Fifty-five schools in Donegal were awarded Green Flags at an event held in Letterkenny earlier this month.
Three schools received their Green Flag for the first time for their work on litter and waste, while 52 schools received renewals of their flags.
Castleshanaghan NS, Letterkenny; Crana College, Buncrana; and Scoil Chaitriona, Ballyshannon; all received their first Green Flag.
To achieve the Green Flag Award, schools implement a seven-step programme focusing on different themes, such as litter and waste, energy, water, school travel, biodiversity and global citizenship. Student-led initiatives and whole-school action are key.
In Donegal, 195 schools are registered with the programme; 164 Green Flags fly across Donegal.
“Your commitment to this programme is outstanding and I must commend the whole school for this achievement,” Donegal County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Terence Slowey, said in his remarks at the event in Letterkenny, held at the Radisson Blu Hotel. “This includes students, staff, parents associations and boards of management and in particular the Green Schools co-ordinators.”
A number of Donegal schools were awarded their green flags after being involved in the programme for at least 14 years. Scoil Cholmcille in Letterkenny was awarded their ninth green flag.
Gairmscoil Chú Uladh, Ballinamore, receiving the prestigious Green Schools Irish Water School of the Year Award for the Western Region. Photo: Clive Wasson
Gairmscoil Chú Uladh, Ballinamore, recognised nationally
The council Cathaoirleach paid a special tribute to Gairmscoil Chú Uladh, Ballinamore who were recognised nationally when they were awarded with the prestigious title of Green Schools Irish Water School of the Year for the Western Region, after being shortlisted from 3,000 applications.
The school stood out for special recognition, after reducing their water usage by more than 80 per cent. Green Schools Co-ordinator, Seamus Ó Fhearraigh, along with members of the Green Team, were presented with their trophy at a special event in Dublin on Thursday, May 4th.
Cllr. Slowey said this was a fantastic achievement for the school and the county to receive this recognition at the highest level.
"Donegal County Council is committed to the Green Schools programme, as the benefits are tremendous,” Suzanne Bogan, waste awareness officer with the county council, said. “Not only are we educating our pupils for the future but the positive environmental impacts each school is making cannot be underestimated.”
Donegal schools were some of the first to get involved in the Green Schools environmental education programme when it started 20 years ago, and the county council plays an important role in the implementation of the programme.#
Students and teachers from Loreto Community School, Milford, receiving their Green Flag at the Letterkenny ceremony. Photo: Clive Wasson
Donegal Schools Awarded Green Flags in 2017:
Litter and Waste: Cashelshanaghan NS, Ballymaleel; Crana College, Buncrana; and Scoil Chaitriona, Ballyshannon.
Energy: Scoil Naomh Padraig, Drumfries; St Davaddog's NS, Fanad; and St. Conal's NS, Narin, Portnoo
Water: Bocan Community Creche, Culdaff; Fintra NS, Killybegs; Gairmscoil Chú Uladh, Ballinamore; SN, An Choimin, Clochan; Scoil Mhuire, Glenties; St. Baithin's NS, St. Johnston; and St. Joseph's N.S Lower, Illies.
Travel: Donagh NS, Carndonagh; Dooish NS, Ballybofey; Gaelscoil na gCeithre Maistrí, Donegal town; Gartan NS, Churchill; Kerrykeel NS, Kerrykeel; SN Árainn Mhór 2, Arranmore Island; SN Ná Dúchoraidh, Doochary; SN Taobhóige, An Clochán; Scoil an Aingil Choimheadai Keadue, Burtonport; Scoil an Linbh Iosa, Carrigans; Scoil Bhríde NS, Convoy; Scoil Chrannóg Bhuí, Ardara; Scoil Mhuire Dristernan, Gleneely; St. Columba's College, Stranorlar; St. Columba's NS Acres, Burtonport; St. Eunan's NS, Laghey; St. Oran's NS, Cockhill; and St. Riaghan's NS, Glenties.
Biodiversity: Errigal College, Letterkenny; Faugher NS, Portnablagh; Glenmaquin NS, Glenmaquin; Holy Trinity NS., Dunfanaghy; Loreto Community School, Milford; Murroe National School, Murroe; Scoil Chartha Naofa, Kilcar; Scoil Eoin Baiste, Carrigart; Scoil Naomh Brid, Downings; St. Colmcille's NS, Ballyare; St. Garvan's, Rathmullan; and St. Mary's NS, Malin Head.
GC Litter and Waste: Gleneely NS, Crossroads, Killygordon; Little Angels School, Letterkenny; Scoil Cholmcille, Glengad; Scoil Naomh Fiachra, Illistrin; St. Columb's NS, Moville; St. Finian's NS, Falcarragh; and St. Safan's National School, Drumdoit.
GC Energy: Rockfield NS, Ballyshannon; Scoil Cholmcille, Letterkenny; Scoil Mhuire, Stranorlar; Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal, Letterkenny; and Scoil na Croise Naofa, Dunfanaghy.
Students and teachers from Scoil Naomh Fionán, Falcarragh, receiving their Green Flag at the ceremony in Letterkenny. Photo: Clive Wasson