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The late Eimear Noonan pictured performing with the UCC Orchestra. Picture courtesy Emmet Curtin

Gort Community School unveil plaque to fondly-remembered past pupil

GORT Community School (GCS) recently celebrated a quarter of a century providing education in North Clare with the launch of a commemorative CD, entitled ‘Le Chéile’.

The recording features past and present students and staff, and includes guest tracks from We Banjo 3, the Kilfenora Céilí Band and Séan Keane. Seán’s late wife, Virginia, had been a teacher at the school.

The launch, which was performed by Séan Keane and Katharina Baker, was streamed live on Facebook because of the restrictions around the pandemic. On the day of the event, the school was also delighted to welcome Mary and Flan Noonan to unveil a plaque in memory of their daughter Eimear, a past pupil, who died in a tragic accident, while working as a teacher in France in 2017

Eimear was described by the school community as a very valued student, especially in the music department. As well as her love for Irish and French, Eimear was at the heart of all musical activity in GCS.

Being a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Eimear was an active member of Irish traditional music groups reaching the regional finals in the Siansa Gael Linn competition when she was in second year. She was in the chorus for school musicals and went on to play a leading role. She played in string quartets and sang in the choir and as a soloist for school masses and graduations. Eimear also showcased the achievements of the school with the group Coole Music on Galway Bay FM. She sang solo beautifully for her practical exams as well as being an integral part of many different vocal groups. So many pieces of music remind Eimear’s teachers of her creative and adventurous spirit.

In 2018 and 2019, on Eimear’s anniversaries, GCS took part in the Carpe Diem concerts, organised by Coole Music and Eimear’s mother Mary. These events combined many different genres of music that Eimear was involved in.

This year, the #carpediemsingandplay challenge went viral after musicians and singers were  asked to post videos of themselves performing on social media, and then to nominate others to take up the challenge. GCS students enthusiastically joined in and were delighted to get back performing again, in memory of an inspiring past student.


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 fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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