A very special event to mark the raising of the Green Flag and the official opening of a new garden at Gaelscoil Longfoirt took place last week. The ceremony which brought the whole community together and highlighted all that is great about the school, providing a platform on which the achievements of the pupils over the past year could be celebrated, while also providing the foundations for further enhancement and development at Co Longford’s only Irish speaking primary school, which lies at the heart of the community in Longford town.
The school’s achievements were part of the Green Schools Programme, an international environmental education programme, environmental management system and awards scheme that promotes and acknowledges long-term whole school action for the environment.
The event was launched by Éanna Ní Lamhna, botanist, entomologist, radio and television broadcaster and supporter of An Taisce, the Green Schools Scheme and the Heritage in School’s Scheme.
In highlighting the “great work” done by the pupils, Ms Ní Lamhna also praised the ethos and community spirit at the school, which it has to be said, has reached its peak this year with noted success by the pupils also, in the sporting arena with accolades in soccer, basketball and hurling achieved so far this year.
“A lot of hard work and planning has gone into this celebration,” Principal Yvonne Ní Mhurchú said. “But the hard work has been on-going for many months now as we endeavoured to participate in the Green Schools Initiative. A lot of people helped us along the way and we are very grateful to all of them for that support. I want to particularly thank and pay tribute to the wonderful FÁS workers who have done trojan work over the past few weeks. It gives me great pleasure and joy to see the pride that these men have in the work we do in Gaelscoil Longfoirt, including the ongoing development of our school garden, especially when we had some misfortune with it a few weeks back. I would also like to thank Thomas Gearty, George Crossan, Kevin Keighran, Seamus Kelleher, Michael Gearty, Michael Molloy and Peter Flood for their more than generous support and help.”
The sporting achievements of the pupils at Gaelscoil Longfoirt were also acknowledged on the day. This year the U10 Boys and Girls side – under the guidance of Paul and Richard O’Leary – won the mixed School Soccer League, while the girls achieved the top accolade in the Cumman na mBunscoil Division 1 Championship for the second year in succession. In the basketball stakes, the girls also won the school’s championship and the hurling team made it through to the Division 5 final where they were “very unlucky” to have been beaten, by a victorious Killoe side. “They trained very hard and worked well as a team,” Paul O’Leary said. “They are already working towards next year and have their sights set on further achievements.”