Registration Campaign is launched to register Secondary Schools across the State.
16th November, 2020
The Thomas F. Meagher Foundation National Flag Day registration campaign was launched this week by Packie Bonner, Henry Shefflin, Sanita Puspure and Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu.
The Foundations Annual Flag day takes place on March 16th, 2021, the eve of St Patrick’s Day. This year the foundation hopes to register every secondary school in the State. The Campaign runs from November 16th to 30th and includes radio advertisements and media appearances to encourage every secondary school Principal to register their school.
Listen to our advertisement featuring Sanita Puspure here:
Listen to our advertisement featuring Packie Bonner here:
A key aim of the Foundation is to educate young school going adults that the Irish Flag is a statement of intent. It holds aloft our aspirations to be a peaceful country where all traditions are respected and reconciled. Thomas Francis Meagher when designing the flag said that the white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between the orange and the green and that Catholics and Protestants hands should clasp together in friendship and brotherhood.
This lesson is even more valuable in modern Ireland. The Thomas F. Meagher foundation promotes pride in and respect for the Irish Flag and its meaning for peace in particular among young people irrespective of ethnicity, creed or gender.
The Chairman of the Foundation, Church of Ireland Reverend Michael Cavanagh, whose namesake believed to be his great great uncle, wrote the first biography of Thomas Francis Meagher said “Our nationwide network of schools continues to grow but this year, especially recognising the challenges of Covid19 we hope to reach out to all schools in Ireland. We also realise how hard hit many charities and local organisations have been this year as a result of covid19. Our free fundraising packs including tricolour lapel pins will allow schools to raise money for charities and local or international causes of their choosing”.
All schools that register for the Thomas F. Meagher Flag Day will receive:
- Free Irish Flag lapel pins to raise funds for a charity or local community project of their choice.
- Lesson plans devised by the Irish History Teachers Association included each March in a special education supplement published in the Irish Independent
- An Irish Flag which has flown at 33 the Mall Waterford (Home of Thomas F. Meagher), for each school’s flag raising ceremony.
- Promotional material to use on Flag day 2021
- Entry information for the Foundations Awards and Scholarships programmes.
Recent European Gold Medal Rower Sanita Puspure spoke of her involvement with the Foundation "As an adopted Irish citizen, I instantly felt welcomed into this Nation and found myself completely at ease here, absolutely certain that myself and my husband would be able to work and live comfortably here because of the number of opportunities available to us. As such, I am tremendously proud of Ireland, and the flag, in my eyes, carries an important message of togetherness and collaborative effort in pursuing goals.”
Packie Bonner said “I am involved in the Foundation and this campaign as I believe that learning about the history of our National Flag will help young school going adults to appreciate that peace and diversity is and always has been the key to a healthy society. In the Irish teams I played on the flag brought us and supporters together no matter where we travelled to. We had a very diverse group with different backgrounds. It was this diversity that helped us to make Ireland proud. An Irish Flag lapel is a great way to show respect for the flag and raise money for local causes”.
Henry Shefflin added that “I have been lucky to stand with my teammates in Croke Park on All Ireland Final day watching our National Flag flutter in the breeze while singing our National Anthem. All our young men and women need to know about and have pride in our flag which uniquely recognises that all people in Ireland are equal no matter who they are or where they come from. By registering each school will receive a flag which they can raise on Flag day to show their respect.”
The Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu said “I am delighted to involved with National Flag day, Ireland is becoming more diverse, and with this we also have to ensure we are inclusive. Indeed, our Proclamation of Independence itself states ‘cherishing all the children of the nation equally and oblivious of difference. The scholarships and award programmes are a great way of encouraging all our young people to learn about the history of our flag and what it symbolises".
Reverend Cavanagh concluded by stating “we want to register all schools and encourage them to raise our National Flag on Flag day and also recognise the flags of different countries where students or their parents come from. This ensures all students and young people feel involved in the celebrations.”
Schools who register for Flag Day can also enter the Foundation Awards and Scholarships programme by submitting an entry: essay, poem, video, TicToc, drawing etc. expanding on the theme that the Flags message of Pride, respect and peace can be put into practice in modern day Ireland. The Foundation awards a scholarship of one year’s third level fees as well as additional runners up prizes. The Annual Awards ceremony is held in Leinster house an includes a tour of the Oireachtas informing students about the work that takes place there to encourage all students to be aware of and become part of the democratic process.
The Foundation is this year once again a Gaisce Challenge Partner, meaning schools have the option of using Flag Day activities towards their Gaisce Award. This year we have devised a special 13 week-plan to allow students to earn their Bronze award.