St Mary’s National School in Thomastown officially opened its new playing field and school garden at a recent ceremony in the school.
The rain held off for the most part, allowing the children to treat their guests to a fine demonstration of physical activity on the new playing surface, with a tug o’ war tournament. Bishop Freeman, Dermot Forristal and Father Dan Bollard were among the special guests on the day, while hurling legend Henry Shefflin was also on hand to admire the school’s new playing field.
A beautiful outdoor teaching area – with seating and tables for when the weather permits – was also opened. A quiet and secluded suntrap, it was dedicated to Breda Doyle, whose family helped bring it into being.
The new garden, designed by local landscaper and garden designer Robert Challoner, also involved a huge amount of voluntary work by parents. There is a beautiful selection of flowers and shrubbery, with trees for every season.
There are also separate flower beds for the children of the school to demonstrate their own green-fingered skills. Each class is to have a raised bed, in which to grow their own produce such as strawberry plants.
There is also a new ball wall developed by the parish. The Sisters of Mercy were also instrumental in sponsoring the new facilities.