Cary Meehan

Cary Meehan
Cary  Meehan,  Tree Project,  Creeslough  Scoil  Mhuire
Cary  Meehan  Felting,  Ballyraine  Ns
Cary  Meehan,  Edible Periwinkle  Coastal Habitats
Cary  Meehan,  Iron  Age Model,  Gartan  Ns
Cary  Meehan,  Megalithic Models,  Ballymore  Ns
Cary  Meehan,  Sundew Bog Habitat
Cary  Meehan,  Weaving,  Acres  Ns
Cary  Meehan, Local Heritage
Cary  Meehan, Wild Garlic
Cary  Meehan, Working As Archaeologists
Eamonn  Brennan 3
Science, History, Geography
Curriculum Strands:
Local Studies (History), Early people and ancient societies (History), Continuity and change over time (History), Environmental awareness and care (Geography/Science), Living things (Science)
Counties catered for:
Clare, Donegal, Kerry
Classes catered for:
All Classes

Book a Virtual Visit

School visits (virtual)

2021 is a special anniversary of the birth of St Columba in 521AD so Cary has chosen this topic once again for her second virtual visit.

Her first topic – Colmcille – fact & folklore - emphasised the stories about the saint in Donegal looking at traditions around sites in the local landscape. This is still available – just ask for Topic 1.

Topic 2: St Columba: life in the 6th century.

Classes: 3rd to 6th classes

Materials: Paper & pencils, coloured pencils or felt tips.

Session 1 (pre-recorded, 18 mins)

This is a photo-story exploring some of the events of Colmcille’s very full life as he travelled around Ireland to Iona and beyond. First & foremost a saint, Colmcille was also a poet, a scribe, a politician & a man with a big heart who was always prepared to work a miracle to fight injustice whenever he encountered it. Sometimes this got him into trouble….

There are pauses so the class can look more closely at life in 6th century Ireland, life without school as we know it; a life with too many poets; a diet of nettles & much more.

Children are then asked to:

1. Check out the Schools Folklore project & look for stories written by children from your school in the 1930s. These can be stories or traditions about Colmcille or other local saints. St Brendan the Navigator for example.

2. Ask at home for any stories about saints connected to sites in the area.

3. Write a poem about a place or a person you love, taking your lead from Colmcille.

4. Possible discussion topic: would Colmcille enjoy life in Ireland today?

Session 2 (live, approximately 1 hour)

Follow-up live session- a chance for the children to show what they have done & what they have learned. There will be a hands-on activity with Cary, finishing, depending on time, with a story or quiz.

Worksheets & teacher's notes:

  • Teacher support document includes a transcript of the recording with additional information and advice on when to pause the recording.

School visits (on-site)

Before each school visit Cary and the class teacher discuss the outcomes that the teacher hopes for the children. Cary can recommend sites local to the school for particular historic periods or particular wildlife habitats. She can also help children explore their own school grounds and set up projects to encourage biodiversity around the school. Topics include exploring biodiversity, healthy soil, water harvesting, composting, understanding the role of mini-beasts & making room for them as well as gardening in the school grounds.

Before visiting a historic site Cary and the children discuss the place they are going to visit using images, artefacts, timelines and the childrens’ own stories. This discussion makes their exploration more self-directed and absorbing when they get on site. Back in the classroom, Cary uses a variety of activities including drawing and model building to record and interpret what the children discovered at the site. Depending on the time available she can also teach the children traditional crafts such as carding, spinning, felting and clay work where appropriate.

Longer term projects are made possible through the 5-series visit.

Cary is the author of The Traveller's Guide to Sacred Ireland and has travelled around Ireland photographing and writing about the ancient monuments in our landscape. She is involved in the development of the Ards Walled Garden Community Project and this year (2017) is developing a childrens’ garden on the site.


