Congratulations to the combined team of Cloghans Hill, Gortskehy, Lehinch and Robeen on winning the McCartan Cup this month. It was great to welcome the cup back to Gortskehy after so many years. Special thanks to Pat Hession and Brendan Murphy for their role in preparing the team.
Congratulations Maura Gilmore on winning our two U2 tickets today! Thanks to everyone who entered. This was our first live broadcast event and we’re really proud of Amy, Lexie and Evan in sixth class who presented so well. Thanks also to James Heaney and Garrymore GAA for the use of their drum. A recording of the draw which took place live here at 2pm can be viewed below.
Entrants: Catríona Uí Bheirn (x 2), Maura Gilmore (x 2), Cathy Fitzpatrick, Patrick Langan, Margarita Corscadden, Lynda Hession (x 2), Darragh Beagan, Michelle Gannon, Patrick Burke (x 2), Micheál O’Hehir (x 2), Paul McGurnaghan, Suzanne McDonald, Caroline Connolly (x 2), Bridget Curran, Lorraine Corcoran (x 2), Declan Smith, Marie Hession, Mairéad Delaney (x 2), Niamh Murray, Carol Doherty (x 2), Martin Morris, Margaret O’Connell, Laura Reynolds, Edmund Kavanagh, Dave Loftus, Fergal Kent, Jennifer Jordan (x 2), Michelle Harley (x 2), Patrick Hagan, Colette Flaherty, Patricia Jennings, Monica Dix, Robert Fergus Madden (x 2), Yvonne Francis, Gareth Murphy, Siobhán Mangan Heaney, Margaret Nimmo, Michelle Flynn, Sarah Ryan, Michael Dolan, Dominic Ó Braonáin, Laura Commins, Sandie Hession, Mary Lydon (x 2), James Minogue, Fintan Jennings, Pauline Jennings, Olivia Tierney (x 2), John McDonald.
Vasco da Gama
In the middle of the 15th century, Portugal was the leading seafaring nation in Europe. There was great rivalry between Portugal and Spain for the control of trade with India and China. At the time it was believed that the Atlantic ocean and the Pacific ocean were landlocked. Christopher Columbus believed the East Indies (the lands of South and Southeast Asia) could be reached by sailing west across the Atlantic. In 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain provided money to fund Columbus’ plans. He discovered the Americas in 1492 and thought he had reached Asia.
Vasco da Gama from Portugal was actually the first European to reach India by sea. His first voyage to India took two years (1497-1499). This was the first time Europe and Asia were connected by an ocean route. Today we visited the monastery of St. Jerome in Lisbon which is the final resting place of this famous Portuguese explorer. Many roads and buildings are named after Vasco da Gama in Portugal. We saw the Vasco da Gama bridge in Lisbon which is the longest bridge in Europe. It took three years to build (1995-1998) – eighteen months of preparation and eighteen months of construction. It spans the river Targus which is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula at 1007km long.
Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos)
Standing at 171 feet (50 meters), this monument is a tribute to the success of Portuguese explorations in an era known as The Age of Discoveries, which began in 1415 and led to the creation of Portugal’s empire.
On our trip to Lisbon we visited Belém Tower which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is Lisbon’s most famous landmark and built to celebrate Vasco da Gama’s expedition. It was built as a lighthouse and fortress near the shore of the river Tagus which flows into the Atlantic Ocean near Lisbon.
Lisbon Interactive Science Museum, Dinner and Disco
We visited a science museum which had lots of interactive displays and even a “flying” bicycle. It was the first time for all of us to cycle 16m from the ground! We joined a workshop on space in the laboratory which explained why Mars is red. The iron in the dust on Mars reacts with oxygen to create a red, rust colour. The sky looks red because storms carry the dust into the atmosphere. We learned about the daily challenges facing astronauts aboard the International Space Station – washing, exercising without gravity, using velcro to attach items such as shoes to the walls. Conor demonstrated an experiment to show how objects travel faster in a vacuum. In the evening all the pupils and teachers went to a restaurant. After the meal a DJ played some music and everyone danced until 11pm. You can view some clips from our day in the video below.
We had a great day today. First, the parents took the children to the school and they sat in on a morning lesson. It is a big school with over 500 pupils. Then we had the official opening ceremony and each partner presented their school and were entertained by the school music club. We were then given a walking tour of the building before all of the pupils from France, Italy, Croatia, Portugal and Ireland were split into groups and all got to make a rocket, satellite and photo frame at different stations. Lunch was in the canteen and then we went to visit nearby salt mines where we were given a tour and afterwards had some ice cream. At the local council building we were welcomed by the mayor and had our photos taken for the local newspaper. We wore our uniforms because we were meeting the mayor. Afterwards we went for a walk in the local park and had some fun which you can see in the video. Tomorrow we go to Lisbon where we will visit a science museum, historical buildings and some of the shopping centres. We will go to a restaurant for dinner tomorrow evening where there will be live music.