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Students from Holly Lodge Girls’ College, Liverpool, Davitt College in Castlebar, and the Istituto D’Istruzione Superiore in Roseto, Italy with the help from Ryanair Europe’s largest low cost airline today set off today from Liverpool John Lennon Airport transporting a 13 piece mosaic Path to Castlebar in Ireland to celebrate World Peace. The ‘Peace Path’ will be laid on the new, Castlebar Riverside Walk.

The Peace Path project started in 2007, when teachers and pupils started to look at opportunities to make a major and lasting input to the Liverpool Capital of Culture programme 2008 and to highlight and mark the UN Decade of Educating for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the World’s Children in the 21st Century.

The aim was for the young people to have the opportunity to create a lasting public work of art celebrating the message of International Friendship.

The young people used their own experiences and sense of place to develop ideas that reflected peace and their ‘hopes, aspirations and dreams’ and wanted it to take the form of a path which would be seen by many people. It was crucial for it to be laid in a public space. The path was made through workshops at Holly Lodge Girls’ College with mosaic artists Bernadette Hughes and Susan Whittle. Transition Year students from Ireland, Siobhan Duffy and Daniel Holian commented, "The trip to Liverpool was one of our best school experiences. We enjoyed every minute of the Human Rights festival, made lots of new friends and will never forget our time there. Creating the mosaic tiles for our Peace Path was such fun. We are really looking forward to seeing the groups from Italy and Liverpool and showing them our town and our county."

Not sure how they would carry the heavy 7 stone path from England to Ireland, the College approached Ryanair who came to their rescue and kindly sponsored the children of Holly Lodge Girls’ College to take the pieces of the Path from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Ireland West Airport Knock. This has guaranteed the safe transportation of the Peace Path.

Jackie Ley, Assistant Head at Holly Lodge says "We are so grateful that Ryanair have agreed to help us with the safe arrival of our students and path to Ireland".

A civil ceremony will take place to mark the laying of the stones and the students will get to see their work laid in Castlebar’s Riverside Walk. Part of the Peace Path will be installed in each country.

The students will spend the four days in Castlebar participating in many cultural activities and exchanges. Edel Mullin, Host Teacher from Davitt College, Ireland says, "The Comenius partnership is such a wonderful opportunity for students to get to know and work with students from across Europe. The students here in Davitt College have benefitted enormously from their involvement in the Peace Path project. It has given them the chance to travel to other European countries and to get to know students from outside Ireland. The mosaic path is a huge project that has involved so much work in three European countries, but it has definitely been worth it!" To finish off the project a trip to Italy is planned for 2010.

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