert Ballagh, Bernadette Madden, Dorothy Cross, fashion designer Paul Costello and former broadcaster and artist Thelma Mansfield. Other notable past winners include Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn TD (a four-times winner), PR guru and columnist Terry Prone, ICTU General Secretary David Begg, actress Jean Anne Crowley, musician Ethna Tinney, Trinity College Professor of Contemporary Irish History, Eunan O’Halpin and the late novelist Clare Boylan.

Grace Conlon's painting "Bird Tunes" won a Special Merit award in Category F.   Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Grace Conlon’s painting “Bird Tunes” won a Special Merit award in Category F. Photo: © Michael Fisher

MONAGHAN ACTRESS AT IFTA AWARDS

Caitriona Balfe: official photo from www.OutlanderTVNews.com

Caitriona Balfe: official photo from http://www.OutlanderTVNews.com

CAITRIONA BALFE AT IFTA AWARDS IN DUBLIN 

Michael Fisher  Northern Standard  Thursday 28th May p.1 and p.2

Caitriona Balfe who is currently filming a second television series of ‘Outlander’ in Scotland was in Dublin last weekend for the Irish Film and Television Academy film and drama awards. The Monaghan actress, who is from Tydavnet, began a very successful career in modelling at the age of 19. She featured in advertising campaigns for many top fashion brands and graced the covers of magazines such as Vogue and Elle. In 2009 Caitriona returned to her initial career choice in drama. She moved from New York to Los Angeles. spending her first year in the city taking acting classes. She appeared in the films Super 8, as the protagonist’s mother, Now You See Me, as Michael Caine’s character’s wife, and Escape Plan as the CIA lawyer that hires Sylvester Stallone’s character. In 2012 she portrayed Alex #34 in The Beauty Inside, a social film divided into six episodes which narrates the story of a man named Alex (Topher Grace) who wakes up in a different body every day. The following year she starred in the music videos for First Fires by British musician Bonobo, and for Chloroform by French band Phoenix. The actress was part of the main cast of the Warner Brothers web series H+: The Digital Series, in which she played Breanna Sheehan, one of the executives of a biotechnology company that develops an implanted computer which allows people to be connected to the Internet 24 hours a day.

In September 2013 Caitriona was cast as the lead character, Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser, on the Starz television series Outlander, based on the novels written by Diana Gabaldon. The series which was filmed in Scotland premiered in August 2014. She plays a mid-20th-century nurse who is transported back in time to the war-torn mid-18th-century Scottish Highlands. Both the series and her performance have received critical acclaim.

In December 2014 Entertainment Weekly named Caitriona Balfe as one of its twelve Breakout Stars of 2014.

In January it was announced that she had been added to the cast of the film Money Monster, directed by Jodie Foster and starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts. She will play the director of Public Relations of a company whose stock bottoms out, causing a man to lose all of his savings and subsequently take hostages on a live TV show.

In March 2015 she received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Actress on Television for her work in Outlander, the second series of which is currently being filmed. The following month she was named one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World”.

Caitriona was one of four to be nominated for Best Actress in a Lead Role Drama in the Irish Film and Television Academy Awards. The award went to Charlie Murphy for her performance in the RTÉ television drama Love/Hate. The Academy also announced that Caitriona would be among four talented new actors and actresses nominated for the Rising Star Award, sponsored by the Irish Film Board. The judges decided that the award should go to actress Sarah Greene for her performance in the film Noble. Last year’s winner was Jamie Dornan and Michael Fassbender won in 2009.

Caitriona was also invited to be a guest presenter at the IFTA awards ceremony last Sunday at the Mansion House in Dublin. Veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne complimented her on her appearance and her voice. The event was broadcast by TV3 and was hosted by Caroline Morahan.

Her parents, former Garda Sergeant Jim Balfe and his wife Anne, told the Northern Standard they were both delighted at the progress Caitriona had made in the world of film and television, and she had worked hard to achieve her objectives. At their home in Mullantimore they showed me a painting by Caitriona. She was then a 16 year-old student at secondary school in Monaghan, and her artwork won first prize in a Garda credit union competition in 1995, an early sign of her tremendous talent.

