Louth’s Primary Schools celebrate their Environmental Excellence!

 The primary schools of Louth gathered at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dundalk to attend the ‘GROW’ Awards on Thursday 30th May 2019.

An acronym for ‘Green, Renewable, Organic and Waste Minimisation’, this competition serves to reward the primary schools in Louth for all that the work which they undertake to make their environment cleaner, greener and more sustainable.

‘The GROW awards are an acknowledgement of the amazing environmental work taking place in the schools throughout the county”, according to Barry Eaton of Louth County Council. ‘We have seen a huge emphasis on climate action in the recent elections both in Ireland and Europe, and our students are leading the charge in taking action on climate change.  Louth also continues to play a leading role in the raising of awareness and education in the areas of environmental and sustainable development issues.  Twenty five Green Flags were awarded by An Taisce to our schools in Louth in 2019  which is something that our county can be very proud of’.

Cllr. Maria Doyle, Leas Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council, presented the ‘School of the Year’ awards to Monastery National School in Ardee, Presentation Primary School in Drogheda and Scoil Phádraig Naofa in Kilcurry. The staff and pupils of these schools have made significant progress over the twelve months and were thrilled to be recognised by the judges.

The fantastic work being carried out by the schools in Louth would not happen without the efforts of the many dedicated teachers. Winners of the ‘Teachers of the Year’ awards went to Ms. Deirdre Sweeney from Scoil Mhuire na Trócaire in Ardee, Ms. Fiona White from Presentation Primary School in Drogheda and Ms. Julie Carolan from Rampark National School in Jenkinstown.  These three teachers are exceptional role models having shown admirable levels of leadership and dedication in delivering excellent environmental programmes and teaching the value of sustainable living in their schools.

We are also fortunate to have a number of students in Louth who can be regarded as excellent green ambassadors in their schools and local areas.  Twelve students from across the county were recognised for their contribution, and were delighted to receive their ‘Highly Commended’ awards in the Junior Environmentalist of the Year 2019 competition. However, three exceptional students were delighted to win the overall awards on the day with Jamie Callaghan from Monastery National School (Ardee), Katie McCormack from Presentation Primary School (Drogheda) and Stella Deary from Scoil Naomh Brid (Ardaghy) receiving the coveted accolade of Junior Environmentalist of the Year for 2019.

The participants in the ‘Eco Tribes’ competition received awards for their work on their outstanding community gardens which were created in partnership with their local Tidy Towns groups. This year it was the tribes from the Redeemer Boys School in Dundalk, St. Mary’s N.S. in Knockbridge, Monksland N.S, St. Mochta’s in Louth Village and Scoil Naomh Buite from Monasterboice. St. Peter’s National School in Dromiskin were thrilled to be awarded the overall winners of the Eco Tribes 2019. It is an excellent competition and unique to the county!

The atmosphere at the awards was electric and there was a captive audience when local An Taisce “Climate Ambassador” Clodagh Shine gave her presentation on how each person can make small changes to combat climate change. Clodagh is a sixth year student from St. Louis Secondary School in Dundalk and is an inspiration to the younger generation.

The Leas Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council, Cllr. Maria Doyle, summed the day up perfectly when she said ‘It is the youth of today who are going to change the world to provide a better future for us all! Their generation will make sure that we look after the planet and hand it back to the next generation in its rightful state. Congratulations to all the schools and pupils who took part in the GROW Awards 2019. The real winners of the hard work which all our schools undertake are the residents and visitors to County Louth!

 Please click here to view GROW booklet 2019