PICTURES: Community Garda joins Glen national school pupils on litter-picking rounds

The usual school rounds of the Community Policing Unit in the Granard District and beyond have been put on hold for some time now, thanks to the pandemic but last week saw Edgeworthstown’s Gda Adrian Dockery getting back into the swing of things by paying a visit to Scoil Bhríde Gleann.

Gda Dockery was warmly welcomed by the pupils of the school who were delighted to get the opportunity to carry out a full inspection of his official garda vehicle, including lights and sirens.

“There’s a schools programme that we would normally do and we would touch on issues like road safety, fireworks at Halloween, that kind of thing,” Gda Dockery told the Longford Leader.

“With Covid, that’s been put on hold but Ms Comerford contacted us and we got an opportunity to be outdoors, so we were happy to be able to get back out to engage with the kids.”

Scoil Bhríde has a hugely positive reputation for picking up litter from around the area and has a number of prestigious flags to its name, so when Gda Dockery was invited to join the pupils on one of their litter-picking rounds, he was happy to help.

“They showed me how to pick litter. We went along with our gloves and our hi-vis jackets and they filled eight or ten refuse sacks in about half a mile. They were so enthusiastic, one boy even tried to pull a big tyre from the ditch,” said Gda Dockery.

“It was great to be able to touch base with them again. Of course, we’re very conscious of going into the schools. You don’t want to bring anything with you, but it was great to be able to engage with them outside.

“We just walked up the road and it was a quiet road. They were really getting stuck in, pulling litter out of the ditches.”

Great work was done in Edgeworthstown last week but perhaps the more important point to note is the positive impression children had towards gardaí, thanks to the kind and friendly attitude of Gda Dockery and the Community Policing Unit.

“It’s just a more positive way to engage with kids and to let them see a positive side to the gardaí,” Gda Dockery concluded.

Principal at Scoil Bhríde Eilish Comerford commented that the children had “a lovely afternoon” with Gda Dockery.

“This was part of our Green Schools Day of Action where we reviewed the themes of the five flags we have already achieved,” she told the Longford Leader.

“So much work has been put into the Green Schools initiative by the staff and pupils of Scoil Bhríde over the past decade. This has resulted in the children having an acute awareness of the impact of their actions on the local environment they live in.

Garda Dockery kindly accompanied us on our clean up on the day where we gathered ten bags of rubbish along the road outside the school,” she added.

“Garda Dockery also talked to us about his work as a garda which we all found very interesting. He reminded us of the importance of community spirit and being proud of the place you come from.

“He commended the children for their initiative in caring for their local environment. Small changes by all of us can make a big difference!

“It was a really worthwhile and enjoyable experience for the children and all involved.”

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