Over 300 primary school children from around the Ireland took part in the Explorers Education marine heritage project called 'Our Ocean – Marine Legends, Fairy Tales and Folklore in Ireland'.
The project involved nine primary schools, where children engaged in learning about Ireland's rich maritime heritage through marine themed legends, fairy tales and folklore.
The stories ranged from well-known classics including the Children of Lir, Oisin in Tír na nÓg, as well as local legends such as the story of Hy Brasil - how Galway got its name and the Tale of Cill Stifeen. Stories also included fables about the Vikings, fishermen, monks and the lore of mythological creatures such as mermaids, merrows and selkies.
The children from junior infants to sixth class were all encouraged to create artworks and poetry based on the stories that inspired them.
Shazia Waheed, the Explorers Programme Outreach Officer from Lifetime Lab @ OldCork Waterworks Experience said, "This was a fantastic project for children to learn about our ocean. By introducing the children to the marine through a combination of cross curricular lessons including the arts, English, geography and history, the teachers were able to introduce marine themes into the class and in particular recognising the influence of the ocean has on us through our art and culture”.
The 'Our Ocean – Marine Legends, Fairy Tales and Folklore in Ireland' art and poetry exhibition featured at the Marine Institute's The Wild Atlantic Expo during SeaFest Cork in 2019.
The level of awareness that the children developed and shared is clearly visible through the bright colourful artwork and poetry.
Primary school students Sinead Kelleher and Aubrey O'Toole from 4th class Cork Educate Together presented a book called 'Our Ocean – Marine Legends, Fairy Tales and Folklore in Ireland' to President Faure of Seychelles at SeaFest 2019 in Cork.
Accompanying the visit by the President of Seychelles, the children also showcased their work in the exhibition and presented the book on ocean folklore to the Minister of Agriculture Food and the Marine Michael Creed T.D, as well as the current Lord Mayor of Cork Councillor John Sheehan.
OUR OCEAN - MARINE LEGENDS, FAIRY TALES AND FOLKLORE IN IRELAND