Wexford school is rewarded for environmental awareness work

Nellie Fortune, Lily Doyle, Katie Ann Murphy and Niomie King of St. Colman’s NS Ballindaggin, winner of the ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Award 2023 (junior section) with principal Conor McDonald and Ms. Aislinn Whitty.

St. Colman’s NS Ballindaggin first Green Flag raising (Global Citizenship Litter & Waste). In pictured: Jodie Brennan, Nellie Fortune, Beth Hipwell, Leah Brennan, Noah Nolan and Brian Cahill.

St. Colman’s NS Ballindaggin second Green Flag raising (Biodiversity). lr: principal Conor McDonald Lily Doyle, Katie Ann Murphy, Ms. Aislinn Whitty, Niomie King and Nellie Fortune.

St. Colman’s NS Ballindaggin first Green Flag raising (Global Citizenship Litter & Waste). In pictured: Jodie Brennan, Nellie Fortune, Beth Hipwell, Leah Brennan, Noah Nolan and Brian Cahill and principal Conor McDonald.

Brendan KeaneEnniscorthy Guardian

THE students and staff at St Colman’s NS, in Ballindaggin, Co. Wexford, gathered in the sunshine recently to celebrate their many achievements in environmental care.

The school raised two green flags for its work within the Green Schools programme. A fifth flag for biodiversity was earned two years ago and this year the school achieved a remarkable sixth green flag for global citizenship litter and waste

Principal, Conor McDonald, said the raising of the two flags marked a long standing and on-going commitment to the environment. He also said it reflected a lot of hard work by the entire school community and in particular the green school committee led by the coordinating teacher, Mrs. Whitty.

It was a particularly joyous event for the school as the day also marked its extraordinary success in the ECO UNESCO young environmentalist project. ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) is an all-Ireland environmental awards program that recognizes and rewards young people who raise environmental awareness and improve the environment. Sixth class engaged with the program this year with four members advancing to represent their class and school in the semi finals and finals: Lily Doyle, Nellie Fortune, Niomie King and Katie Ann Murphy.

They displayed their environmental project at the finals at the convention center in Dublin accompanied by their project mentor, Mrs Whitty.

Their project, ‘Butterfly Mosaic’ was an artwork that raised awareness of the need to protect butterflies.

The mosaic was created from rubbish the pupils collected during a community litter pick that they themselves organized.

“The group worked hard to raise awareness of environmental issues and their artwork was on display in the Bunclody library for one month,” said Mr. McDonald.

“The group were delighted to win one of the three major awards of the ECO UNESCO competition,” he added.

The students came away from the event with the All-Ireland title in their age group, winning the Overall Super Junior category.

“The girls were elated by their success and their classmates and the school community were delighted to gather to celebrate their outstanding achievements,” said Mr. McDonald.

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