Work has started on a film that will capture the remarkable story of Shimna Integrated College as we enter our 30th anniversary year. It will celebrate the vision of brave parents and teachers who, thirty years ago, sought to bridge divisions in society through the power of mutual understanding.
The film will include interviews with Angela Morgan, founding Chair of Governors, fellow founding parents Roisin Behan, Andy Carden, John Keane, John McCombe and Kevin Quinn, as well as original staff members Kevin Lambe, the founding Principal, recently retired Derek Bailey and Ellen McVea.
Together, they welcomed the first cohort of 60 students, parents and teachers on August 31st, 1994 - the day the IRA announced its first ceasefire. The College started out in Murlough House, nestled in the nature reserve in Dundrum, before a purpose-built campus was established in Newcastle. It marked a significant milestone as Shimna became the first integrated post-primary school outside of Belfast.
The film is due to be released in the autumn.
Many thanks to Ciaran Forbes, custodian of Murlough House, granting us permission to film on location.