Portlaoise CBS students ‘dive into life’

David McCabe with his tandem jumper in flight.
A brave team of teachers and students from St Marys CBS jumped from a plane at 10,000 foot last month in aid of positive mental health.

A brave team of teachers and students from St Marys CBS jumped from a plane at 10,000 foot last month in aid of positive mental health.

The skydives took place in perfect conditions on March 27 in the Irish Parachute club grounds in Clonbullogue, Offaly, ending the Portlaoise school’s positive mental health week ‘Dive into Life’ literally on a high note.

Their aim was to raise awareness of positive mental health, and spread the core message of the Donal Walsh Foundation - to get help if you need it. The team raised €1934 for the Donal Walsh #livelife Foundation.

There was great excitement at the school as the nervous skydivers were wished good luck on their departure.

Student Ross Byrne was the first to jump followed by David McCabe and Matthew Hennessy. Ross described it as ‘a once in a life time experience’ taken aback by the breath-taking views.

Next up were the three teachers Geoff Brennan, Stephanie Buckley and Martina O’Neill and the final skydiver was student Omar Rasool.

“It was an exhilarating and exciting experience and I was honoured to do it on behalf of such a great foundation and help spread the message,” said Ms Buckley, co-ordinator of the Amber Flag team.

Mr Brennan enjoyed the experience so much he said “I now know why birds fly”. while Ms Murphy recalled “falling through the clouds was a mighty experience”.

Fionnbar Walsh, father of the late Donal, visited the school the day before the dive, and personally rang Ms Buckley that evening to ensure they all landed safely.

The skydivers are delighted with their achievement, and thank everyone who sponsored and wished them well.

The Amber Flag team have more exciting events lined up. The school will host the Cycle Against Suicide cyclists as they stop in Laois on May 8 and 9, with Scoil Criost Ri. See St Marys CBS Portlaoise Amber Flag Team on facebook.