An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, has launched the Flags for Schools initiative today.
The initiative is part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme and will see more than 3,300 primary and special schools in the country presented by Defence Forces with a National Flag and a copy of the 1916 Proclamation. The first ceremony has taken place this morning at St. Patrick’s NS Rehins, Cornanool, Islandeady, Castlebar, Co Mayo, and will culminate on 15 March next year – Proclamation Day – when all the schools will raise the tricolour and read the Proclamation.
Speaking at today’s event An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, said: “We are helping to remember the great sacrifice of the people who fought in 1916 and after, so that this flag could be flown by its people, and that this nation could take its place among the world’s free nations.”
Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, described Flags for Schools as a great way to get young children engaged with the 1916 commemorations. She said: "Through the delivery of the National Flag to every primary school in the country, children will gain a greater understanding of the work of the Defence Forces and the importance of our National Flag, which symbolises the aspiration for peace between the different traditions on this island.
"I hope the thousands of ceremonies which take place across the country in the coming months will leave our schoolchildren with a positive and lasting memory from the commemorations."