From the 30th April to the 2nd May 2019 Portlaoise College TY students accompanied by their TY Co-ordinator Sinéad Boland and ESS teacher Darren Maher flew to Brussels to visit the Ypres Salient region. While there they visited the World War One battlefields, the Island of Ireland Peace Park, the Pool of Peace, the Menin Gate (with the names of all the men whose bodies have never been found written on it).
While visiting the named soldiers graveyard they attended a rededication service for Private Frederick Foskett, an unnamed soldier whose DNA allowed historians to track down his name and his surviving family members – one of whom was an orphan with no family he was aware of. The BBC were there making a documentary.
The students also got to spend time exploring Ypres and at the Walibi theme park.
In the words of Lee Carroll Talbot “we really enjoyed our end of year trip away, staying in the Flanders Lodge and getting to see where WWI took place 100 years ago.”
Claire Lynch added “Walibi theme park was brilliant! This is my 2nd time there and this time I went on all the rides this time!”
Ms. Boland said “I loved showing the students some hidden history that we don’t really explore in Ireland. I had a grand uncle who died at the Somme during WWI and another one who died in the Irish War of Independence. The area where we saw is such a small part of the world that played such a big part in our history”