Ennis Educate Together pupils and school principal Sean O Confhaola were in Dublin recently to collect their Yellow Flag.
The flag was presented to the school by Sarah Jane Dunne, Miss Kilkenny 2014, Traveller activist and a native of Co. Clare.
The proceedings were hosted by RTE’s Elev8 presenter Diana Bunici as well as broadcaster and social activist, Dil Wickremasinghe. Flags were presented by Tura Arutua, Zimbabwean Irish speaker, Sarah Jane Dunne, Traveller Activist and Leanne McDonagh, Traveller and Artist soon to feature on RTE’s Norah’s Traveller Academy.
Speaking at the awards Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality, Aodhán Ó Ríordháin said, “I warmly commend the Irish Traveller Movement on its Yellow Flag Programme. It is so important to promote the inclusion of minority ethnic groups and intercultural interaction between different groups in our society based on the principles of equality, cultural awareness and respect.”
Aodhán O’Riordháin also announced that his department would provide 49,000 euro support for the Yellow Flag Programme next year.
The Minister also announced that following his commitment to seeing Traveller ethnicity recognised he estimates “that to be a reality within 6 months’ time.”
Director of the Irish Traveller Movement Brigid Quilligan also addressed the award ceremony as well as Paula Madden, Yellow Flag Coordinator.
Accepting the flag principal of Ennis Educate Together, Sean O Confhaola said: “The Yellow Flag was an opportunity for the school to see a tangible expression of the multi-cultural nature of our school and our school community.”
Pupil Sufiyan Arab commented; The Yellow Flag helps us respect each other. We learn about other people’s cultures and religions. We are all different and equal.”
The Yellow Flag programme also addresses identity based bullying by creating a framework for schools to challenge prejudices within the school environment and helps foster pride in identity for children from different national and ethnic backgrounds focusing on practical intercultural achievements.