The Lantern Festival by Cillian McCarthy

Brilliantly written piece…

The Lantern Festival

 I stand in the middle of a loud, bright street, with colourful paper lanterns hanging from the many shop fronts that surround me. The neighbouring rooftops and stands have been covered with lights in a rainbow of colours and, when coupled with the lanterns, make everything around them seem to give off a slight glow. Stands in the street sell various snacks and sweets that nearby children are more than happy to buy. It is the day of the Chinese Lantern Festival and the locals are eager for the night’s festivities to officially begin.I am jostled around by the other partygoers as they make their way through the town. Stilt-walkers lurch past me as Chinese dragon puppets parade through the crowds.

Fireworks blaze in the night sky and firecrackers are set off with loud bangs. Paper lanterns are being prepared to be flown over the town. The first few practice lanterns have already been sent floating up into the air. More elaborate lanterns have been set up in certain sections of the street, with some even being stylised to represent animals, like dragons and birds.Suddenly, a strong wind blows through the town. The few lanterns in the air are sent plummeting down to the ground below. The sudden gale tears through the larger lanterns, driving them against the rooftop tiles. Lights on the rooftops burst and wink out, with their absence casting a dark shadow over the town. The townspeople
 cry out in shock, rushing aside to avoid being crushed by the falling lanterns.

The sky rumbles with thunder and is streaked with bright bursts of lightning as an unforeseen storm crashes over the town. Rain lashes down from the heavens, as if poured by some invisible god. It soaks the crowds and extinguishs the flames that burn inside the remaining lanterns. Children squeal and scream while being pushed under cover by their concerned parents. Stall owners hide as much of their wares as they can from the storm.Then, just as quickly as it had arrived, the storm vanishes. Townspeople step out of the covering that shielded them from the rain and stall owners recover the food they managed to save. Everyone looks around to examine the damage and see what can be salvaged. The few lanterns that survived the storm are relit, performers resume their acts and the street is once again enveloped in noise. Peace is restored and the party continues.

Classroom Thoughts by Jackie Chong

Deep thinker Jackie shares this wonderfully written piece

A poem for our times by Andrew Doyle


We are in lockdown

Because of this killer disease

So don’t take this funny

If you do please

We should follow the guidelines

To help the community

Because maybe just maybe

We’ll soon have immunity

This disease is a killer

Is what we think and say

While we are trying to stop it

It will hunt for its prey

So please wash your hands

And don’t forget to sanitize

For if we don’t follow the simple steps

We might never again socialize!

POTENTIAL -A Daniel O’Mahony short story


A clear voice cut through the heavy air of the courtroom. “All rise!”
The muffled shuffling of feet and shrill scraping of chairs accompanied Tadgh
as he stood. While the ancient judge shuffled into place, Tadgh took the
opportunity to glance across the sea of faces that stood behind him. Most of
them stared blankly back at him, but some grinned broadly when he locked
eyes with them. The ones that grinned, without exception, sported cheap
badges they had brought from the vendor just outside the door. Emblazoned
across these badges was the phrase “Imprison the Pot.” Pot was short for
Potential, the idealistic name given to people with enhanced abilities. When
they were first discovered people thought they would be the next stage of

Then they realised you had to be born with these abilities. That’s when
Potentials stopped being something to strive for and became something to be
jealous of. And then something to hate.
Nowadays people liked to pretend that Potential were treated fairly. Treated
with respect. The only Potentials that are treated with respect are the ones
who hide there powers. Hide who they are.
“Defendant, please stay standing. All be seated.” The cacophony of sound
once again filled the room.
“Defendant, you have been charged with the destruction of public and
private property and assault. How do you plead?”
Of course the destruction of property comes first.
Tadgh held his head high and answered. “Guilty only of attempting to save

lives” A satisfied murmur ran through the crowd. They had been looking
forward to seeing him suffer.
“Order, order” the judge lazily drawled, banging his gavel. “Due to the
defendants guilty plea, it is not necessary to show any evidence. I shall now
move to sentencing.”
Tadgh felt the heat rise in his cheeks. He wasn’t following the correct
procedure and nobody had even blinked. As the judge lazily read out his
sentence, the anger in his chest grew. “Stay calm, stay calm” He whispered to
“Defendant, do you have something to say?”
“Well, today can’t get any worse” he thought.
“I have a name, Your Honour” He said as blood began to leak from the Judges


Photographs by Ms Wolfe and Paddy O’Halloran

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