On the 18th January 2016, the two 5th classes headed off on the 54A bus to visit St. Patrick`s Cathedral for a tour and an art workshop.
When we arrived, there were lots of tourists strolling around admiring the stunning building with its amazing stained glass windows, statutes and sculptures! We were welcomed by the guides and divided into two groups. Ms. Judge`s class were the first to do the stained-glass window workshop and Ms. Smith`s class were divided into two, each group led by a guide and expert on the Cathedral. Our guide was Philip. He told us the most interesting and fascinating stories! Philip pointed out one of the main stained-glass window which depicted the life story of St. Patrick. There was a beautiful statue of the sailor John McNeil who sadly died trying to rescue other sailors, while his faithful dog waited by the shoreline. The dog lay on his grave and died after a few days from a broken heart. The ghost of the dog is said to roam the Cathedral. Having read Gulliver`s Travels, we were really interested to hear that Jonathan Swift is buried here. We laughed as Philip told us that, being the Dean of the Cathedral, Jonathan would get really annoyed if people didn`t listen during his services. He would sit on a high chair with wheels. His servants would push him around and he would shout at the people who were asleep or not paying attention. There was a beautiful, wrought iron tree and lots of paper leaves strewn at the bottom of it. This was to remember all of the people who had died during conflicts and wars. Visitors to the Cathedral were invited to write a message on a leaf, if they knew of anyone affected by these. We learnt the origin of the saying “chance your arm” and the door of reconciliation relating to the Fitzgerald and the Butler families. We sat in the Lady Chapel, where we noticed the seats of the Knights of St. Patrick and their helmets and family crests. There was a piece of material at the back of each of the seats which was used for people to kneel on. Philip told us about the arduous task of cleaning the Lady Chapel and how one woman used a toothbrush to do the job! He also mentioned the St. Patrick`s Cathedral Choir school, which sings twice a day in the Cathedral. Philip was a fantastic guide and we learnt so much.
We were brought to another section of the Cathedral and three art teachers explained what we were to be doing in the art workshop. Having observed many of the stunning stained-glass windows, we were to create our own. Each group chose a theme and the materials were distributed. We took our “masterpieces” back to the school to display. We also did rubbings of various historical characters using gold crayon.
At this stage, we were starving and went to the adjoining park for a picnic and a run around!