The fifth class pupils of Scoil Mhuire na nGael visited St Oliver’s last Monday morning as part of their regular visits to their friends in St Oliver’s Community Hospital.
Coincidentally, Monday was also ‘European Day of Solidarity between the Generations’.
On this occasion, the young pupils were accompanied by Dervla Mc Gee and her troupe of Irish dancers, who are all pupils of Scoil Mhuire na nGael.
It was a most enjoyable morning as the fifth class pupils, along with their class teacher Michelle Harvey, entertained their friends in St Olivers with some catchy Irish tunes, followed by a few games of bingo.
The class are regular visitors to the hospital as part of their school’s inter-generational project.
Each year, a class of pupils undertake this special project, bringing the generations together.
Martina Rafferty, school principal of Scoil Mhuire na nGael, set up the project seven years ago.
“The pupils derive much benefit from their interactions with older people,” Ms. Rafferty explained.
“They come to a greater understanding of the limitations of old age, and it is an opportunity for them to share their time and talents with the patients and day care personnel attending St Oliver’s.
“We are indebted to the Society for the Old and Underprivileged Children and to the Lions Club who are our main sponsors.
“On each visit, we undertake different activities such as art and crafts, bingo and table quizzes, and occasionally, we invite musicians or magicians to come along to entertain both young and old,” Ms. Rafferty told the Democrat.
“The children have developed very close friendships with the patients here in St Oliver’s, and we are grateful to the staff, who always make us feel so welcome.”
Kay O’Keeffe, director of nursing at the hospital, was loud in her praise of the young students, their teacher Mrs Harvey, school principal Ms Rafferty and the parent volunteers who accompany the children on each visit.
“Our patients look forward in anticipation to each visit, and as a staff, we can appreciate the thereupetic value of these visits for our patients,” said Ms. O’Keeffe.