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St Catherine’s College showcases Europe’s migration crisis.

Local politicians, representatives of migrant groups, pupils from La Perverie, Nantes, France; Santa Magdalena Sofia, Zaragoza, Spain and Mount Anville Secondary School, Dublin gathered in The Market Place Theatre, Armagh, last week for an International Film Festival hosted by Saint Catherine’s College as part of their Erasmus Plus programme. The event marked the culmination of a two-year project by pupils from the four Sacred Heart schools to raise awareness of migration through the use of short films.

Each school received funding from the National Council of the European Commission in their own member state enabling students to collaborate in film-making in Armagh, Dublin, France and Spain, under the tutelage of staff from St. Catherine’s College, Conall Ó Máirtín and Neil McCool.

Project co-ordinator, Ó Máirtín, explained:

“We decided to highlight the plight of those who are suffering due to the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, a topic which is in keeping with our Sacred Heart Schools’ Goal for 2016/17 - Promoting Social Awareness.”

He added:

“This project has been an enormous undertaking and we are delighted to have created a diverse mix of films which we hope will inspire young people to show a better understanding of migrants in our communities.”

The eleven short films include: an understanding of migration from a child’s point of view; a focus on Armagh’s Lithuanian basketball team; the story of a Senegalese migrant to Spain; a moving portrait of a young Syrian family who have made Armagh their home, and many more.

Speaking on the night, Mrs Bernadette McAlliskey, co-ordinator of the STEPS programme in Dungannon, commented:

“I would like to commend all those involved in what has been a very worthwhile venture. In my opinion, no other school on the island of Ireland would have attempted such an initiative or have had the courage to show the subject matter which is on view here tonight”.

This collection of short films will now be used by each school to highlight the issues that surround migration and the human stories that evolve as a result of the need to cross frontiers in search for a better life.

Mrs Noeleen Tiffney, Principal of St. Catherine’s College, concluded;


“Everyone present was very impressed by the films so eloquently presented by the students who created them. This Erasmus project is a wonderful example of collaboration among our Sacred Heart schools all of which enjoy the rich diversity of pupils from various parts of the world. I pay tribute to the teachers involved, in particular, to Conall Ó Máirtín and Neil McCool who have invested a huge amount of time and energy in this important social issue.”

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