As part of the 1848 Tricolour Celebration a schools programme was developed three years ago. The idea behind the programme was to inform the children of local primary schools of the history of the Irish Tricolour and its meaning and its history; explaining how Waterford man Thomas Francis Meagher created the Tricolour and brought it back from France and unfurled it on March 7th in 1848 at 33 The Mall, Waterford City. In the three years since its initiation the schools programme has spoken to over 3,000 children in over 15 schools.
The programme started with visits to 5th and 6th class students but since then many schools have requested the involvement of all classes from 1st class to 6th.
The programme involves the visit by a local historian and actor who speaks about the history of the flag and this interaction creates an atmosphere of fun but most importantly one of learning.
There is also a Q&A session and this makes for some lively discussion. Living in a multi cultural society that Ireland is today, the message that the flag is a flag of peace and understanding is explained to the children.
Feedback from teachers has been very positive not only from the interactional aspect but most importantly from the historical and learning objectives. Next year we hope to speak to in excess of 1,000 children. There are already visits planned to Kilrossanty, Stradbally, Whitechurch NS Cappagh, along with many schools in the city and it is important to make sure that that the message of the Irish Tricolour and its association with Waterford is known all over the county”.