BOOK LAUNCH: A HANDBOOK OF DRAMA LESSONS FOR THE WEST CORK TEACHER.
Photograph: Left to right:
Dr. Dympna Daly, Director of West Cork Education Centre, Dr. Gerard McHugh, former Director of Dublin West education centre, Teachers/Authors: Katrina O’Leary, Helen Hallissey, Adam O’ Leary, Rachel Sweetnam and Marjorie Walsh
Six West Cork teachers, under the baton of Helen Hallissey, designed and piloted drama lessons suitable for West Cork teachers teaching Middle and Senior classes in primary school. The project was supported by the previous director of West Cork Education centre Mary O’Donovan, the current director Dr. Dympna Daly and the former director of Dublin West education centre, Dr. Gerard McHugh. Funding for this unique collaboration has been made by the Department of Education and Skills.
The project took three years to complete and involved over 100 pupils in three different schools: Our Lady of Mercy N.S., Bantry, Rathbarry N.S. and Derryclough N.S. The teachers/authors involved are: Helen Hallissey, Rachel Sweetnam, Marjorie Walsh, Katrina O’Leary, Niamh Twomey and Adam O’Leary.
This handbook was launched at the West Cork Education centre on April 29th by Dr. Gerard McHugh. In particular the launch was made at the statue of Sam Maguire in the Square, Dunmanway, when the teachers read aloud fictional letters to and from Sam Maguire to his mother, to Michael Collins, his former teacher, to his friend Liam McCarthy and to the people of Dunmanway. The talented drama teachers then entertained the audience to samples of their drama lessons and invited participation in an evening of theatre. We even had the thrill of having a living Michael Collins in the gathering who played the part of the former Michael Collins and John Vaughan played the part of Dev in a Readers’ Theatre script: ‘I broke the key Dev!’. It was a fabulous evening of theatre in Dunmanway. Dr. Gerard McHugh was delighted to be beside Sam Maguire in the Square, as a native of Mayo he felt that’s as close as he will get to Sam for a while! Chairperson Bob Allen congratulated the teachers on their wonderful work on producing this handbook of Drama Lessons for teachers in West Cork.
The 44 page handbook was edited by Helen Hallissey and is jam-packed with drama ideas for pupils and teachers in 120 primary schools in West Cork. Each school will receive a complimentary copy of the handbook.