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“I Was a Boy in Belsen” – Author Visits St. Dominic’s

An historical and memorable occasion took place in local School (St. Dominic’s Secondary School Ballyfermot)

When holocaust survivor Tomi Rechentenal visited the school. He was welcomed and introduced by 3rd year student Aleksandra, in Tomi’s native language and then by 5th year History Student Eirn Dempsey in English – It was a touching moment to see Alexsandra Medzihradska welcome someone from her native village in Slovakia.

image003Eirn Dempsey 5th Yr History Student and
Alexsandra Medzinhradska welcome Tomi in his native language

Students, staff and visitors sat in respectful silence for two hours  as they were reminded of the horrors of the concentration camps, as seen through the eyes of a child survivor.

At the age of nine, Tomi Rechental, with his mother, brother, grandmother, aunt and cousin, was incarcerated in the notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Their crime: being Jews in Slovakia under Tiso’s regime which collaborated in the deportation of over 80% of its Jewish population.

image002Mary Daly (Principal) Tomi and
Sr. Liz Deputy Principal)

 

Tomi recalled the daily brutality, starvation and dehumanization of the inmates; the latrine ‘dolls’ that were actually discarded babies, and the constant undercurrent of fear as parents tried to keep rumours of gas ‘showers’ and crematoria from their children.

Tomi told his audience that he did not speak about his experiences of his wartime experiences not because he did not want to, but because he could not. But in recent years he believed it was important that the memories be shared.

 

“It was a story I will carry with me for the rest of my life” – Chloe Moran

‘It was the most intense and heart-breaking story I’ve ever heard. It was an honour to meet such an inspiring and influential man with a big heart despite his past ‘- Leanne Cuff

‘ I admired how forgiving Tommy was towards Germany as a Nation, and the courage he had to speak about his journey and all that he has been through’ – Sophie Kelly

Mary Daly, (Principal) in her thank you speech, told Tomi that this was an event that had touched the lives of all students and staff as they prepared for his visit. She said she had no doubt that the day would go down in the annuals of the school as a very special day.  Mary then invited Tomi to return to the school in 2016, when the school will be celebrating 60 years of Educational Services in the Ballyfermot Community.

2009-07-03 23.47.47Sarah Cleary, Tomi Rechentenal and Shannon White
 
2014 Shoe Box Appeal

team hope shoe boxes 2014

A huge thanks to all our students throughout the Le Chéile Community who filled and gathered shoe boxes for the Team Hope Shoe Box Appeal this Christmas. Pictured are two of the students shoe box volunteers from Ardscoil La Salle Raheny with their large pile of boxes and some of the student and teacher volunteers from Salerno in Galway who  doubled their target  box numbers this year.

TEAM HOPE is an Irish, interdenominational Christian development aid charity, working with children, their families and communities in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and Africa. The  shoe boxes will bring a little hope, a lot of laughter and smiles, and a practical expression of God's love at Christmas time and maybe for the first time, for the often forgotten children who have very little.

shoebox appeal 3

 
The winner of this year’s Poetry Aloud competition

Megan Nar from St Louis secondary School in Monaghan, the junior and overall winner of this year’s Poetry Aloud competition is presented with her award by poet Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill.

The competition, organised by the National Library of Ireland and Poetry Ireland, is an annual poetry speaking contest for post-primary school students across the island of Ireland and this year there were  more than 1,700 entries from 118 schools. Congratulations Megan!!

megan-nar

 
Summer 2014 Le Chéile Update

The latest edition of our newsletter the Le Chéile Update is now available. It features news from the schools, a farewell message from Sean Goan our Faith Development Officer  and information about courses and events for next year. Click here to view

 
Mount Sackville Celebrates 150 Years

 

Congratulations to Mount Sackville Secondary School on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the school. In a year of wonderful events to mark this wonderful achievement we draw your attention to "An Evening in May". The school will celebrate 150 years of music in a special concert in Christ Church Cathedral on Friday May 2nd. Click here for more information.

 
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