One ‘Young Offender’ gets to the ‘art’ of the Hammies

December 4th, 2019 11:54 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

At Hamilton High School were Dominic MacHale (aka Sgt Healy in The Young Offenders) with students Ethan Roberts, Jack Chang and Tom Cullen. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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A CREATIVE arts club for students in the Hammies in Bandon has received the seal of approval from one well known Young Offenders star.

Dominic McHale – who plays Sgt Healy  in the popular TV series –  visited the school  with film director Shaun O’Connor last week to launch the Prometheans Arts Club website.

Both spoke of how impressed they were with the arts club at the school.

‘What you are doing right here with this gathering that you have is very, very creative and so important and it develops an aspect of your mind and it develops an aspect of your personality that if you don’t do something creative you don’t get that,’ said Dominic.

Shaun O’Connor, who has already worked with the students on film projects, said that what the students have was akin to ‘winning the lottery’ and said this would be a great springboard for what they might want to do in the future.

‘If you have that creative spark, then you have to do it. You don’t have a choice as you’re not only denying yourself, but you’re also denying it to the world,’ said Shaun.

Ciarán Collins, a teacher at the school, and a well-known writer, said that he has been blown away by the talent he has seen and pointed out that the club is bringing students from all different years together to explore film, video and podcasts, among others.

‘Last year we had 26 members and this has increased to 35 this year and more teachers are coming on board, too, so it’s becoming part of normal life here in the Hammies,’ said Ciaran.

An informative Q&A session took place afterwards with both Dominic and Shaun very impressed with the questions asked.

The Prometheans Arts Club was set up in the school in 2018 and takes in all areas of the arts including film, video, art, photography, literature, music and podcasts.

The group set up a new library in the school to encourage students from all years to read more, as well as setting up the annual Be Inspired awards to recognise the talents of creative students in the school.

The students are also busy producing a documentary on the school to tie in with its 80th anniversary next year.

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