John Ruddy - Heritage Experts | Heritage in Schools

John Ruddy

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Curriculum Strands:
Story (History), Local Studies (History), Early people and ancient societies (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Eras of change and conflict (History), Politics, conflict and society (History), Continuity and change over time (History)
Counties catered for:
Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo
Classes catered for:
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th

Book in-person visit

John D Ruddy is a writer, actor, illustrator, educator and YouTuber. Having worked as a Primary Teacher for years, John has created the multi-media series Manny Man Does History to help make history more accessible through fun illustrations and a bit of a sense of humour! John offers illustration workshops, history presentations, (fake) weapons demonstrations and much more!

Bringing John’s acting, teaching and drawing skills together, these fun interactive history presentations are a fun way to introduce or recap a period of history. The presentation is followed by an illustration tutorial, drawing a person from that time period and exploring the historical costume and how it was affected by their way of life. John can cover a myriad of history topics including The Easter Rising, The Irish War of Independence, The Irish Civil War, The Troubles, The American Revolution, The French Revolution, The Napoleonic Wars, The American Civil War, World War 1, World War 2, and the Cold War. Other topics are available upon request.

This workshop is a fun (slightly macabre) exploration of the evolution of European weapons and warfare throughout history, focussing in on the development and changing design of the sword throughout the ages. Using safe plastic representations of the various weapons such as the gladius, Viking longsword, Norman broadsword, rapier, smallsword, and sabre, we can begin to look at history in a new light, seeing the bigger picture, the grand tapestry of history and how it evolves over time.

Exploring local history is the foundation of any young mind’s journey into history. John offers guided tours through local historical sites, exploring the history around the site and working as a detective to work out what the site may have looked like in the past. John encourages children to think fourth-dimensionally, sharing our present space with the past.


  • "Very enjoyable, children were engaged and learned lots." - St Garvan's NS, Donegal
  • "Thoroughly enjoyed John's visit. He was excellent with the children and brilliantly informed on his subject area. Hope to work with him again in the future." - Scoil Chróine, Donegal
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  • "Excellent visit, the children want it every week!" - Killygarry NS, Cavan
  • "The visit was excellent, the children really enjoyed it and were throughly engaged." - Holy Family NS, Donegal
  • "John was absolutely fantastic. I would heartily recommend him to any school and we would love to have him back. He is really passionate about his subject." - Ardattin NS, Carlow
  • "The pupils we're very engaged by John and loved his presentation." - Farnham NS, Cavan
  • "My class really enjoyed the local heritage talk by John Ruddy. They were so engaged & responsive. John's knowledge was outstanding and the children really learned a lot from this visit. They would be delighted to participate again." - St. Mary's Boys' NS, Monaghan
  • "John had great knowledge and expertise in this area" - St. Mary's NS, Roscommon
  • "Fantastic engaging experience for the pupils and teacher alike!" - Scoil Cholmcille Newtowncunningham, Donegal
  • "John was so informative and motivated in his demonstrations and presentation of the topics covered. The children in turn were motivated, highly interested and engaged. They learnt so many interesting facts and we're able to make connections to local heritage sites through the use of John's stories. They're still talking about the stories hey heard." - Sessiaghoneill NS, Donegal
  • "We had a wonderful visit with John. He visited each classroom. His lessons were engaging, interactive and fill of energy." - Castletown NS
  • "Great variety of content. Children really engaged. Very enjoyable." - St.Eunan’s NS, Donegal

Additional Information

  • Provides in-person visits
  • Caters for special needs
  • Provides practical/hands-on activities
  • Provides field trips

Contact Details