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Children at Fanore NS making a short film for Cruinniú na nÓg on June 12, 2021.

North Clare school seals Cruinniú deal with movie

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A MAGICAL tale of a seal, who takes female form and begins a new life in a small coastal community, has been brought to life at Fanore National School in a short film to celebrate Cruinniú na nÓg.
The 20-minute movie, ‘The Magic of the Sea – Draíocht na Mara’, has been five weeks in the making. Editing will soon now underway ahead of nationwide celebrations to mark youthful creativity, taking place on Saturday, June 12.
With the support of the Creative Schools initiative, 27 pupils from Fanore had been taking part in acting classes, drumming workshops and music lessons and soon, they will see their skills come together on screen.
“We applied during lockdown last year to become a Creative School and were delighted that our application succeeded,” said Bríd Queally, Principal of Fanore National School.
“Our mentor under the programme is Majella Perry and she has helped us to introduce a range of different kinds of art to the pupils.
“She also helped us with one of the scenes in the film and the children have really embraced everything they’ve done.”
Support has also come from the Clare Arts Office and Sheila Quinn, Curator for this year’s Cruinniú in Clare.
“The Arts Office have been amazing,” Bríd said, “and Sheila has been very accommodating. We’ve always been a very musical school, but taking part in Cruinniú na nÓg is something very different for the children and they’re really excited about what the finished film will look like.”
The plot and music were devised by Bríd with huge input from all three teachers and the school’s Special Needs Assistant (SNA).
“Everyone’s been very busy for the last five weeks,” said Bríd. “Everyone had a job to do from finding costumes to helping with the music and the different scenes.
“We recorded the music last Friday and filmed the last scenes on Tuesday and there’s been huge excitement about putting everything together.”
The plot of ‘The Magic of the Sea’ is also one that caught the imaginations of the children.
“The story is about a seal that becomes a human,” Bríd explained. “It is found by a fisherman who hides her seal skin, as well as the seal skin of a child that is born to them. They all live very happily in the village until the seal decides she must return to the sea. The child finds the hidden seal skins which they put on before going back to the ocean.”
The filming was done by artist Rosaleen Marion, who also wrote three songs for the movie. “We couldn’t have done it at all without Rosaleen and her expertise has been invaluable,” said Bríd.
“She found a little hut locally that looks just brilliant in the film. It’s very authentic and was full of birds’ nests and ivy. Rosaleen has a very professional eye and knew exactly how to set up the scenes.
“We’ll be sitting down the edit the film in the coming days and the children really can’t wait until June 12. They’re so excited to see the finished movie.”

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at or telephone 065 6864146.

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