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Ministers O’Dowd and Quinn launch ‘Decade of Centenaries’ all-island schools history competition

Education Minister, John O’Dowd MLA, and his southern counterpart, Ruairí Quinn TD, today jointly launched the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ all-island schools history competition.
Thursday, 10 October 2013

The competition invites primary and post-primary students from schools across Ireland to submit a project that identifies a particular event or person from the decade 1912-1922. It should examine the impact of that event or person on their local area. The project can be submitted by a class, a group of students or an individual student.

The projects will be assessed by a three-person panel chaired by Professor Mary Daly of University College, Dublin. There will be three winning projects from each province, with at least one prize in each province reserved for primary pupils. All winning projects will receive book tokens and will be published on the scoilnet website.

The overall winning entry will also receive a year’s subscription to ‘History Ireland’. An edited version of the overall winning project, or a selection of extracts from the winning entries, will also be considered for publication in ‘History Ireland’.

This joint cross-border initiative forms part of the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ commemorations which are being organised to mark the centenary of the many important historical events that occurred in the period 1912-1922.

Minister O’Dowd pointed to the benefits of the all-island schools history competition for students and said: “By assessing the impact of an event or person from that decade on their local area, it will enrich students’ understanding of how historical events can impact on the everyday lives of ordinary people.

“This is something that cannot be overlooked if we are to fully appreciate how events in the past have influenced, and often continue to influence, the development of modern political, cultural and social life across this island.”

In launching the event, Minister Quinn highlighted the importance of the ‘Decade of Centenaries’.

He said: “The legacy of the events of that period, including the 1916 rising, the War of Independence, the Government of Ireland Act and the signing of the Treaty, were pivotal in the formation of the political landscape as we know it today.

“It is appropriate that these events are commemorated and that this is done in as inclusive a way as possible so that their impact on the different traditions on this island can be understood and respected.”

The deadline for receipt of completed projects is 4 April 2014. Further details on the competition are available on the DE website.

Notes to editors:

  1. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect website for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  2. View photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection.
  3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.