SECAD Noticeboard March 20th 2013

SECAD Noticeboard March 20th 2013

SECAD takes part in STAR Awards Ceremony @ the Burlington

‘Inspiring Communities – Time to Change’ Youghal

It was with great pride when SECAD learned that its flagship pathway programme ‘Inspiring Communities – Time to Change’ was shortlisted for the prestigious STAR Awards 2013 (Showcasing Teamwork, Awarding Recognition).  The STAR Awards are an awards initiative coordinated by AONTAS as part of the annual Adult Learners’ Festival to acknowledge the fantastic work undertaken by adult learning projects throughout Ireland. The awards celebrate the positive contribution that these projects make to our society, our economy and our local communities.

After a month of hard deliberation the independent STAR Awards Judging Panel drew up a shortlist of projects from 115 fantastic nominations. A total of 35 projects were shortlisted from the five categories; Ulster, Munster, Leinster, Connaught & Nationwide.  The winners of each category were subsequently announced by John Lonergon (former Mountjoy governor) at the Awards Ceremony on 25th February last in Dublin.  The ceremony was officially opened by Minister for Education & Skills, Ciarán Cannon.

SECAD attended the ceremony at the Burlington Hotel, represented by SECAD chairman, John Horgan & Programmes Manager, Toni McCaul.  We were delighted to be accompanied on the day by two adult learners from the programme, Mary Sisk and Mary McCarthy, both of whom completed the Youghal programme.  The delegation also comprised Evelyn McGrath from Cumann na Daoine, our local community partner in Youghal and our principle tutor on the programme, Catherine Ann O’Connell.

The ceremony itself was likened to the Academy Awards, which coincidentally had been held the previous evening, complete with drum-roll, spotlight cast on the winners, and full festive ambience in the packed conference centre.  While SECAD’s nomination did not make the final cut and was outclassed in the end by Ballybeg Horticultural project in the Munster category, it was generally agreed that all shortlisted projects were winners on the day and a credit to furthering the cause of adult education and addressing inequalities in access to education and employment.








Front row (seated) fourth from left: Mary McCarthy (Time to Change Youghal participant 2011), Mary Sisk (Time to Change Youghal participant 2012), John Horgan, Chairman SECAD, Toni McCaul (SECAD programme coordinator), Catherine Ann O’Connell (Trainer LIT) Evelyn McGrath (Cumann na Daoine Community partner).


Another interesting project which SECAD are supporting and which commenced last February is the Historic Graves Project. The Historic Graves project is a community focused grassroots heritage project. Local community groups are trained in low-cost high-tech field survey of historic graveyards. Through working with an Archaeologist, the community themselves learn recording techniques which enables them to survey the headstones and create a valuable source on genealogical information. The surveyed information is then loaded onto the website An innovative part of this project involves photographing each headstone with a GPS camera so that anyone tracing their roots can pinpoint the exact location of a headstone.

John Tierney from also provides fascinating analysis of the headstones themselves including information on any carvings which may be present.

The survey training will be happening in graveyards all across South and East Cork over the coming months. The training is open to all, the more the merrier. If you would like to take part please contact Grace Fox in SECAD on (021)4613432 or email




East Cork Music Project was established in 2011  (as an affiliated service of CDYS) by a group who are deeply committed to  promoting, encouraging and supporting music education and arts practices amongst young people aged 16 to 25 in the East Cork region.  They approached Cloyne Diocesan Youth Services with the training concept who agreed to host the project.

Cloyne Diocesan Youth Services (CDYS Youth Work Ireland, Co. Cork)  have been in existence since the 1960’s, are one of the founding organisations of Youth Work Ireland, the largest Youth Work organisation in the country) and have a long history of youth work in the East Cork region, (and throughout the county) and have a legal status of company limited by guarantee CDYS is also a registered Charity.



This project was developed in 2011 as a response to the need for a music and arts education centre in the region of East Cork.  It was recognised that opportunities are limited for people who have not benefited from traditional education system.  According to CSO live register (March, 2011) youth unemployment is increasing while opportunities in traditional employment such as construction or agriculture are diminishing this is particular to east cork a region that has been.


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