As you all know there was great excitement at le Chéile ETNS last week following a phone call from the school’s inspector (on behalf of the office of the Taoiseach) inviting us to take part in the Presidential Inauguration on Sunday last at Dublin Castle. An amazing privilege.
Ten children from 5th and 6th class, Aidan, Fiona O’Connell and I, attended. Names were taken from the hat to pick the lucky few.
And the event did not disappoint. The children assembled in a room, with five other schools to watch the swearing in ceremony on a big screen and then their big moment arrived. They formed a guard of honour at the red carpet as the President, Michael D. Higgins, exited the swearing in ceremony while waving presidential flags. The President greeted them and stopped to shake hands and speak to among others, Aidan and myself. His wife, Sabina, was given flowers by a young girl from one of the other schools. An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar followed and shook hands and spoke to Fiona O’ when passing. By his side was An Tánaiste, Simon Coveney who also spoke with a number of those present, including me.
When the president exited the building and entered the adjacent courtyard there was a large group of soldiers assembled and a gun salute was made. The children followed and re-formed their guard of honour at the entrance to the highly impressive courtyard. The president inspected the army and then they paraded around the entire courtyard, accompanied by army band music. On completion of that, a large group of soldiers drove in on motorbikes followed by the presidential car which stopped to take the president and his wife away. He waved goodbye to all present and the children shook their flags and returned his greeting with great enthusiasm.
It was a wonderful memory in the making for all present. We wish our new president every success in his role.