'Down anthem' a big hit for Kilrane school pupils
Moving performances by Wexford schoolchildren of the Down Syndrome Awareness Week anthem has scored more than 33,000 views since being posted on the school website on March 21.
The junior- and senior infants' performances at Kilrane National School were inspired when teachers showed a video of a group of Liverpool mums doing some carpool karaoke singing of the anthem and signing with their Down Syndrome children.
'It was completely unrehearsed, spur of the moment.
'We were showing them the karaoke video and one of our teachers, Emma Hore, got up and started singing and the children joined in, singing and signing,' said teacher Roisin Wafer.
First to perform 'A Thousand Years' during the school assembly were youngsters from Junior Infants to Second Class, including Laila Coyne, who has Down Syndrome.
Half an hour later, it was the turn of Third to Sixth Class children to perform the anthem during the senior assembly.
'We always mark Down Syndrome Awareness Week,' said Roisin, 'but this very special'.
She said Emma, an accomplished singer in her own right, knew the words of the anthem as she had performed it at weddings, and the children quickly followed her musical lead.
Last year, Kilrane National School had four children with Down Syndrome, but currently only has one. The school has more than 300 pupils and has a great reputation for looking after every child in the community, regardless of ability.
Last year, it opened a new €1 million, three-class extension for children who need extra support while in school.
You can see and hear the performaces on the facebook page of Kilrane National School.