History was brought to life for pupils at St Killian’s College yesterday during a visit by Irish politician Eamon O’Cuiv TD.
The Fianna Fáil spokesperson on regional development, rural affairs and the Gaeltacht, who is a grandson of Eamon DeValera, gave an informal talk to history students.
Mr. O’Cuiv allowed the history department to put on display the surrender note that De Valera handed to British commander Hickson at the end of Easter week 1916.
He told pupils that years later, De Valera and Hickson began to exchange letters and from that a friendship arose with Commander Hickson visiting him in Dublin, both while he was Taoiseach and also President.
The full correspondence was on display in the college.
During his visit, Mr Ó’Cuív gave an informal talk to students in which he discussed the various persona of Éamon De Valera, “the family man, the grandfather who told him stories and allowed him to play hurling in Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the Irish President, the revolutionary, the Fianna Fáil leader, the Taoiseach, the President”.
As well as sharing anecdotes about De Valera, Mr Ó’ Cuív took questions from the students, talked about his own political career, his relationships with different groups and people in Co Antrim in what the school has described as “a very informative but informal talk”.
St Killian’s princpal Jonny Brady presented Mr Ó’ Cuív with a bowl which had been carved from a broken branch of the eucalyptus tree in the college grounds which is one of the oldest in Europe planted by Frances Anne Vane, Lady Londonderry, shortly after building Garron Tower around 1850.