Ballyvaughan NS school children to launch poetry book

Ballyvaughan NS school children to launch poetry book


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

The 30 children of Ballyvaughan’s Scoil Eoin Baiste launch their book of poetry on 28th November.

The community event will take place at 1.30pm in the national school.

Ballyvaughan, Poems from Home is the result of workshops with Clare writer and poet, Karen J. McDonnell.  The workshops and publication were grant-aided by Creative Ireland, via Clare County Council and Clare County Library services.

McDonnell said: “I wanted to work with the children on a poetry project for some time. Creative Ireland’s pillars of community, heritage, and enabling children’s creative potential matched my goals exactly.
“It was important that each child could contribute to the book.  We achieved this by taking dictation from the Junior & Senior Infants classes.  All of the ideas were their own, though!”

Over three days, the children used writing prompts and discussed the sights and sounds of home as well as the landscape around Ballyvaughan.  On the final day, they wrote their poems in class, something that McDonnell says was integral to the project.
“As we worked over consecutive days, they had enough time at home to think about their individual poems.  Getting the children to write the poems in class meant that they focussed on their specific ideas while being aware that they were creating something together. Also, I wanted them to have as free and immediate a writing experience as possible.”

McDonnell edited and published the book. Advice from school principal, Loretta Gray, and the teachers proved invaluable.
“Always listen to the experts! The project was structured around what was best for the children and their routine. I think I’ve learned as much from the project as the children have. I’m as excited about the book launch as they are. They’ve earned their glory – they worked hard for it.”

The children have been working on art works that will be displayed alongside their original written poems on launch day. Everyone is welcome to come along.


Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.