The trip was inspired by the novel Artemis Fowl which the First Years are reading this term. It is a story about fairies and magic and Tara is mentioned in it a few times.
On arrival, the students were greeted by gale force winds and heavy rain. Undaunted, they set about their first task which was to make a documentary in groups, The documentaries are about: The Protest Against the M 3, Myths and Legends, The High Kings, The Flora and Fauna of the area, and the History of the area.
After making the documentaries they set off for the Wishing Tree on which they tied the wishes they had written and wrapped at home. Then they found a private space for themselves in which to write a poem inspired by an item in the landscape, an interesting aspect of their documentary, or the history or geography of the area. Unfortunately many of the poems were whisked away by gusts of wind or disintegrated in the rain but those that survived are very good.
After lunch, which was eaten in the bus due to a cloud-burst, the boys and girls played and enthusiastic game of Rounders and tried their best to win The Hill of Tara Race. They were fortunate enough to meet with two interesting gentlemen who had protested against the motorway which was built near the Hill. One of the gentlemen gave the students a talk on the history of the area. The other was a performance poet who performed one of his poems, the message of which was, that ‘the best things in life are free’. The students showed a keen interest in what the men had to say and were very respectful towards them.
The Hill of Tara, with its wildness and openness, archaeology and history is an interesting and exciting place for young people to visit. The First Years had a very enjoyable and educational day there. Hopefully the visit will help them to realise that the best things in life really are free.