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Prize winners Evan Creaven and Kevin Burke from Doora National School at the Clare Education Centre/Cuimhneamh an Chláir Christmas Folklore Education Quiz prize presentations.

Clare pupils broaden their knowledge of folklore


 Prize winners Evan Creaven and Kevin Burke from Doora National School at the Clare Education Centre/Cuimhneamh an Chláir Christmas Folklore Education Quiz prize presentations.
CUIMHNEAMH an Chláir and the Clare Education Centre are celebrating the success of their first joint Clare School’s Folklore Education Quiz. The quiz involved pupils from primary schools all across the county listening to memories of Clare’s elderly population, selected from the archive of Cuimhneamh an Chláir.

Pupils were given the task of carefully listening to selected memories, which related to Christmas from the 1920s to the 1940s and answering associated questions. The quiz generated an enormous response, with over 300 pupils rising to the challenge.

Ten winners were selected for special prizes sponsored by the Clare Education Centre and Cuimhneamh an Chláir. They were presented with their prizes at a special gathering at the Clare Education Centre last week.

According to Pat Hanrahan, director of the Clare Education Centre, the response to the education quiz was most encouraging. He said, “From the level of responses received, it was obvious that the work of Cuimhneamh an Chláir is making a real impact around the county”.

He acknowledged the “valuable and tireless” work of all the voluntary members of Cuimhneamh an Chláir in collecting the oral history of the county. “Without their voluntary effort, this critical information and heritage would be lost forever,” he added.

Mr Hanrahan said it is hoped that Clare Education Centre and Cuimhneamh an Chláir would co-operate on other projects in the future.
Cuimhneamh an Chláir has a major educational focus and one of the group’s primary objectives is to see the long-term integration of oral heritage into both primary and post-primary curricula across Clare and the country.

In addition, the group wishes to develop broader educational programmes using its increasing archive to broadly enhance interest and engagement in the traditional heritage in the county.

The education quiz was a trial as a means encouraging younger people to actively listen to older people in order to build intergenerational solidarity and also to develop the educational potential of the Cuimhneamh archive as a resource.
Since its inception, the group has been working closely with the Clare Education Centre and Mr Hanrahan, in an attempt to identify and develop educational opportunities.

In February 2011, both organisations combined to develop Seo é mo Scéal as part of their respective outreach and education programmes. This project involved recording the memories, from primary school to retirement, of a group of older citizens in the wider communities of the region.
A number of interviewees were recorded in Clare, including former Bishop of Killaloe Willie Walsh and former Minister of Defence Tony Killeen. In 2012, the group also developed a Junior Cuairteoir Programme, which saw pupils from Doora National School interviewing older people in their communities.

Additionally, in conjunction with Clare FM and Gaelscoil Mhichíl Cíosóg, a very successful folklore poetry project saw pupils recorded in Clare FM studios and their poems broadcast to the county.

Cuimhneamh an Chláir have operated their archival and co-ordinating activities out of the Clare Education Centre since 2009. According to Pat Hayes, cathaoirleach of Cuimhneamh an Chláir, the support of the centre has been central to the award-winning group’s success so far.

“The support we have received from Pat Hanrahan and the staff at the Clare Education Centre has been central to our success as a voluntary group. To have an office space and a location to develop aspects of our work has been essential to our achievements so far.

“The Clare Education Centre deserves serious credit and recognition for their foresight to support our work. The success of this recent project is and illustration of how co-operation can be of huge benefit to the entire county. We look forward to other projects with the Clare Education Centre in the future,” he concluded.

The memories selected for the Clare School’s Folklore Education Quiz can be heard on www.clarememories.ie.

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