Report on FÉILTE – 5th &  6th October 2018

President Higgins chats to IPEA members at the Showcase Opening Ceremony

Mary Immaculate College Limerick

FÉILTE is a festival of Irish education run by the Teaching Council and has been running for 5 years. It has different sessions: keynote speakers, Researchmeet, Teachmeet, Showcases and Showcaser’s Stories. All teachers are invited to attend, and the IPEA decided to apply this year to have a showcase. We were successful and were invited to present at the Showcaser’s Stories slot.

International Day of Prison Education:

October 13 th is International Day of Prison Education. This marks the publication of the Council of Europe Recommendations that put prison education on a statutory footing. The European Prison Education Association encourages branches to celebrate the day. We felt that the IPEA taking part in FÉILTE was a good way to mark this anniversary.


The event:
The Teaching Council chose the IPEA to meet President Higgins. He spoke to us for a long time about prison education and his belief in the benefits of the Gaisce Award for prisoners. There was a steady stream of visitors to our showcase, many of whom did not realise that prisoners could attend education in prisons. President Higgins performed the Opening Ceremony on Friday night and mentioned the great work that was going on in Irish prison education.

On Saturday, Ciara Ryan spoke at the Showcaser’s Stories slot about the IPEA and our work in supporting educators in prison. On reflection, we felt that it was a very worthwhile experience and it helped raise awareness of prison education. If we were to attend in the event again we would consider bringing along membership forms, leaflets on the IPEA and some newsletters, as well as a visitor’s book to gather contact details of those who were interested in finding out more. We are very proud to have taken part.

The IPEA Executive Committee

Sabina Higgins with IPEA committee

Ciara Ryan, IPEA and Larry DeCleir, Bedford Row

Ciara Ryan speaking at Showcaser’s Stories