The first two events attended by recently-elected Mayor O’ hArgain in his term of office have been the raising of Green Flags in two of Kilkenny’s national schools.
The first was in the mayor’s own school – Gaelscoil Osrai, of which he is principal, which got its third flag. The second was in the Model School in the city, which recieved its first.
Environmental Awareness Officer of Kilkenny County Council Bernadette Moloney said that the Model School had worked hard to earn their first flag.
“There has always been a good strong environmental ethos in the Model School,” said Bernadette Moloney, environmental awareness officer.
“They have been doing it in such a way – collecting batteries and doing recycling projects for years.
The children also did a ‘Power of One’ event, in which all the students each dropped one piece of litter on the ground, photographed the schoolyard, and then picked up their one piece of litter and took another photograph. It highlighted to the students the huge difference that just one person, or one piece of litter can make if everyone cooperates.
The children had also designed individual miniature Green Flags for themselves to wave. Staff and students were also largely attired in green clothes.
Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Paul Cuddihy, Green Party Cllr Malcolm Noonan, and Elaine Bradshaw of Keep Kilkenny Beautiful were in attendance also.
The school’s eldest and youngest student were selected to raise the flag – Aimee Harper and Rihanna Ewohime.
“A huge lot of work has gone into getting our first Green Flag and it is all down to you,” said Principal Olwen Mackey.
“We have a very hard working committee, and Ms Dalton and Ms Bibby were part of that.”
Mayor O’ hArgain praised the students for their hard work.
“You have done really good work here,” he said.
“Also, to all the teachers – well done. Every single teacher has to buy into this, when they all do that you get a school that really works.
The next flag for the school is the energy flag – switching off lights and computers. The mayor also praised the work of KKB, and Elaine Bradshaw, who he said was a great friend of the Model School, as well as Ms Moloney and Cllr Noonan.
“We are very lucky here – we have a great environmental awareness officer in Bernadette Moloney.
“I also know that Malcolm Noonan is a great help to all the schools’ green committees.”