TEXACO ART AWARDS FOR THREE YOUNG KILLANY PUPILS
Michael Fisher Northern Standard Carrickmacross News Thursday June 4th p.35
Scoil Naoimh Éanna in Killanny is a centre of creativity for its 220 pupils, divided into eight classes. From sport to debating and now in the field of art, the talents of the youngsters are being recognised nationally. This week there was particular cause for celebration. Three pupils were among the finalists in Ireland’s biggest competition for chidlren’s art, the Texaco awards, now in their 61st year. Sophia Goodman, aged 7, from Annahean, came third in the 7-8 years age category. She won a €125 art voucher for her entry entitled “The Nice Flowers”.
In the same category, Kate Norton (7) from Drumever, who painted “The Cute Kittens”, got €50 and an art box.
In a different age category, Grace Conlon (6) from Lannat got €30 and an art box for her work “Bird Tunes”. Both received Special Merit Awards. The prizes were presented by Arts Minister and local T.D. Heather Humphreys in the beautiful surroundings of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin.
During a visit to the school on Tuesday, the enthusiasm of the pupils was everywhere to be seen. Principal John Jones showed me around the building, where he has been in charge since 1988. There are eight class teachers ranging from junior infants (pupils from 4 years old) to sixth class (children up to 12), along with two support staff and a resource teacher. In 1995 a new complex was opened at the current site, which straddles the county boundary between Monaghan and Louth. That has both advantages and disadvantages but the county rivalry remains friendly. There are good sports facilities including a specially soundproofed sports hall and an astro turf all-weather pitch which has proved very popular. Basketball can be played inside or outside and boys and girls teams from the school have performed well in several competitions.
Scoil Naomh Éanna has done well at county level in the Cumann na mBunscol GAA competition. One of the pupils I met, Claragh McGahon, has won five medals for swimming in the community games, including a gold medal last year. The school has done well in the Credit Union schools quiz. Pupils are encouraged to take part in debates, even at a young age when they engage in lively “class discussions”. All this activity has meant that the school has become very popular and a year ago an extension was opened by the Bishop of Clogher Dr Liam MacDaid.
The young artists have been helped by attending art classes every week in the local hall run by Caroline and Bina Butler from Killanny. Three pupils currently in sixth class won special merit awards in the Texaco Art Competition in previous years and another one of them Kerry Grimes came first in Category E for 7-8 year-olds when she was in second class. Yet another success for the school has been the progress of one of its pupils to the Ulster Spelling Bee final, run by Easons. George Green was named Monaghan County Champion in a competition last month at Knockconan school. So it has been a busy few months for the staff and pupils in this part of South Monaghan (or should that be Louth!).