The 60th anniversary of the school was marked with a celebration in the school with the students from the 6th to 12th classes. In attendance also were the Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn, the German Ambassador to Ireland, Dr. Eckhard Lübkemeier and the French Ambassador to Ireland Mme Emmanuelle D’Achon.
St Kilian’s German School is a school of encounter. The school cooperates with the Lycée Français d’Irlande and in the year groups 7 to 9, Irish, German and French students are taught together in the Eurocampus. With the exception of German and International History the lessons are taught through the medium of English. The school offers the Sprachdiplom exams to levels 1 and 2 and all students complete the Irish State Examinations, the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate.
All German schools abroad develop relationships with the host country on many levels. The origins of the German School in Dublin go back to 1952 and exemplify the very close connection between the German and Irish nations. After World War II hundreds of needy children from war torn Germany and France were brought to Ireland through the Operation Shamrock Initiative. Once here, they were fostered by Irish families and some stayed with their foster families for many years. During this time they were looked after and nourished and they experienced a life without fear or deprivation. Before many of the children returned to Germany, they had lost touch with their mother tongue and had to re learn German. However, some children did not return to Germany at all and the German school was founded to keep them and other children of German families living in Dublin, in touch with their language.
Given that the possibilities for further European cooperation continue to this day the Minister for Education Mr Ruairí Quinn stressed the “Demons of Chauvinism and Nationalism” can only be contained and controlled through a shared European Culture. Alice Lynch School Principal added that the work of the school represented a very concrete example of this European cooperation.
The distribution of the 58 Sprachdiplom Certificates by the German Ambassador Dr. Eckhard Lübkemeier followed his congratulatory speech in which he stressed the combined efforts of teachers and students to reach the langauge levels required to successfully complete the Sprachdiplom exams. Dr. Lübkemeier pointed out that although the signing of the certificates takes a very short time, the process of learning towards the exam may last for several years.
The moderators for the event were two 12th class students who guided the proceedings in two languages German and English. Of particular note was the presence of Elke Carey in the audience. She was one of the children rescued through Operation Shamrock. She had kindly donated photos from her life as an “Operation Shamrock Child” to be used in the opening presentation. Elke Carey is married and lives in Ireland.
The celebration was anchored in the musical contributions from the primary and secondary school, choirs the secondary school band and students presented poems in German, English, Irish and French reflecting the language focus of the school.
Download the extract of Minister Quinn’s speech Minister launching Irish Oranges Exhibition celebrating 60 years
Read coverage of the event in the Irish Times on 12 October 2012 Irishtimes60th