TYDAVNET STUDENT’S ART AWARD

Frances Treanor, Tydavnet (middle), is congratulated by  her parents Sean and Anne, her brother Ronan (left) and twin sister Maeve (right). Photo: facebook

Frances Treanor, Tydavnet (middle), is congratulated by her parents Sean and Anne, her brother Ronan (left) and twin sister Maeve (right). Photo: facebook

Celebrations in Dublin this afternoon by my friends and neighbours, the Treanor family from Drumdart, Tydavnet in County Monaghan. I was working away in The Northern Standard finishing the Carrickmacross pages when news came through of the great achievement by 18 year-old Frances Treanor, a former student at the St Louis Secondary School in Monaghan. She has won top prize of €1500 in the 61st Texaco Children’s Art Competition, which I remember from my own schooldays.

Frances Treanor (Tydavnet) Self-Portrait in Ballpoint Pen: Overall Prizewinner in Texaco Children's Art competition Photo: Texaco Art webpage

Frances Treanor (Tydavnet) Self-Portrait in Ballpoint Pen: Overall Prizewinner in Texaco Children’s Art competition Photo: Texaco Art webpage

Her entry was a self-portrait drawn with a ballpoint pen. Congratulations also to Rachel McKenna also from St Louis Secondary School who won a special merit award in the 16-18 year-old category for her entry ‘The Script – Tired of Posing’ and wins €150 and an art box. Well done Sophia Goodman, Scoil Naoimh Éanna, Killanny, Carrickmacross, who came third in the age group 7-8 years old and to Kate Norton of the same age group and school who received a special merit award for ‘The Cute Kittens’.

It’s a double national success for Monaghan as Sarah Leddy from Inniskeen won first prize in the 11-13 category in the Irish League of Credit Unions art competition two months ago. Clearly there are some very talented artists in this county.

UTV Ireland carried the story as did The Irish Times, and this is their report:

A self-portrait drawn with a ballpoint pen has taken the top prize at this year’s Texaco Children’s Art Competition.

Frances Treanor (18), from Tydavnet, County Monaghan, a first-year fine art student at the National College of Art and Design(NCAD), won the first prize of €1,500 in category A (16 to 18-year-olds) for her drawing, Self Portrait.

Judging panel chairman Professor Declan McGonagle,director of the NCAD, called it a very powerful work drawn with the skill and delicacy of a master. He said it was a fantastically realised self-portrait, with a very intense stare. “It is a delicate use of the medium. Nearly every single strand of hair is represented,” Professor McGonagle said.

It is the third time Ms Treanor has entered the competition. She won second place in her age category in 2012, and last year her entry was selected for the Texaco Art Competition calendar.

The 21 top prize winners across seven categories were announced at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin. Another 105 artists won special merit awards. The winners, ranging in age from five to 18, were chosen from 30,000 entries.

The competition, now in its 61st year, is the longest sustained sponsorship of art in Ireland.

“Each of you have achieved a very high standard, and you should be very proud of yourselves. I’d like to recognise the support that you received from your families, from your teachers and from the wider school community. And I’d like to acknowledge their commitment and encouragement that has helped to keep our competition so vibrant since 1955,” said Valero Ireland director James Twohig. The company markets fuel in Ireland under the Texaco brand.

This year, for the first time, one of the winning entries was made using digital technology. Oliwia Widuto (16), a student at Loretor College in Coleraine, County Derry, won the top category’s second prize of €1,000 for her work Gramps on Morphine.

“It doesn’t look like a digital work. It looks like a traditional work, but it’s done entirely through digital technology. It is a different kind of skill altogether, which is amazing as well,” Professor McGonagle said. The winners will receive their awards at a ceremony in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin next month.

The 21 top prize-winning pieces will remain on display upstairs in the Hugh Lane Gallery until Sunday May 31st. In August, all 126 pieces will be on display in the Cork Vision Centre and in the Highlanes Art Gallery in Drogheda.

