Pictures: Cork students hear 'powerful story' of Abood Al Jumaili

“He spoke about how he overcame adversity through his own personal resilience." 
Pictures: Cork students hear 'powerful story' of Abood Al Jumaili

A recent visit from guest speaker Abood Al Jumailli, also known as Bonnar Ó Loingsigh, resonated strongly with Transition Year students from Kinsale Community School. Pictures: John Allen

A recent visit from guest speaker Abood Al Jumaili, also known as Bonnar Ó Loingsigh, resonated strongly with Transition Year students from Kinsale Community School.

Abood left Iraq with his family in 2008 and has flourished since his move to Ireland. He is now an advocate and serves as an AIG – Dublin GAA Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Ambassador.

School principal, Fergal McCarthy, said he delivered a great speech. 

“He spoke about his love of Irish culture, Irish language, and hurling," he said. "He spoke about his work on justice. He also described a powerful story of a young man coming to our shores as a nine-year-old refugee seeking peace and establishing for himself a life here.

The secondary school principal said Bonnar, who is a Law LLB (Hons) graduate from Dublin Institute of Technology, has a great ‘appreciation’ for the education he has received in Ireland. 

“He accessed his law degree through the post Leaving Cert course route which demonstrated to our students there are many ways that can get you to your destination," he said. 

“He spoke about how he overcame adversity through his own personal resilience. 

"They were absolutely compelled. He is only 23 years of age, but he has achieved so much." 

There are currently 17 Ukrainian students attending the school and Mr McCarthy said Bonnar’s speech was a reminder of the challenges refugees face when adapting to a new country. 

“From our perspective it gives us a renewed appreciation of the challenges that the Ukrainian children who are currently attending our school and living in our communities faced when escaping the trauma of the war," he said. "We felt very affirmed by the way he spoke so warmly about the opportunities that he received in Ireland.

 "We want to make sure the same warm experience he had is bestowed on the Ukrainian students in our school.”

Abood Abdullah Aljumaili AKA Bonnar Ó Loingsigh with Padraig Fitzgerald and Ger Timmons from the Kinsale Peace Project and school principal Fergal McCarthy. 
Abood Abdullah Aljumaili AKA Bonnar Ó Loingsigh with Padraig Fitzgerald and Ger Timmons from the Kinsale Peace Project and school principal Fergal McCarthy. 

The visit of Abood to the Kinsale secondary school was arranged with the assistance of the Kinsale Peace Project said the principal. 

“There is a very good collaboration in Kinsale between community organisations and the school," he said. "The Kinsale Peace Project seek out inspirational speakers to come to speak in the school. 

"Abood was this year’s speaker. It was a great success.”

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