TERENCE MacSwiney Community College welcomed Taoiseach Micheál Martin to the campus this week to assist students with planting a tree at the school as part of the launch of this year’s College Awareness Week.
The campaign promotes the benefits of a post-secondary education plan for all and aims to support students to become “college ready” and showcases local role models.
Mr Martin welcomed the launch of College Awareness Week, stressing the importance of offering support and guidance to students preparing for the next chapter of their education.
“The Government is committed to investing in the future and the sustainability of higher education. Since 2014, College Awareness Week has raised awareness of Post-Leaving Certificate opportunities for all students.
“This tree being planted at Terence MacSwiney Community College will need nurturing and care in its new environment. Trees — like schools and their students— go through life stages and respond to their environment.
“I hope this tree will flourish here at Terence MacSwiney Community College for decades to come, as will the students in their chosen lifepaths,” he said.
Principal at Terence MacSwiney Community College Phil O’Flynn said the school was delighted to welcome the Taoiseach for the event and went on to explain the significance of the tree planting ceremony in Cork.
“The symbolism of the tree planting is very congruent in this context as trees symbolise life, wisdom, power, and prosperity. In recent years, the community of Knocknaheeny/Hollyhill has grown organically into a place where the local community can celebrate and embrace its own wisdom and power.
"It is, however, still a community seeking prosperity and change, and all our partners in education have been invaluable assisting us work towards helping individuals dream of better and brighter futures and in witnessing a whole community come of age. It’s been truly wonderful to be part of that journey,” Ms O’Flynn added.
The school took the opportunity to present the Taoiseach with his own copy of Shadow – The Christmas Story — a book written by Daniel Stewart O’Donoghue, Daniel McCarthy, Kyle Higgins and Darren Stewart. The illustrations throughout the book were done by Daniel McCarthy.
The students were extremely proud to share this book with the Taoiseach, having already presented him with the first volume, back when he visited the school in June 2021.