Launch of 2015 Vincent Award

The 2015 Vincent Award was officially launched by Chairman of the Trustees of Muckrosss House Mr Michael Larkin at an event in the drawing room of the Victorian mansion on Tuesday last. The Award scheme- inaugurated in 2014 sets an number of challenges for the 260 second year students enrolled in St. Brigid’s, Killarney Community College and St Brendan’s.

The reception was also attended by students representing each school, by the Principals and 2nd year Year Heads and the members of the Trustees. Speaking at the Launch, Trustee Vice Chairman Rory Darcy reminded all present that Muckross House and the surrounding parklands was presented as a gift to the fledgling Irish state in 1932 by Arthur Rose Vincent and his Father-in –law William Bowers Bourn. He also emphasised that we should cherish and enjoy this “present” and indeed learn the importance of giving, and the importance of resilience, from these men

The Award scheme seeks to ensure that the young people of this area are afforded an opportunity and an incentive to engage with the cultural history of their local community. It seeks to build awareness of community, of social justice, of environment, and of the heritage gifted to each of us by the Vincent family. Each student is tasked to engage in a literacy challenge, a numeracy team quiz, a cooperative games event, an outdoor adventure challenge and a national park clean-up. Students will also participate in a fund raiser to support a local charity in the course of the year.

New to the Award for 2015 is a plan that all second years will visit the museum at Muckross in the course of the challenge.

During the year the students will also learn about the life and legacy of Billy Vincent- the man for whom the Award is named- in order that his ideals and his commitment be remembered and aspired to by generations of Killarney students for years to come.

A huge highlight of the 2014 event was the presence of Lord Alex Burgh- great grand nephew of Billy- as the keynote speaker at the presentation in the Old School house in the traditional farms.

In linking the three second level schools with the Trustees of Muckross House the award offers great opportunity to build further educational bridges for our students. With 260 students now about to set out on the challenge, the memory and inspiration of Billy Vincent will undoubtedly continue to endure in his home place.

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