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Stepping Up For Daffodil Challenge At Carrigaline Community School

Writes Leo McMahon

Top marks to 15 Transition Year (TY) pupils at Carrigaline Community School who have stepped up to the challenge of planting 400 daffodils for picking and selling next spring to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.

It’s part of a national Daffodil Challenge initiated in 2019 by Meath based councillor Sharon Keogan involving 40 school and community groups. Independent Cork county councillor, past pupil and board of management member Ben Dalton-O’Sullivan contacted Carrigaline Community School about the project which met with a positive response.

TY programmes co-ordinator Niamh O’Donovan told The Carrigdhoun Newspaper that the project is being undertaken by its 4th year Community Assignment class comprising Scott Connolly, Evan Daly, Sam Horan, Harry Jackson, Callum Kavanagh, Luke McGreevy, Conor O’Leary, Timmy O’Reilly, Jeff Power, Cian Spillane, Tommy Spooner, Jaqub Szubski, David Taggart and Paddy Wafer.

Niamh paid tribute to the students and also thanked special caretakers and supervisors Nigel Herlihy and Liam O’Brien, outsource supervisor Mick Mulcahy and TY head Nicola Cooke.

On a recent sunny Monday morning, the teenagers were busy with garden tools clearing the bank and other areas near the GAA pitch removing ground ivy, weeds, dead shrubs and debris in order to make the ground viable for planting 400 daffodils. When flowering in spring, these will be picked and sold on or around Daffodil Day with all proceeds going to the Irish Cancer Society.

Niamh and Liam, along with Cian, Sam and Jeff said the group is involved in other improvement and enhancement works in the school and its grounds such as raised flower beds, trimming bushes, tidying up overgrown areas and minor repairs. It’s hoped to create a bee garden in 2022.

Quite apart from enjoying the opportunity of leaving the classroom, learning about gardening and getting some exercise two periods every Monday morning, it was good to hear that the students were so aware of the importance of doing their bit for the environment and supporting the Irish Cancer Society.

Pic CCS-Some of the TY students at Carrigaline Community School working on the Daffodil Challenge for the Irish Cancer Society pictured with Cllr Ben Dalton-O'Sullivan and caretaker supervisor Liam O'Brien. Pic Leo McMahon.

‘They’re great lads’, said Niamh, adding that what makes this module so effective is its simplicity and the fact that once planted, the daffodils will hopefully flower every year after that.

She also pointed out that back in 2000 for millennium year, under the direction of science teacher Karen Healy, 2,000 daffodils were planted and every year since have continued to flower at different parts of the school grounds.

Cllr O’Sullivan praised the students and staff for taking on the challenge. ‘If you asked anyone in the school if they knew some relative or friend impacted by cancer, the chance is that they would so this project is very relevant. These students are making a difference and taking ownership and pride in what they do.’

For the TY group involved at Carrigaline Community School, spring cannot come soon enough.

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