1916 Centenary Commemorations

1916 logoIreland 2016 is the State’s Centenary Programme to commemorate the 1916 Rising. It encompasses a broad spectrum of seven key strands in honour of the seven signatories of the 1916 Proclamation, including State Ceremonial, Historical Reflection and Community Participation. Óglaigh na hÉireann, the Defence Forces, will play a key role in representing our citizens and ensuring the success of Ireland 2016.


Find out more on of the Ireland 1916 Centenary Website

In all Irish schools, to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising and to celebrate 100 years since the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, the Government tasked Óglaigh na hÉireann with delivering a National Flag to every Primary School in the country.


Members of the Depence Forces came to St Francis NS on September 16th to hand over the Irish Flag and to read the 1916 Proclamation.  They explained to our pupils the meaning of the flag and the proclamation and answered questions.

Check out the short video on YouTube here

We had a lovely ceremony on Tuesday March 15th involving the whole school community – pupils, staff, parents and grandparents, neighbours and friends – which culminated with the raising of the National Flag and singing our National Anthem, Amhrán na bhFiann.

We also had performances from some of our pupils, and the proclamation was read.

Below is the text of the Speech made by Mrs Whately and Mrs Flack

On behalf of all the staff and pupils of St. Francis National School we would like to welcome you all to our 1916 Commemoration Day. Before we begin we want to run through some house-keeping. In the event of an emergency can you please note your nearest exit and depart the school building calmly and quickly and assemble in the staff car park. We would ask that you leave your child with their class teacher throughout the day. If you are taking photographs today, please be mindful of how you share these photographs/videos if other children are in them.

Today we are also celebrating our intercultural day as we believe that our country has welcomed so many new nationalities and we have embraced this. Our main theme for the planning of today was to acknowledge the past and the freedom of Ireland but also to look to the future of Ireland and how these nationalities shape the future of our country as Irish citizens.

In September, Kevin Flanagan who is a member of the Irish Defence Forces visited our school and presented us with an Irish flag and a copy of the old proclamation. Every school in Ireland were given the task of creating their own proclamation for future Ireland and were asked to raise their Irish Flag at 12pm today the 15th of March. So here we are! Our Commemoration Day will entail a range of activities both inside and out. We hope you enjoy all we have planned for you today.

Just to give you an outline of the running order of events of today.

To kick things off we will have a presentation from 4th, 5th & 6th   Class children on what they have learned on the 1916 Easter Rising.

 Followed by representatives from each class to read our new St. Francis Proclamation.

1916 celebration day St Francis 024

The 2016 Proclamation of St Francis NS, Blackrock – Framed and displayed in the school Reception Area

We will then ask you all to move outside for our Flag Raising ceremony.  Fr. Keenan will say a prayer to remember those who contributed to the1916 Rising and we will have a minute silence to honour them.  Then followed by Amhrán na bhFiann sung by all while the flag is being raised.

Roisin Brayden will play the cello as we move to the adjacent green for our Tree Planting Ceremony

Once back in the hall, tea will be served and light refreshments will be served in Room 2 (Junior Infants Classroom).

Children can be collected from their classroom when you are ready. Please ensure the teacher is aware the child has been collected.

The children across the school have been working so hard to prepare for today, between learning new songs, drawing, colouring and cutting leaves with their wishes for future Ireland for our wishing tree that you can see to your right.  All these wishes have formed our new St. Francis National School Proclamation. We would like to thank all the parents who completed the family homework sheets that are proudly displayed in the hall today. There are some fabulous ideas and beautiful new Irish flags.

The Senior end of the school have been working hard on 1916 projects, novels and art work that is displayed in the school today.  I would now like to call on some children from 4th, 5th and 6th to tell you about what they have learned about the 1916 Easter Rising.

I would like to call the representatives from each class to read out our new proclamation.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff and children of our school. The hard work and support you have all given has been amazing. The 5th and 6th class children have been excellent role models by helping to prepare for today. If you look around at the fabulous art work throughout the school, you will agree that we have very talented children in this school.

Thank you to the 1916 committee for your time to meet with us to plan and discuss the events for today. We are extremely grateful for all your help and support.

Thank you to Haggardstown Garden Centre for donating the Oak tree we will plant to mark this special day.

Thank you to David Norton for his expertise and time in taking an aerial photo of our 1916 logo proudly created by the children, teachers and parents.

Thank you to Paula Clarke for taking the time to capture our special day so we have lots of memories for years to come.

Let’s move outside now for our flag raising ceremony and tree planting. We hope you enjoy the day. A little quote we would like to leave you with…..no matter where you are from, or what you do. We are all here today to mark this special event and always remember we all smile the same language. Déanaimid uile gáire sa teanga chéanna.

*  *  *  See many more photos in our full 1916 Commemoration Day gallery *  *  * .

Our Centenary Flag flying at St Francis NS - 15th March 2016

Our Centenary Flag flying at St Francis NS – 15th March 2016

Thank you to all involved in making this a very memorable and special day for our students.