Flag Day 2023 & the 175th Anniversary of the first flying of the Irish Flag on 7 March 2023
Flag Day 2023 was launched at Leinster House at the annual awards ceremony on monday 3rd october with support from ambassadors Packie Bonner, Henry Shefflin, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, Sanita Puspure, Stephanie Roche and Zak MoraDI.
Second level schools are invited to register for NATIONAL FLAG DAY activities running up to 16 March 2023 and to enter the Thomas F. Meagher Awards and Scholarships Programme.
A national programme of activity to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the first flying of the Irish Tricolour Flag by Thomas F. Meagher over 33 the Mall, Waterford on 7 March, 1848 was launched at Leinster House.
Highlights in the programme will include a flag presentation to Government leaders, with students and educators from hundreds of secondary schools, in Waterford on the 6 March 2023.
The aim of the Thomas F. Meagher Foundation, co founded in 2013 by Church of Ireland Reverend Michael Cavanagh and Senator Mark Daly Cathaoirleach of Seanad Eireann is to educate school children that the Irish Flag. The foundation’s work is supported by fantastic ambassadors including Packie Bonner, Henry Shefflin, Sanita Puspure, Colm Cooper, Niamh Briggs, Zak Moradi, Stephanie Roche, Mickey Ned O’Sullivan and former Chief of the Irish Defence Forces Mark Mellet, who is an honorary board member of the foundation.
As part of National Flag Day 2023, second level students throughout the country are invited to participate in a flag raising ceremony at their own schools on National Flag Day, 16 March. Flag Day resource packs, which include educational resources for teachers and students, as well as a complimentary Irish Flag, will be delivered to registered schools nationwide.
Schools participating in Flag Day can also enter the Foundation Awards and Scholarships Programme by submitting an entry, for example an essay, poem, song, TikTok, drawing etc. expanding on the theme that the Flag’s message of pride, respect and peace can be put into practice in modern day Ireland. The Foundation is also a proud Challenge Partner of Gaisce -The President’s Award.
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The annual Awards & Scholarship Presentation Luncheon October 2022
The Foundation was thrilled to be back with our first AWARDS CEREMONY to take place since 2019.
On Monday 3rd October student winners, their teachers and families gathered together with members of our Honorary Board and Flag Day Ambassadors Footballer Stephanie Roche and Irish Hurler Zak Moradi for a presentation lunch hosted by Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann Senator Mark Daly Co-Founder and Honorary Board Member of the Thomas F. Meagher Foundation.
20 Students from Cork, Kerry, Galway, Dublin, Kildare and Monaghan were presented with a commemorative award following their prize giving last May when they won their respective categories for their creative and talented submissions to the Awards & Scholarship. thie annual awards is a special element of the annual Flag Day Schools Programme which seeks to foster personal development and achievement amongst young people.
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Awards & Scholarship 2022 Winners
Awards & Scholarship winners
"We of the Thomas Meagher Foundation were delighted with the number and quality of the entries to the Scholarship and Awards programme 2022. It is clear that the young people of Ireland are increasingly aware of the meaning and relevance of the Flag's symbolism in this decade of commemoration. The message of Unity and Peace was expressed with real creativity in each of the award categories - and it was particularly pleasing to see the number of entries from people from other birth nations who were eager to identify with Meagher's vision”.
Michael Cavanagh, Chair
donal, hakim, olumide, wiktor - nagle community college, mahon, cork
The overall winning entry is a song: 'Children of the Flag' Written and performed by three 6th year students: Donal Ojiekhudu, Hakim Ali and Olumide Ogunlela from Nagle Community College Video filmed and edited by 6th year student Wiktor Owczarek. Available at the following youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgZRSj-M-Dk
Best overall entry senior cycle
jan ronan macatangay, coláiste muire mathair, galway
The Irish flag means and symbolises countless things to me. When I think about it in 2022, there are many pictures and words that come to my mind regarding it.
At the bottom on the art piece, we notice many different flags and hands of different races and ethnicities. This resembles unity and inclusion of many different countries and nationalities now living and working in Ireland. Today, I see an Ireland that fully embraces its diversity. It is at the bottom of the art piece as it portrays the foundation and the pillar of Ireland.
On the right, we see construction and roadwork. This symbolises how Ireland built itself into a wealthy and thriving country today. In the past Ireland went through great hardships and economic depressions in its history including the Famine, the 1930s Economic War, and the 1950s was an era known as ‘the disappearing Irish’.
On the left, we lay our eyes upon the much-talked about Covid-19 pandemic. We see a sense of intuition and innovation with the creation and distribution of vaccines in Ireland. Above that we also have famous drawings of traditional Irish emblems. These include the shamrock, the harp, the 4 leafed shamrock and of course hurling, Ireland’s famous sport.
Back to the middle of the poster, above the unity symbol we can spot a white dove. This white dove portrays peace in Ireland (which is what the white in the Irish flag also resembles.) The white dove also shows that Ireland and Irish people are pacifists and a friendly nation.
In front of the Irish flag we have our front line workers. These are the essential people without whose tireless efforts and hard work, we may have not entered 2022 safely or happily.
These front line workers include the medical workers, the Irish military and the Gardaí of Ireland. They stand in front of the flag because they are proud of their accomplishments and how they serve Ireland.
Last but most importantly, we notice the sun at the very top of the drawing. The bright sunset portrays the entirety of Ireland and its people. The sun peeking over the flag and everything resembles the hope and strength of the Irish during everything that we have experienced and gone through from the famine times to the current pandemic. Without our hope and strength, Ireland and its flag wouldn’t have flown quite so high. I am so proud of its impact on the world today.
This is what the Irish flag means to me in 2022.
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