Armagh Observatory and Armagh Rhymers

Moving Stars at John Hewitt Summer School

Solar System dance

Solar System Dance

Girls from Scoil Rince Emain Macha and choreographer Lorraine Scallon provided a moving astronomy-inspired dance at the opening of the John Hewitt Summer School at the Market Place Theatre, Armagh, on Monday 26 July. The highly acclaimed performance was part of "OASES", a cross-border and cross-community initiative that uses science and the arts to bring people from different backgrounds and different communities together. The project is led by the Armagh Rhymers and the Armagh Observatory, and is part-funded through the European Union's PEACE III Programme promoted by Armagh City and District Council on behalf of the Southern Cluster Partnership.

The name "OASES" reflects the position of the Earth as a unique habitable place in space, and that we all experience and share the same view of the stars. It comes from a verse in the John Hewitt poem Ulster Names: that is, "Over us All is the Selfsame Sky".

"What a wonderful idea", said Bill Nolan, from the North-South Ministerial Council, who introduced the performance. "Nowadays Science and Arts are completely separate worlds. But what OASES is doing, is bringing the two together and offering this highly inspirational programme to the local children at an early age".

The show had started earlier on the stairs of the Market Place Theatre with the song "It could be a Wonderful World", performed by nearly 100 children from the Missionaries of Charity Summer Camp held every year at Sherry's Field recreational centre. Photographs from the performance as well as a video of the "Solar System Dance" can be viewed on the OASES web site.

The OASES project has so far been delivered to children from six schools in the Armagh and Monaghan areas, and will continue in another eight schools. "By taking part in the OASES project I learnt that I can work with people from different schools", said a 10-year old girl from Lisnadill Primary School. "We've learnt that our community matters," said an 11-year old boy from Monaghan Model National School.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Miruna Popescu or Mark Bailey at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG; Tel: 028-3752-2928; mdpat and mebat


The Armagh Rhymers Educational and Cultural Organisation is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

The Armagh Observatory is an astronomical research institute with a rich heritage, supported by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.



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 August 6th