Adrienne and Niki MacCarthy were special guests at the unveiling of a mural at Scoil Phobail Bhéara (Beara Community School), Castletownbere, honouring ten inspirational people – among them Dr Aidan MacCarthy - chosen by students.
The mural was unveiled on May 26, 2016, by Joanne Riordan, Ireland’s Young Person of the Year 2012, another of the ten depicted in the mural.
Adrienne and Niki say they are both very proud and honoured that their father was chosen for the project and included in the mural among such influential and respected people.
Transition year students were asked if they would like to take part in a creative engagement project, with funding from the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals, and a large number volunteered.
Ideas included making the school’s prayer room a more welcoming and reflective space for students, and indentifying positive role models from all aspects of life to inspire students.
Under the theme of ‘inspiration’, it was decided to develop artworks for the prayer room, which would be redecorated, and for the main assembly area, where viewing could be by all students, parents and visitors. A questionnaire went out to students asking them to nominate inspirational people, and from these nominations a final ten were selected.
In addition to Dr MacCarthy and Joanne Riordan, they were Anne Frank, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, O’Sullivan Bere, the last independent ruler of the O’Sullivan Beara sept, Katie Taylor, the Olympic boxing champion, Mala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girls' education activist and 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Paul O’Connell, the retired Irish rugby union player, and Donal Walsh, joint Young Person of the Year 2013 (posthumous).
It was agreed the ten would be best depicted on a mural in the assembly area, with Brian O’Sullivan as artist in residence – students drawing and painting the images themselves - and on a set of lithographs in the prayer room, working with woodwork, metalwork and art teachers on the improvements there.
Dr Aidan in school's top ten heroes
* Top: Adrienne and Niki with Joanne and the mural. Below: the lithographs in the prayer room.