Kildare overwhelmed by ‘Remembrance and Rebellion’
People from all across Co. Kildare flocked to the beautiful surroundings of Solas Bhride in Kildare town for the 2016 Adult Learner Festival. The night featured an enchanting exhibition and celebration of the ‘Remembrance and Rebellion 2016 Project’ involving 8 Community Education projects from across Co. Kildare supported by Kildare & Wicklow Education & Training Board. ‘Remembrance and Rebellion’ was part of AONTAS Adult Learners Festival, and was organised by The Community Education Service-Kildare.
The centrepiece of the night were the learners themselves and the remarkable pieces of community art which they created in their groups over the 15 week period of the project with the support of tutors provided by the Community Education Service.
The groups were ShareRing Skills – Celbridge, Curragh Women’s Group, Ard Scoil Iomghain Rathangan Parents Group, Athy Women’s Activity Group, Eve Harvest – Kildare, Irish Wheelchair Association – Athy, Newbridge Family Resource Centre, and Naas Community Art and Craft Shed.
During an evening of highlights, guests knew something special was happening when they saw the trail of ‘Easter Lillies’ made from felt which led to the entrance and the fun only increased with a ‘flashmob ceili’ in the foyer led by tutor Jim Monaghanand a printmaking workshop delivered by Kathrina Hughes. Once the gathering had partaken of food and refreshments the exhibition was officially declared open and guests had an opportunity to see the films, photographs, costumes, baskets, ceramics, paintings, feltmaking and other creations from the groups whilst also meeting with the participants and their tutors.
The formal part of the evening was introduced by Conor O’Leary, Key Tutor with the Community Education Service and followed by Susan Cullinane, Community Education Facilitator, KWETB who explained the background to the project and the amazing impact it has had on everyone. Susan then called on guest speaker, Professor Anne Ryan from NUI Maynooth who spoke about the real value of community education and in particular the powerful learning which people experience in their groups.
Then there was an opportunity to hear the voice of the groups themselves as Peter Hussey from Crooked House Theatre Company who was a key partner in the entire project then introduced a very entertaining and uplifting film made by his team which documented the whole process of the project. Finally, Sean Ashe, Chief Executive with KWETB spoke about the increasing role of KWETB and restated his support for and appreciation of the work of the Community Education Service team, its tutors and the learners. He also revealed his own remarkable family connection to 1916 through his uncle Thomas Ashe and put in the public domain for the very first time, an amazing letter written to the American President and Congress in 1917 signed by amongst others Eamonn De Valera and Thomas Ashe.
Finally, Sean Ashe presented certificates on behalf of the Community Education Service to representatives of all the groups which took part in the event.
It is part of the series of nationwide events commemorating the centenary of 1916. Anyone wishing to find out more about the Community Education Service should contact the office at the Further Education & Training Centre, Jigginstown, Naas at 045-881863 or firstname.lastname@example.org.