Results: Overall winner: Frances Treanor, St Louis Secondary School, Monaghan

Age 16-18 : 1st, Frances Treanor; 2nd, Oliwia Widuto, Loreto College Coleraine; 3rd, Janné Strydom, Gorey Community School

Age 14-15: 1st, Vitaly Dergachev, Wesley College, Ballinteer; 2nd, Lucy Deegan, Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach, Carlow; 3rd, Cliona Fitzpatrick, Malahide Community School

Age 12-13: 1st, Nicole Forster, Wilson’s Hospital Secondary School, Multyfarnham; 2nd, Sadhbh Simpson, Loreto Dalkey Primary School; 3rd, Ethan Cheung, Bangor Grammar School

Age 9-11: 1st, Stephen Walsh, Ratoath Senior National School; 2nd, Orla Nolan, Newtown Dunleckney National School, Bagenalstown; 3rd, Charvi Goyal, Loreto Primary School, Rathfarnham, Dublin

Age 7-8 years: 1st, Laoise McDonald, The Paint Box, Barna, Co Galway; 2nd, Pippa McIntosh, Kinsale Art Academy; 3rd, Sophia Goodman, Scoil Naoimh Éanna, Carrickmacross

6 years and younger: 1st, Ciara Ward, St Malachy’s Primary School, Castlewellan; 2nd, Sean O’Reilly, St Anthony’s Boys National School, Ballinlough, Co Cork; 3rd, Poppy Love, Hansfield Educate Together National School, Huntsfield, Dublin

Children with special needs: 1st, Conor Marley, St Gerard’s School and Support Services, Belfast; 2nd, Róisín Murray, St Michael’s School Holy Angels, Chapelizod; 3rd, Michael Ahern, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Ballincollig, Co Cork

MONAGHAN SUNSET

Monaghan Sunset  Photo:  © Evelyn Fisher

                                                                Monaghan Sunset Photo: © Evelyn Fisher

Travelling back from Dublin to Monaghan late on Saturday afternoon, there was a most colourful sunset. I was driving along the N2 past the GAA county training ground at Cloghan near Castleblayney so I could not stop to capture the beautiful colours on camera.

Monaghan Sunset  Photo:  © Evelyn Fisher

                                                        Monaghan Sunset Photo: © Evelyn Fisher

The leafless tress were black shapes silhouetted against an orange background. A great scene for any landscape artist. Luckily my wife who was also driving to Monaghan had stopped her car and taken out her camera.

Monaghan Sunset  Photo:  © Evelyn Fisher

                                                            Monaghan Sunset Photo: © Evelyn Fisher

She managed to get these photos of the countryside close to Tydavnet. All photos © copyright Evelyn Fisher.

Monaghan Sunset  Photo:  © Evelyn Fisher

                                                             Monaghan Sunset Photo: © Evelyn Fisher

MONAGHAN ON SONG AT PROMS

My report from the RDS Arena in Dublin on Sunday. Northern Standard Thursday 5th February 2015.

MONAGHAN IN SONG AT PEACE PROMS 2015

Knockconan NS, Emyvale   Photo: © Michael Fisher

Knockconan NS, Emyvale Photo: © Michael Fisher

Eight national schools and five young musicians from County Monaghan contributed to a great spectacle of music and song at the Arena of the Royal Dublin Society at the weekend. On Saturday evening,  the Model School from Monaghan town took part in the Peace Proms 2015. On Sunday afternoon, seven Monaghan schools helped to form the large choir of schoolchildren performing at the same event along with the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland.

St Dympna's NS, Tydavnet  Photo: © Michael Fisher

St Dympna’s NS, Tydavnet Photo: © Michael Fisher

It was a major operation to get a total of 180 schools from different parts of the country distributed over four performances in the course of two days, usually with the same arrangement of songs and music on each occasion. The seven schools I met all had to leave Monaghan early on Sunday morning, in order to arrive at the RDS at 11.30am in time for a rehearsal. The massed choir and musicians practised together for nearly an hour and were then given a break for lunch. But half an hour before the 2pm performance they had to be ready to go back to take their seats on the stage.

