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The Defence Forces proudly assisted with the presentation of flags and proclamation packs to approximately 6000 secondary school representatives today in collaboration with the Ireland 2016 programme and the Thomas Francis Meagher Foundation. This is in addition to the 3200 primary schools nationwide that received packs under the Flags to Schools initiative since September. The Defence Forces provided a Presidential Escort of Honour by 2 Cavalry Squadron, a Captain's Guard of Honour by the 12th Infantry Battalion, Music by the Army No 1 Band and the packs were delivered to school by prominent sports people that are members of the Defence Forces; 9 time camogie All Star Corporal Gemma O'Connor (Cork), Kilkenny hurling stars Major General Kieran Brennan, Corporal Paul Murphy, Private Colin Fennelly and national handball champion Ordinary Mechanic Robbie McCarthy (Westmeath) of the Irish Naval Service, currently ranked number 2 in the world. Other civic and sports personalities present today with historical links to the War of Independence included Ryan Tubridy, Packie Bonner and John Treacy.

The delivery of these packs today will assist secondary schools participate in Proclamation Day on the 15th of March, where schools are encouraged to use their packs to hold small flag raising ceremonies and recite and engage with the Proclamation, bringing a deeper understanding of our national identity to the next generation of Irish men and women, and indeed a new generation of multi cultural Irish.

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