The children from the senior classroom in Shanballymore had an enjoyable trip last Thursday when they were taken to the local graveyard, Templeroan, just outside the village of Shanballymore on the Doneraile Road. Many of the children had, surprisingly, never been into this old graveyard and the visit was very important for the children to develop a sense of empathy with the people of the past.

Surprisingly the graveyard was a hive of activity when we arrived. There was a team out from Ballyhoura who were recording all the inscriptions and locations of all the headstones in the graveyard. A number of members of the local community were present including Tim Fitzgibbon and Patricia McDonnell.

The children were given a number of record sheets and a headstone to investigate. They had to take note of the location of the stone, the size and shape of it and the inscription on it. Each headstone was numbered. It was a great opportunity for the children to be involved in a very practical investigation with the results being recorded for future generations.

The children were fascinated to see the tomb in which the parents of Nano Nagle were buried. They also were shown a headstone which dates back to the early 1700s. Tim showed the Famine section of the graveyard. He told of a teacher from Shanballymore N.S. who had been buried there during the Great Famine. It is very hard to believe that the present school building was built in 1843, two years before the Great Famine and is still in use today. It was hard for the children to comprehend that the teacher buried in this Famine graveyard actually taught in their current classroom.

On behalf of the school community we would like to thank Ballyhoura and the Shanballymore Community Council for facilitating the visit last Thursday. It is great that there is such an active community in Shanballymore. It is important for the various groups and organisations in the community to work together for the benefit of all.