St Joseph's Boys NS Carrickmacross with Principal Paul Fitzpatrick   Photo: © Michael Fisher

St Joseph’s Boys NS Carrickmacross with Principal Paul Fitzpatrick Photo: © Michael Fisher

Carrickmacross was represented by Bunscoil Lughaidh Naofa,  Cloughvalley, and St Joseph’s Boys’ National School,  Farney Street.  There were pupils and their teachers from Knockconan National School, Emyvale, and St Dympna’s National School, Tydavnet. There were also representatives from St. Louis Girls’ National School,  Park Road in Monaghan town; Scoil Mhuire,  Moys,   Clontibret  and also Scoil Mhuire National School, Latton, Castleblayney.  

The first half of the concert included favourites such as “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Climb Every Mountain”. In the second half the large audience was serenaded with “Ireland’s Call” and “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and several other popular songs.  

Bunscoil Lughaidh Naofa Carrickmacross with Principal Maeve Callan   Photo: © Michael Fisher

Bunscoil Lughaidh Naofa Carrickmacross with Principal Maeve Callan Photo: © Michael Fisher

The Peace Proms is a choral education project for Primary Schools devised and delivered by the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland.  Over 15,000 children from 300 schools participate in Peace Proms annually. It is not a “classical orchestra”. Their music  highlights the pop, folk and traditional cultures of the island of Ireland. They use all the instruments of a full symphony orchestra but include traditional instruments.

The five Monaghan members of the orchestra include two sets of siblings. Laura Rahill who plays the cello attends the St Louis Secondary School in Carrickmacross. Her brother Donal, a student at the Patrician High School, plays the violin. Tara Nic Giolla Seanáin from Clontibret is a harpist and attends Coláiste Oiriall in Monaghan, where she is in third year. Her younger sister Rossa is in first year and plays the violin in the orchestra. Their mother Eleanor Gilsenan, a teacher in Threemilehouse, is a member of the CBOI Parents’ Association. The fifth person from the county in the orchestra is another pupil from St Louis Secondary, Carrickmacross. Laura McKenna plays the flute. 

Scoil Naomh Mhuire,  Moys,   Clontibret  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Scoil Naomh Mhuire, Moys, Clontibret Photo: © Michael Fisher


Many of the CBOI’s commissions have been written by Brian Byrne who is recognised as one of Ireland leading contemporary composers and arrangers. The Belfast Peace Proms with schools from Northern Ireland are being held next Sunday 8th February at the Odyssey Arena. A similar event will also be staged in Limerick at the end of the month. 

Scoil Mhuire NS, Latton, Castleblayney  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Scoil Mhuire NS, Latton, Castleblayney Photo: © Michael Fisher


The Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland which runs the Proms was established in 1995 as a peace initiative and is now composed of 120 young people from all over Ireland – north and south. It encourages diversity through music and community. It is internationally recognised as one of Ireland’s flagship peace initiatives. The Orchestra is led  by some of Ireland’s top professional musicians including: conductor, Gearóid Grant, violinist, Patricia Treacy and tenor, Emmet Cahill.

St Louis Girls' NS, Monaghan  Photo: © Michael Fisher

St Louis Girls’ NS, Monaghan Photo: © Michael Fisher

This poem by 12 year-old Eimear Treanor, a pupil at Knockconan National School, from Faulkland, Glaslough, was awarded first prize in the Peace Proms 2015 poetry competition. Her parents received complimentary tickets for the concert at the R.D.S. Arena, in which Eimear participated.

PEACE  by Eimear Treanor:

Knockconan N.S., Emyvale, Co. Monaghan

For there to be peace in the world

There must be peace in the continents

For there to be peace in the continents

There must be peace in the country

For there to be peace in the country

There must be peace in the province

For there to be peace in the province

There must be peace in the county

For there to be peace in the county

There must be peace in the town

For there to be peace in the town

There must be peace in the village

For there to be peace in the village

There must be peace in the home

For there to be peace in the home

There must be peace in the heart. wpid-dsc_10202.jpg.jpeg

All but three are my photos. The one on the top right of the Model School Monaghan is copyright Rory Geary/Northern Standard. The top one is copyright Anamaria Meiu/Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland. Knockconan NS supplied the picture of Eimear Treanor.