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Inspiring the next generation during #IrishHistoryMonth

Did you know that throughout the month of March - the month in which St Patrick’s Day is internationally celebrated - Irish History Month is celebrated?

The initiative was started by Leeds' very own Irish Arts Foundation, and promotes the many positive contributions that Irish people have made in Leeds and also to introduce new audiences to the vibrancy of Irish arts, heritage, culture, and history. You can find out more about Irish History Month and associated events here.

As part of our Irish History Month celebrations at Leeds Irish Health & Homes, we've been deepening our connections with two local primary schools, St Urban's and St Nicholas'. At St Urban's, we delivered a workshop to Years 5 and 6 about the Great Famine. The children were so engaged, learning that the potato was the staple food of Ireland at the time and some of the reasons why harvests fell drastically in the 1840s.

The children spoke with compassion and empathy, putting themselves in the position of the families who were left to starve and leave their homeland. LIHH staff members Clare Mone and Megan McClean, plus community member and volunteer Mary Harkin, were so impressed with their hard work and perceptive questions.

Tara McStay, headteacher at St Urban's, said: "It was lovely for the children to get some insights into Irish history; it's very relevant (not least at this time of year) for many of them given their own Irish heritage, but important for us all to remember! We really appreciate your time and expertise."


We also visited St Nicholas', where we attended a St Patricks Day assembly lead by Year 1 - it was amazing! Afterwards, support worker Clare Mone spoke about the work of Leeds Irish Health & Homes focusing on our core values of Care, Culture and Community. The children and staff were really interested to hear about LIHH's work and events.

Community member and volunteer Mary Harkin also shared her story of her arrival to Leeds from Ireland, and how LIHH has become such a big part of her life, which the children really enjoyed. Thank you to the pupils and staff for making us feel so welcome.

We left some Irish goodies for the children to enjoy, and they've requested that we do some Irish baking on our next visit - watch this space!


To find out more about our intergenerational work, contact the office on 0113 262 5614.

To find out more about Irish History Month, see Irish Arts Foundation.


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