Ode to a local hero - Project | Heritage in Schools

Ode to a local hero

Clogagh Ns
Timoleague Ns
Gurraneasig Ns
John Spillane
Muinefinche Ns 2
Aine Brosnan
Various Cork schools

This competition developed from a practice I had been carrying out in my workshops through the Heritage in Schools Scheme. If we were visiting a stone circle or a castle I would get the children to imagine what life would have been like at the site; to image the smells, the sounds and the hustle and bustle. Depending on the site I would then get them to think about a great warrior, a king or a saint and back in the classroom we would write a poem celebrating their great deeds. I wanted to develop this idea further and investigated the idea of a school competition to write a poem/song about a heroe of old. Singer song-writer John Spillane liked the idea and agreed to judge the entries.

The Heritage Council invited schools in County Cork to nominate a local heritage site they would like to visit and 14 shortlisted schools visited their preferred site with me to learn about the people who lived, worked and played there. With my help the children composed and recorded an ‘ode’ to a great hero of old. The recordings were sent to John Spillane to judge and three winning school received a workshop with John to develop and perform their song. Creative Ireland funding was secured through Cork County Council to cover the school’s portion of the cost of a visit with the balance payable through the Heritage in Schools Scheme thereby.

The shortlisted schools and the sites visited were:


Local heritage site visited

St Killian's

Cork City Gaol

Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin

Ballincollig Castle.

Gurraneasig NS

Ancient abbey of Timoleague

Muinefliuch NS

Knocknakilla Stone circle

St. Colman's NS

Youghal Clock Tower

Timoleague NS

Franciscan Abbey

Scoil Naomh Eltin

'The Kinsale Giant'

Dromore NS

The Murdering Glen

Ballydehob NS

Dun na Sead Castle

Scoil Fhiachna

Garnish Island

St Colman's BNS

Kanturk Castle

Scoil Cholmcille

Cork City Walls

Clogagh NS

Our local stone row

Dromahane NS

Mallow castle

Three winning Odes were picked and John visited the winning schools and helped the children to turn their Ode into a song.

The three winning songs and a fourth from Timoleague NS which was 'highly recommended' were performed on Wednesday 26th June at the County Hall.

Check out the performances here:

Clogagh NS - Ode to a Local Hero of Old

Gurraneasig NS - Ode to the King of Bees

Muinfinche NS - Ode to Fionn of Knocknakilla

Timoleague NS - Ode to Tigh Molaga