Background to the Project

"Lunch Time" on our field trip to the "Opencast" mines

In 1999 the Irish National Centre for Technology in Education chose a number of schools throughout the country to participate in special projects known as Schools Integration Projects. These projects were to demonstrate how computer technology could be used to enhance  curriculum based projects. Extra funding was provided for the participating schools and substitute cover was provided for project coordinators. Our school was fortunate to be selected for a S.I.P.

Our project is  based on "Coalmining in the Castlecomer area". For centuries coalmining had been the main industry in the locality and every household was touched by it's many traditions. The mines are closed now for over 30 years and it is only recently, as the wounds and bitterness of the closure and redundancies have also closed, that locals have come to realise the treasure that was once part and parcel of everyday life in Castlecomer and the surrounding areas.

The skill, the talent, the courage and the great wit  of the miner and those involved in mining were all taken for granted in days gone by.

It is our great privilege to get the opportunity to record this great tradition and to share with you some of the wonderful moments of days gone by. We had great fun carrying out the research. We visited the old mines and places to do with mining, interviewed former miners, their sisters, mothers, grandmothers,  wives and children. We collected artifacts and took photographs and then came back to school and wrote it all down. Our biggest job was the editing and structuring of all that marvelous information.

Boys warm their hands at the "hob" as the wait to interview the man of the house

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