Presentation Girls take on The Moonlighters as a Project

Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland declared its delight in being one of six schools in the south of Ireland chosen to take part in the North / South History initiative.

This initiative is run as part of a joint collaboration between The Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) and the School Development Service (SDS) and in co-operation with the Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT) and Armagh Multi Media Access (AMMA).

Exploring History Narratives

The project is titled ‘Different Lenses’ and its focus is ‘Exploring history narratives on the island of Ireland through the medium of Digital Literacy.’

It invited Presentation Secondary to explore the history of the local area and find hidden gem to be re-told through the use of digital media and to produce a short film.

Back in November three teachers, Padraig Kelliher, Noreen O’Shea and Katie O’Reilly travelled to Dublin to learn more about the project and to train in the skills needed to carry out this endeavour.

A Month of Exploration

On their return they brought the project to the second year students and set out on a month of exploration into the different sorties and history of the area.

After many different routes of exploration, the second years decided to focus on one man in particular Bob Finn, whose name has been on a plaque on the corner of Church St. for many years.

“An investigation into Bob Finn led them to the fascinating tale of a group which originated in Castleisland called ‘The Moonlighters’ and Bob Finn was known as ‘Captain Moonlight’.

The Moonlighters formed in the 1880’s with an aim to put an end to ‘Land Grabbing’ by the English in the Castleisland area and to increase the rights and power of the tenant farmers and to diminish that of the landlord,” said teacher, Katie O’Reilly.

The Moonlighters’ Story

“Many weeks were spent in investigation and preparation for the filming of the Moonlighters’ story, which took place on February, 15th and 16th last.

“The students had a fantastic time during the filming of this short story, which was educational not only from a historical point of view but it was also an education in research, film, media, narration and all the different things that go into a production like this. These two days were jam packed with costume changes, running around the convent grounds with a shotgun.

Filming In Scartaglin

“As part of an act, and for one scene they even ended up in Scartaglin for filming.

“The teachers and students of Presentation Secondary school would like to thank the people of Castleisland for their interest and involvement in this production.

“We would also like to thank the O’Sullivan family in Gortacapall, Scartaglin for the use of their beautiful old style cottage for one of the scenes. We would also like to thank the Presentation Sisters in Castleisland for the use of the convent grounds and also The Maine Valley Post for help with research for this project,” said Ms. O’Reilly.

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