  • "This is on second virtual visit from Cary and we have received a wealth of knowledge on St.Colmcille, our local saint. Cary shared so many wonderful stories and anecdotes from 6th century Ireland, using a variety of resources and sources to back up the lesson. Zoom visits have inspired the children to continue their learning on this topic and to create art and a project on the topic." - Ayr Hill NS, Ramelton, Donegal
  • "We enjoyed a really informative session with Cary about the life of Colmcille. The prerecorded video allowed for great discussion and learning before the zoom call itself, which included some art, storytelling and historical discussion where the children fit to share their thoughts and show their work." - Scoil Bhríde, Donegal
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  • "As usual Cary delivered an excellent lesson, all children were engaged and focused learnign about Early Christian Ireland. We made a Clay monastic settlement based on her lesson. She followed up by email after and sent extra resources to help with the lesson" - Gartan NS, Donegal
  • "A fantastic experience from beginning to end. Cary had all the hard work done with the trip well researched and was a fabulous guide working exactly at the level of the pupils. Local history came alive. There was a great mix of hands-on and listening. It was great to have a whole day of outdoor learning in November. Even after our trip Cary thought of us and sent on more maps so we could carry on our work and research."
  • "Carey was an excellent facilitator. The children learned a great deal from composting to planting seeds and transplanting seedlings, weeding and harvesting. they also had the opportunity to observe the lifecycle of the butterfly. Carey used age appropriate terminology, wonderful resources and ensured our school was involved in a local community project - the Walled Garden in Ards. It culminated in an open day where parents were invited to see the children's work."
  • "Carey was very imaginative, practical and knowledgeable in her field of expertise. She was very kind and patient when working with the children."
  • "Pupils and staff really enjoyed the nature of this visit. Cary was full of interesting information and facts. She drew knowledge from the pupils by using excellent questioning techniques. Pupils really engaged with the hands on element to the day."
  • "A fantastic day from start to finish. Cary is just a fountain of knowledge. Cary was extremely well organised and interacted very well with all pupils. A really enjoyable day." - Gartan NS
  • "Such an enjoyable day for the pupils. They learned so much and absolutely loved the day. We were blessed.with beautiful weather so it made the outdoors part even more enjoyable. The children were really hands on and got stuck into building the Minibeast hotel at the end of the day. Cary was really knowledgeable and had the patience of a saint with our very excited 2nd & 3rd pupils. Thank you to Cary & all in Heritage in Schools"
  • "Cary was fantastic. She is very knowledgeable and has a great rapport with kids. We are extremely happy with our visits to date." - Ballymore National School
  • "We had a wonderful day with Cary. We marked out a natural habitat of bog land on our school grounds. We planted lots of seeds etc. We transplanted some seedlings into the veggie garden. We examined the natural habitats of the school grounds."
  • "Pupils and staff really enjoyed the nature of this visit. Cary was full of interesting information and facts. She drew knowledge from the pupils by using excellent questioning techniques. Pupils really engaged with the hands on element to the day."
  • "Fantastic visit. Brought the topic to life for the children. Integrated so much including art/ drama/ science/history. Very knowledgeable expert with a wide range of expertise and resources." - Anon.
  • "Cary is the best local historian, a wealth of knowledge and able to capture children's attention and maintain focus on topic. We love Cary's relaxed and gentle manner, very professional and always willing to share resources! Always a plus!" - Gartan NS, Donegal
  • "An excellent experience for the school community. Cary is warm and child focused facilitator and a pleasure to work with." - Ballymore NS, Donegal
  • "We had a virtual visit with Cary Meehan which was excellent. Cary sent us fantastic resources and materials based on St Colmcille prior to the visit which included teachers notes and activities for the children to complete. They particularly enjoyed completing the artwork. The children were totally engaged throughout the presentation and enjoyed answering and asking questions afterwards. A huge thanks to Cary for her great work!" - Anon.
  • "History in the classroom brought to life via Zoom... well worth giving it a go. Wonderful presentations await" - Scoil Fhionáin
  • "A timely and relevant workshop facilitated by the Heritage in Schools Scheme, helping schools to learn more about the life of Colmcille, in this, the 1500th anniversary. Cary Meehan has a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm." - St Joseph's NS
  • "Cary really inspired the children about St. Colmcille, the use of visual materials and stories made the topic easy to understand. Cary has a lovely, gentle manner and is really interested in hearing the children's thoughts and views on topics. Well done Cary!" - Gartan NS

Additional Information

  • Caters for Special Needs
  • Provides practical/ hands-on activities
  • Provides field trips

Contact Details

Phone (Home):
074 91 38574
086 890 1497