Two Laois schools have won national awards for their efforts to conserve water.
A virtual awards ceremony was screened to 24 schools by Green-Schools & Irish Water on October 21.
Laois primary school Scoil Phadraig Naofa boys NS in Mountmellick were the regional winners in the Primary School category for the Water School of the Year Award.
Scoil Phadraig Naofa impressed by reducing their already low water usage from six to five litres per person per day.
The judges also commended their Green Code, composed by a student: “We're conserving all our water, we’re never going to stop, from Kirwan Park to Davitt Road / We'll Conserve the lot / We badly need your help, so please answer our call / If we all work together / We can conserve it / Allez, Allez, Allez”.
The principal is John Murrell.
“Delighted to have won the regional green schools award today, thanks to all the boys & staff for their hard work in making this happen.” he said.
At second level, Laois student Hanna Mary Biju from Scoil Chríost Rí in Portlaoise was also awarded for her entry to the Green-Schools Water Poster Competition last year, the theme of which was ‘Let’s Take Climate Action for Water’.
Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil in Glanmire, Cork and Dominican College, Galway City were named Ireland’s Water Schools of the Year (primary and secondary).
The Green-Schools programme moved much of its interaction online this school year, developing a suite of Green-Schools Stay Home resources since March, including 13 weeks of activities related to the Water theme. This is the seventh year of the awards and partnership with Irish Water, which has seen over 2,000 schools attend interactive Water Workshops and Walk for Water Events since 2013.
Jenny Lawlor is with Irish Water.
“A key part of Irish Water’s role in safeguarding Ireland’s water supplies is helping the next generation understand the importance of conserving water. I am delighted to say that in the past year alone, as a result of this programme, Green-Schools have saved almost 600 million litres of water.
“The success of the participating schools in reducing water usage and raising awareness about water issues really highlights how important it is to learn about the value of water and water conservation from a young age. That’s why this is such an important programme and one that Irish Water is proud to sponsor," Ms Lawlor said.
MC-ing the event from a remote studio, Green-Schools Manager Cathy Baxter said: “It was definitely not the same to be staring into a camera and set of screens for today’s event, instead of at a group of friendly faces, but we have to carry on. Over 200 members of the schools’ communities and each winners’ extended family could watch the ceremony through a live link today and we received messages of support that students and families appreciated their work being rewarded and recognised in this way. Messages like that keep us going at times like this!”
A dozen students won prizes for their artwork designed for this year’s Green-Schools Irish Water Poster Competition and four groups of students were honoured for their work as Water Ambassadors in their schools and communities. This year also saw the first group of students winning for their entry to the inaugural video category of the Poster Competition.
Postponed in May due to COVID-19 restrictions, the ceremony celebrated the winners of the annual Water School of the Year Awards; Water poster competition and Water Ambassador Programme. The Green-Schools Water theme is supported by Irish Water.
Winning schools and students:
Water Schools of the Year:
Southern Region: Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil, Glanmire, Co. Cork
Eastern & Midlands Region: Scoil Phadraig Naofa, Mountmellick, Co. Laois
Dublin Region: St. Fiachra's Junior School, Beaumont, Dublin 5
North & West Region: St Joseph's National School, Bonniconlon, Co. Mayo
Southern Region: St. Mary's Special School, Rochestown, Co. Cork
Eastern & Midlands Region: Meanscoil Iognaid Ris, Naas, Co. Kildare
Dublin Region: St Paul's CBS Secondary School, North Brunswick St, Dublin 7
North & West Region: Dominican College, Taylor's Hill, Galway
Poster Competition Winners:
Junior Primary: (Infants – 2nd Class)
Dublin Region: Chloe Dunne, 2ndclass, St Brigid’s Primary School, Glasnevin, Dublin 11 – Overall Category winner
Eastern & Midlands Region: Ada Davis Flynn, 1stclass, St Joseph’s NS, Tullamore, Co. Offaly
Southern Region: Michaela Coholan, 2ndclass, Ballinspittle NS, Ballinspittle, Co. Cork
North & West Region: Amy Hussey, Junior Infants, Lisaniskey NS, Donamon, Co. Roscommon
Senior Primary Category: (3rd- 6th Class)
Dublin Region: Ellen Shelton, 3rd class, St Vincent de Paul GNS, Griffith Avenue, Dublin 9 – overall category winner
Eastern and Midlands Region: Alex and Anastasia Logovenko, 6th class, Ashbourne ETNS, Co. Meath
Southern Region: Aoife Lawrence, Dualla NS, Cashel, Co. Tipperary
North Western Region: Roisín Fallon, Ballaghlea NS, Co. Galway
Dublin Region: James Jones, 2ndyear, St Mark’s Community School, Tallaght, Co. Dublin
Eastern and Midlands Region: Hanna Mary Biju, 5thyear, Scoil Chríost Rí, Portlaoise, Co. Laois
Southern Region: Katie O’Connor, Transition year, Castleisland Community College, Tonbwee, Castleisland, Co. Kerry - overall category winner
North Western Region: Eoin Conneely, Transition year, Ballinrobe Community School, Co. Mayo
Video Competition Winner:
Ballymakenny College, Drogheda, Co. Louth
Water Ambassador Programme Awards:
Regional Ambassador Winners:
Munster: Ava Maher, Niamh Corbett, Amelie Friddle & Niamh O'Loughlin - Loreto Secondary, Kilkenny.
Connaught/Ulster: Alex Browne, Gary Warren & Brian Igoe – St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam, Co. Galway.
Leinster: Aisling Healy & James Mahon - FCJ Secondary School, Bunclody, Co. Wexford.
Chloe Cody & Katie Doyle - Presentation De La Salle, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow.
Regional Ambassador Runners-up:
Munster: North Monastery Secondary, North Monastery Road, Cork, Co. Cork.
Connaught/Ulster: Gort Community School, Gort, Co. Galway.
Leinster: Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin.