Scoil Cholmáin on Maínis wins an award for a project based on Mo Dhúthaigh Féin, My Native Place.

Maínis (Mweenish Island) is about two and a half miles from the village of Carna in the heart of the Connemara Gaeltacht in County Galway. It is the home place of the Galway Hooker, the traditional sailing vessel of the west coast of Irleand.

The island’s school, Scoil Cholmáin, has fewer than 30 pupils, from junior infants to sixth class. Principal Máire Bean Uí Churraoin says the school was recently awarded second prize in a national competition for Gaeltacht schools. This is the second time Scoil Cholmáin has won a regional prize and the first time winning a national prize.

The students of Scoil Cholmáin could pick one of two topics for their project, Mo Dhúthaigh Féin (My Native Place) or An Fharraige (The Sea). Bean Uí Churraoin says for the people of Maínis both topics are one and the same, so they chose Mo Dhúthaigh Féin.

The pupils, helped by their parents gathered information about boats as well as ancient and local history. Eamonn Ó Maloid speaks about the boat making tradition on Maínis. Two pupils present their work on the Carna folklorist Cóilín Ó Cualáin in the form of a dialogue.

Bean Uí Churraoin says the school wove the project into all of the subjects on the curriculum, which she believes is a great way for the children to learn.

This episode of  ‘Súil Thart’ was broadcast on 13 January 1990. The reporter is Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.