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26 Jan 2022

Irish rugby star raises Tullamore school's fifth Green Flag

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Shannon Touhey Irish Rugby star pictured with young fan Isabell Farrell

IRISH rugby star Shannon Tourhey raised St Philomena's N.S.'s fifth Green Flag at a ceremony at the Tullamore school last Friday.

Shannon is a past pupil of St. Philomena’s and has represented Ireland and achieved her first cap for Ireland recently.

There are a number of girls in the school that play rugby for Tullamore and Shannon is an inspiration to all showing what dedication, hard work and commitment can achieve.

The school's fifth Green Flag was awarded for biodiversity.

It has been a long and interesting journey towards achieving this flag, it was revealed at the raising ceremony.

The Green Schools Committee together with the Green Schools Co-ordinator Ms Moran organised a wide range of activities such as a calendar competition with Offaly County Council.

Paddy Madden came to the school to help the girls learn about biodiversity and he also helped with the habitat mapping.

A very successful battle of the noticeboards competition also took place.

Then the pandemic came along and students and teachers thought they wouldn’t be able to continue on the Green Schools journey.

However thanks to the creativity of Ms Moran and the Green Schools Committee they continued successfully.

Meetings were moved online and girls got involved through padlets.

Green Schools at home week took place and teachers were amazed by the efforts that the girls made at home making bug hotels, bird feeders, planting and drawing.

When they got back to school students designed an outdoor classroom. Orla, the school's Special Needs Assistant, and the gardening committee organised and designed a sensory space in the yard and lots of girls painted stones for it.

Ms Gaffey and her brother, Brendan designed an amazing garden at the front of the school which you can see as you walk by. It is an area full of colour and growth and we even have our own bug hotel.

There were so many people involved in the Green Schools journey so a huge thank you to everyone that helped out in any way.

In attendance at the flag raising ceremony was Home School Liaison teacher Margaret Buckley who is retiring on this Wednesday. She is wished every happiness on her retirement and a thank you was extended for the fantastic contribution she has made to St. Philomena’s N.S.

The Green Schools Committee made presentations to Shannon and Ms Moran. After Shannon raised the flag to rapturous applause the girls were treated to hot chocolate from the Coffee Hut and a doughnut from Stodge Face.

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