DUBLIN, IRELAND – Multicultural School Wins Top Award in Anti-Racism Competition
A multi-denominational secondary school with students from 26 different countries around the world including Israel, Thailand, Argentina, Iran, Philippines, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria and the Congo, was presented with an award today (20.04.15) for its outstanding work on tackling racism. St. Tiernan’s Community School, based in Balally, Dublin 16, accepted the ‘overall winners’ award in the annual creative competition run by the Show Racism the Red Card charity.
The competition calls for young people to develop creative messages about racism and integration using written, visual and audio-visual means. It is open to primary schools, secondary schools and youth groups and, this year, received over 200 entries. The project St.Tiernan’s entered included an anti-racism rap, written by their first-year students; an anti-racism movie trailer and a dance performance by the schools newly-founded peace soldiers. To ensure their message reached as wide an audience as possible, the pupils and their teacher, Ms. Brett, uploaded their videos to YouTube, where they have received nearly 1,000 views.
Speaking at the awards, Ms. Brett, a Religion teacher at St.Tiernan’s, said: “It can be quite challenging to inspire the students and get them interested in certain things. However, they have absolutely loved taking part in the Show Racism the Red Card competition, and ran with it like nothing before. I started with just one first-year group and soon it became a whole school effort. I am thrilled for the students that all their hard work, creativity and determination to spread the message that racism must be given the red card, has culminated in this award.”
At today’s awards ceremony, the St. Tiernan’s pupils received their ‘overall winners’ prize from the Minister of State for Equality, New Communities and Culture, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD.
Minister Ó Ríordáin – who is a former Board member of Show Racism the Red Card – said: “As a former school principal, I appreciate how education initiatives like those run by Show Racism the Red Card are vital in ensuring that racism plays no part in our future.
The creative competition is a great channel for young people to use their creativity and passion to tackle a serious issue that they feel strongly on. I have been thoroughly impressed by the artwork, poems, songs and dances that I’ve witnessed today. I’d like to applaud all who have taken part, especially those who have travelled a significant distance to be here.”
In addition to Minister O’Ríordáin, a number of well-known sports personalities were present at today’s event. St. Patrick’s Athletics player Conan Byrne, Longford Town striker Don Cowen and former pro-boxer Oisín Fagan were amongst those who participated in a panel discussion on racism, chaired by sports presenter Darragh Maloney. Eleanor Mallon of Antrim GAA was also in attendance, along with over 500 young people from schools and youth services around the country.
Dublin senior footballer Ciaran Kilkenny – the Gaelic Players Association ambassador for Show Racism the Red Card – took time to commend all the schools who took part: “I’d like to congratulate the hundreds of young students from all over Ireland who participated in the Creative Competition. The entries are a tribute to the work of Show Racism the Red Card and the many teachers who are working tirelessly to promote social inclusion and tackle racist abuse in all its forms through education. The standard of entry reveals the levels of social awareness amongst young people and how the anti-racism message is being conveyed strongly through our schools which is very encouraging.
As a sportsman I’m delighted to be involved today and to assist in the ongoing work of Show Racism the Red Card, particularly harnessing sport as a vehicle to promote respect both on the field and in society in general.”
The list of main prize-winners from the event was as follows:
- Overall award: St.Tiernan’s Community School, Dublin 6
- Primary-school category: Caherline National School, Co.Limerick
- Second-level category: Douglas Community School, Co.Cork
- Youth group category: Involve Youth Serivce
Elaine O’ Sullivan, a teacher in Maria Immaculata Community College, Dunmanway, also received a special award from the Minister for her dedication to eliminating racism. Ms O’Sullivan has entered the creative competition with her class group every year.
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