Tipperary Education & Training Board celebration of Learning in conjunction with AONTAS Adult Learner Festival took place on Tuesday 22nd February in Clonmel Army Barracks (TETB). The sun was shining down on students, tutors and groups as they arrived to begin the celebrations. MC for the event was Eileen Condon, Education Officer who guided the event smoothly along.
The event began with Michael Dalton Adult Learner who gave the history of Clonmel and Barracks. The Irish United National Veteran Association stood to attention while Ex. Sgt Major Cosgrove read the Proclamation.
Giving us local insights and a snapshot of what was happening in Clonmel area around 1916 was Marie Boland from Tipperary Libraries. Booklets and brochures were also available on the day we were fortunate to have the backing of Benny O Connell, Con Hogan and Tony O Dwyer to play tunes such as Slievenamon, and The Foggy Dew, followed by poetry recitals and personal reflections from Mary Fitzpatrick, Liam Cleere, Pat Hoban and Karl McHugh.
Melissa Corish, Youthreach Cappawhite tutor and Claudia Hayes student gave a brief account of “STAMPS” exhibition which was on display for the event. This display was completed in Youthreach Cappawhite and certainly added colour to the event.
Stepping up the pace we were introduced to Mamie Koyate from New Guinea who gave an exhibition of Shanos Dance on a wooden platform brought in especially for this occasion.
Last but not least, we were raised to our feet with sweet voices and singing of our National Anthem by Adult learning students and tutors led by Mary Roche Cleary. Many of the singers were from countries outside Ireland, and had spent weeks learning the National Anthem. The whole room joined in song which led to the close of a wonderful event in Clonmel.
Meanwhile the Adult Education Services in Roscrea Learning Centre organised an open registration & coffee morning which was a huge success the main focus of the morning was sharing of information and options available to Adult Learners. In Killaloe Ballina Family Resource Centre Learners were busy attending a Stitch and Sew event and a coffee morning.
Veronica Crowe CEF and local link for Adult Learner Festival said the all the events were was a huge success with over 400 learners, tutors and staff attending. We are aware that a lot of background work was required to make these events a success. We thank Eileen Condon, Education Officer, Mary Roche Cleary, Adult Literacy Organiser, Kaye Mullaney, BTEI Coordinator, Ciaran Kennedy, Youthreach Coordinator, Deborah Ryan CEF and Adult Education staff, tutors, caterers and caretakers for all their help, but most of all you the learners .