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Joe meets Garda Commissioner

In May and June of this year, 3rd class wrote to famous Irish people - they chose all sorts of people from swimmers to influencers and everyone in between!

It was wonderful to see how quickly they got replies. Some celebrities wrote back within the week, while others took a bit longer - which is understandable. It's a wonderful experience for the children, they learn so much. Apart from the obvious letter-writing format, they learned about researching, envelope format, different types of stamps, questioning etc. Writing for an actual audience and not just the teacher gives the children great motivation to fine tune spelling, handwriting, presentation and paragraphs. Teacher Michelle Finnerty is justifiably proud of the effort the children made in their letter-writing and hopes that they see the benefits and advantages of putting pen to paper throughout their lives!

As part of this great project, pupil Joe O'Malley wrote to Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, and was absolutely delighted when Commissioner Harris wrote back saying he would actually be in Newport on 17th August and would love to meet him! The O'Malley family were guests of honour at the ceremony held in the park by the river, where a stunning sculpture and plaque were unveiled honouring Newport born Michael Staines who became the first ever Garda Commissioner exactly one hundred years ago today. Joe got to meet Commissioner Harris, who presented him with a very special medal, marking the centenary of an Garda Siochana

Below is a photo of Joe with his medal and with Commissioner Harris, and just some of the replies received by the children to their letters. If any parents out there have copies of the replies their children received, please email them to Fiona at and they will be added to this post.


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