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Pancake Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday (known in some countries as Pancake Day) is a day in February or March, preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes.
This moveable festival is determined by Easter. The expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “absolve”. Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, who “make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with.”
Being the last day before the season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations, before commencing the fasting and religious obligations associated with Lent. The term Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.

Russborough House

Here are some interesting facts on the history of Russborough.

  • Joseph Leeson came from Northampton in England and bought land in what was then known as Russellstown.
  • It took over 10 years to build the house, Richard Cassells was the architect.
  • The Lafranchini brothers designed the plasterwork on the ceilings, who also did similar work on Carton House, Maynooth.
  • The house remained in the possession of the Earls of Milltown until 1914 when it passed to a nephew Sir Edmund Turton.
  • In 1952 Sir Alfred and Lady Beit bought Russborough House to house their art collection. The Beits had inherited their wealth from gold and diamond mining in South Africa.
  • Their paintings included the work of the great artists – Goya, Vermeer, Rubens and Thomas Gainsborough.
  • The art collection was robbed 4 times between 1974 and 2002.
  • Some paintings were handed over to the National Art Gallery but many were later returned to Russborough.
  • Lord Milltown 6th Earl of Milltown spent much of his life improving the ground at Russborough House. He died at the age of 54 in 1890. His tomb can be seen in the grounds along with that of his wife.

Show Racism the Red Card

Pupils in our school have participated in the Show Racism the Red Card programme.  This education programme focuses on racism in sport and used the profile of sports stars to convey the anti-racism message. The children completed activities, group role-plays, watched DVD clips and much more during this time. Having completed the programme, the class divided into groups to create the posters that displayed an appropriate message. They all agreed that it was very worthwhile and everyone learned a lot from it.

Spring Walk

The Junior Infants made the most of the Spring sunshine and set out on a “Spring Walk” around the school. We were looking for signs of Spring around our school, particularly Spring flowers. We succeeded in finding most of the flowers we had been learning about in class and really enjoyed comparing and contrasting the different flowers. We found:
• Daffodils
• Forget-me-nots
• Primroses
• Daisy’s
• Bluebells
• Tulips

The Story of St Brigid – Scéal Naomh Bríd

Brigid was probably born at Faughart near Dundalk, Louth, Ireland. Her parents were baptized by St. Patrick, with whom she developed a close friendship. According to legend, her father was Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Leinster, and her mother, Brocca, was a slave at his court. Even as a young girl she showed an interest for a religious life and took the veil in her youth from St. Macaille at Croghan and probably was professed by St. Mel of Armagh, who is believed to have conferred abbatial authority on her. She settled at the foot of Croghan Hill for a time and about the year 468, followed Mel to Meath. About the year 470 she founded a double monastery at Cill-Dara (Kildare) and was Abbess of the convent, the first in Ireland. The foundation developed into a center of learning and spirituality, and around it grew up the Cathedral city of Kildare. She founded a school of art at Kildare and its illuminated manuscripts became famous, notably the Book of Kildare,

Making Saint Bridget’s Crosses.

Making a St Bridget’s Cross is a custom in Ireland. The St Bridget’s Cross is made out of plants called rushes (Juncus effusus) for hanging above the entrances to dwellings to invoke the help of St Bridget in warding off disease. St Bridget’s Day is celebrated on the 1st February each year and the crosses are made at that time. Rushes were traditionally used to make the St Bridget’s Cross. These were collected from wetlands and cut into pieces, 8-12 inches long. Some of the children created many different designs. Look at the photos.

You Will Need
• 9 rushes
• 4 small rubber bands

How to make the cross:

1. Hold one of the rushes vertically. Fold a second rush in half as in the diagram.
2. Place the first vertical rush in the centre of the folded second straw.
3. Hold the centre overlap tightly between thumb and forefinger.
4. Turn the two rushes held together 90 degrees counter clockwise so that the open ends of the second rush are projecting vertically
5. Fold a third rush in half and over both parts of the second rush to lie horizontally from left to right against the first rush. Hold tight.
6. Holding the centre tightly, turn the three rushes 90 degrees counter clockwise so that the open ends of the third rush are pointing upwards.
7. Fold a new rush in half over and across all the rushes pointing upwards.
8. Repeat the process of rotating all the rushes 90 degrees counter clockwise, adding a new folded rush each time until all nine rushes have been used up to make the cross.
9. Secure the arms of the cross with elastic bands. Trim the ends to make them all the same length. The St Bridget’s Cross is now ready to hang.