Cross-border and Cross-community OASES in Armagh


Students from Our Lady's & St. Mochua's Primary School, Keady and Clontibret National School, Co. Monaghan showing the artwork they produced during the OASES programme.

On Friday 18 June, as part of an innovative project developed by the Armagh Rhymers and the Armagh Observatory, 140 pupils from counties Armagh and Monaghan will have a special visit to the Armagh Planetarium and the Armagh Observatory's grounds. This cross-border and cross-community project, called "OASES", is funded through the European Union’s PEACE III Small Grants Programme, promoted by Armagh City and District Council and managed by the PEACE III Southern Cluster Partnership for the Special EU Programmes Body.

This event ends the first part of the OASES project, in which the participating schools were: Monaghan Model and Clontibret National School from county Monaghan; and Lisnadill, Our Lady’s & St. Mochua's, Mount St. Catherine’s and the Armstrong Primary Schools from county Armagh.

In this programme, the Armagh Rhymers Cultural Organisation and the Armagh Observatory are advancing cross community and cross-border networking in the Armagh and Monaghan areas, by bringing science and the arts to the classroom. Their workshops enable children to see the interconnection between these disciplines and boost creativity, while realizing that "Over us All is the SElfsame Sky" (John Hewitt, Ulster Names), hence the name of the project, "OASES".

"It is wonderful that, by teaming up with Dr Miruna Popescu from the Armagh Observatory, we are taking the stars down to Earth and disseminating astronomy knowledge through traditional music, stories and dance to the local people, as well as contributing to the peace and reconciliation process by making links throughout the community" said Dara Vallely from the Armagh Rhymers.

The Friday event will start with a visit to the Planetarium and continue with a guided tour of the Observatory’s Astropark and Human Orrery. The highlights of the event are the childrens’ performance of reconciliation and science songs and dances put on traditional Irish tunes, as well as an exhibition of paintings created by the children during OASES workshops.

The OASES programme will continue as part of the John Hewitt Summer School and the International Meteor Conference, both taking place in Armagh later this summer, as well as in another eight schools, in the autumn.

This project is part-funded through the EU's PEACE III Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. The Armagh Rhymers Cultural Organisation is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The Armagh Observatory is a science institution supported by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Miruna Popescu at the ArmaghObservatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG; Tel: 028-3752-2928; mdpat


SEUPB The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU structural funds Programmes PEACE III and INTERREG IVA designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society. The programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG IVA, Western Scotland.

The PEACE III Programme is worth €333 million and is aimed primarily at reinforcing progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promoting reconciliation. It focuses on helping Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland to reconcile communities and contribute towards a shared society.

For more information on the SEUPB please visit

Last Revised: 2010 June 11th