The American bishop Fulton J. Sheen once said, ‘Patience is not an absence of action; rather, it is “timing”. After waiting for almost seven weeks, we finally got the “timing” right! The rain stopped, and the flag was raised on Wednesday, 3 May.
In preparation for Flag Day, 16 March, the committee added seven new flags and welcomed seven new nationalities to our school community. They included Italy, Romania, Latvia, Norway, Croatia, Estonia and Vietnam. John Delaney created a digital ‘Welcome’ poster, using the flags and languages that represent our students.
On 6 March, Patrick Doran, John Delaney, Conor Folan and Fr. David attended a special Flag Day ceremony in SETU Arena, Waterford, to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the raising of the Tricolour at 33 The Mall Waterford. Patrick, John and Conor received our new flag from An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, TD.
Flag Day in the College started on Tuesday, 14 March, when John Delaney introduced the event, it’s significance and its meaning. Over the course of the next three days Dara Furlong (Ireland), Eimantas Cejauskas (Lithuania), Maurizio Toselli (Italy), Pavao Sinkec (Croatia), Amir Mohamed (Latvia), Francois Rooney (France) and Mohamad AlSari (Syria) introduced their flag, it’s history and meaning.
On Wednesday 15 March, every student from 1st Year to 4th Year received a special Irish tricolour pin.
On Thursday 16th, we had to cancel our flag raising ceremony due to rain. And so it remained until Wednesday 3 May, when Max Lizon and Francois Rooney finally raised the flag in front of gathering that included Mr. Mark O’Brien, Mr. Aidan O’Brien, Mr. PJ Walsh, members of staff, members of the Student Council, Unitas Leaders and Prefects.
Nicholas Stanczyk did a fine job in his role as master of ceremonies, reminding us of the meaning and significance of the occasion. Cormac Cooper led our musicians, Luke French, Tommy Murphy, Donnchadh Slater and Joe Murphy, in a haunting rendition of ‘The Lilting Banshee’. Cormac Cooper then sang Amhrán na bhFiann, while Max and Francois raised the Tricolour. Everyone present received a copy of the national anthem, which included a brief history of same as well as the English translation.
Sean Harhen and Eoin MacDonald spoke about the origins of the Tricolour, Thomas Francis Meagher and his significance in Irish History. Robert Curran reminded those gathered ‘that the Irish Tricolour remains a statement of intent … holding aloft our aspiration to be a peaceful country, where people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, genders and sexual orientation, are understood, respected and included’.
Our musicians concluded proceeding with a traditional reel, ‘The Trip to Cullenstown’.
A special thank you should go out to Fr. David and to Patrick J. O’Connor, Dara Furlong, Conor Folan and Kacper Wisniewski for doing such a splendid job recording the event.
Finally, the committee would like to thank the staff, the students and in particular, Mr Walker, for his hard work, organisation, and enthusiasm throughout.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir.