Young historians bring past to life for competition

Cork students Troy Vallely, Oscar Twomey, Mark O'Leary and Darragh Walsh pictured with Minister for Training and Skills, Ciarán Cannon.

Future historians proved their worth in digging up the past in their efforts to win prizes in an all-island schools competition.

Among the entrants were students of Coláiste Choilm in Ballincollig, Co Cork, whose work on the Royal Munster Fusiliers and the regiment’s part in the First World War earned them a provincial prize. The fusiliers took part in many significant battles, including Gallipoli in Turkey and the Somme on the western front in France. Among the individual soldiers whose stories were recounted in the project by Mark O’Leary, Troy Vallely, Oscar Twomey and Darragh Walsh, were Victoria Cross medal winner William Cosgrove who showed extreme bravery at Gallipoli.

The Decade of Centenaries competition invited pupils from schools in the Republic and Northern Ireland to examine the impact of a particular event or person from 1912 to 1922. Among the prominent themes in over 180 projects were local involvement in the First World War and in the War of Independence, and related events.

The overall winners were a group of primary pupils from Scoil Cholmcille in Termon, Co Donegal, whose Mystery of the Medal project emerged as the judges’ favourite.

The top prize for Munster schools was awarded to pupils of Kilrossanty National School in Co Waterford, for their project about the impact of the First World War on their area.

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