Pictured Above: Richard Lynch with students of Salesian Secondary School, Siobhan Conway, teacher, Sr. Bridget, principal, Niall O Halloran and Leah Melling, singers. Picture by: Oisin McHugh
By I Love Limerick correspondent Sarah Coghlan.
Salesian Secondary School celebrated its 6th Multicultural Day on Friday with great success. There were various stalls on the day showcasing different facts and information about the different cultures represented in the school – there was an Amnesty stall, a stall for Mozambique, Ireland, Pakistan, Caribbean, Somalia, Lithuania, Poland, Moldova, Germany, Nigeria, Libya, Latvia and Angola. Students were given the opportunity to learn, ask questions and participate in a multicultural quiz to learn more about the different cultures.
Principal Sr. Bridget said, “At the moment, the Salesian Secondary School have 16 different countries represented in the school. We started doing the Multicultural Day as we wanted to integrate the different nationalities in the school, and how welcome we were making them feel. It gives the students a great sense of pride in their own country, and for all of us it’s a great form of education and I think the more you understand about where people come from, the more we can understand the people themselves.”
The students of the Salesian Secondary School put the information at each stall together, and also prepared food from all the different countries, so guests and families had the opportunity to taste specialities from different cultures. The concert then began at 2pm, with special guests, singer/songwriters Niall O Halloran and Leah Melling starting off the music after principle Sr. Bridget, founder of multicultural day Siobhan Conway, and Richard Lynch’s welcome address. Niall O Halloran, 22, born and raised in Limerick city, is currently a contestant on The Voice of Ireland, having turned all four chairs in his blind audition with his rendition of Sam Smiths “Lay Me Down”. Leah Melling is a 16 year old singer/songwriter who is making a big impact on the internet with beautiful songs she has composed herself. Niall sang Sia’s “Chandelier” and Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”, and also performed his own song “Don’t Let Me Fall”. Leah sang her own songs “Dear Society” and “Saviour”.
Salesian’s own talent then took over, starting with a traditional music group. There was also Irish dancing, rap group God Knows and friends, a ukulele group, soloist Sophie O’Shea, two girls from Mozambique and Nigeria and two Polish girls singing a Polish song, a duet between an Irish and Angolan student, and a performance from dancer Jasmine Rush.
Siobhan Conway, the international student coordinator spoke about why Salesian’s Multicultural Day is so important to the school and students: “I think it’s extremely important for students to be able to talk about and take pride in their countries and cultures. Very often when you’re in a school uniform you’re the same as everyone else, so it’s an opportunity to showcase the countries, to celebrate their individuality, and to also celebrate the fact that we’re such a diverse country and a diverse community in this school, and it’s a great opportunity to share and learn and be educated.
Siobhan explained about how much the students love the day, “They love it, they’re very proud and they love having an opportunity to dress in their national dress, to show off their countries, to talk about their cultures, to share the differences and the similarities between their countries and Ireland. It’s like anybody, I’ve lived abroad for many years, and you get a great sense of pride when you talk about your own country. I’m Irish, and I love people asking me questions about Ireland when I’m in Japan, or West Africa, or wherever. It’s a great opportunity and a great celebration in the school. Everybody loves it, and we’ve food from all over the world, and music, and it’s just a fun day for everyone and very educational for everyone involved.”
Its the end of an era as this year, on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the school, it will merge with St. Nessans School and will no longer exist as the Salesian School.
Read more about the Salesians here.
For more information on the Salesian Secondary School, you can visit their website here.
Photos copyright Oisin Mc Hugh for I Love Limerick 2015. All Rights Reserved.