We were delighted to bring our Island Explorers Programme to the iconic Devenish Island on Lough Erne once again this year. The programme took place over a 3 day period in June and was free of charge for participating schools. This year we met 3 very enthusiastic primary school groups from St. Mary's PS Teemore, St. Paul's PS Irvinestown and St. Patrick's PS Mullanaskea. Each group took a boat trip aboard the MV Kestrel to the Island where they had the opportunity to take part in rowing, biodiversity and heritage workshops.
Row the Erne's Claire Brogan and the crew introduced groups to rowing techniques which demonstrates the value of teamwork – Together Everyone Achieves More! Students undertook the physical activity of rowing a locally built boat, learned about the heritage of traditional boats on Lough Erne and gained an understanding of the importance of teamwork in manoeuvring a 33 foot wooden boat.
Ecologist, Morag Donald, delved into the biodiversity of the ancient landscape. Morag workshop let the students explore the monastic island for themselves, discovering species, finding out where they live and why. Each group were extremely fortunate to even spot some kingfishers on route to the island each morning!
Local Historian, Seamas Mac Annaidh, took each group through over 1,000 years of history, leading them a tour of the 6th century monastic site including the ruins of St Molaise's House, St Mary's Priory and the Great Church. Seamas had lots of questions to answer from each group, one inquisitive student wondered if the Monks had to do the transfer test!
Well done to everybody who took part. Hope to see you on the waterways during summer break!