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School girls’ festive acts of kindness

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TOY DONATION: Eilish O'Riordan, Enterprise Teacher and LCA Enterprise class will donate toys to the Adapt Women's Refuge, Tralee and the Homeless Shelter.

By Michelle Crean

It seems that kindness is exuding out of local students as the festive season gets closer and the girls in St Brigid's want to see everyone happy after such a tough year.

Not only have the Leaving Cert Applied (LVA) students instigated not one - but two - acts of kindness, Third Years have also got in on the act, as well as others who are, this November, remembering those who have died.

Following a conversation with their teacher Eilish O'Riordan one afternoon, LCA girls were inspired to help others.

They launched a Christmas card competition throughout the whole school, and to be totally inclusive a winner will be chosen from each year as part of the pack of cards which will be on sale shortly. With funding raised the girls plan to make up hampers for the elderly in Killarney Community Nursing Unit.

However, that's not all they're doing, as they have also been thinking about the younger generation who have also had a tough year, many of whom may have parents who lost jobs or have had reduced hours due to COVID. So, the girls decided to use their own money and buy toys which were then donated to Garda Mary Gardiner in Tralee Garda Station who will drop them to the Adapt Women’s Refuge and Homeless Shelter.

"It came up as a topic in the classroom one afternoon," teacher Eilish O'Riordan said. "We saw an appeal on the Kerry Acts of Kindness Facebook page. The girls are brilliant, they instigated this themselves and even bought the toys with their own money. We got a lovely email from Mary Gardiner thanking us."

Third year students also believe in helping others in the local community by supporting the SVP Christmas Food Appeal. They donated non-perishable festive food items to help families and individuals enjoy an extra-special Christmas season.

And with November a time for remembering and praying for loved ones each student in the school was given a leaf to remember a person close to them that has passed and two giant trees were created.

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County Board open to GAA museum proposals

By Sean Moriarty The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county. There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county.

There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built in their home town.

Before he retired from politics in April, Michael Gleeson was campaigning to build a GAA and cultural museum on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium.

His campaign goes back several years before the recession set in, with a €0.5 million bridging loan secured from Croke Park along with funding from Fáilte Ireland. That funding was lost with the onset of the recession before 2010.

Tim Murphy, the outgoing chairman of the Kerry County Board, has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser that no approaches have been made to the County Board at executive level during his five year stint at the helm.

However, he said the Board would be open to such approaches provided there is sound financial planning behind the project in place.

“The first and most important aspect is the capital funding and my understanding is there needs to be Fáilte Ireland funding in place first,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “If it gets up and running, there needs to be very clear talks with all stakeholders so everyone knows each others expectations. A museum attracts footfall, but it costs a lot of money to run. We would offer an open door policy to all proposals but funding, first from a capital point of view and then from an operational point of view, will need to be in place.”

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Loreto pupils are happy to help save the planet

By Michelle Crean School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign. Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme. It’s all about taking on […]

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By Michelle Crean

School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign.

Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme.

It’s all about taking on a litter-picking adventure in their local area as well as learning songs, reading storybooks, filling in activity books while witnessing that their real-world actions are making a positive difference and inspiring others to join the movement.

Picker Pals is a unique primary school programme that gives children the tools and motivation to become the next generation of environmentalists, teacher Claire O’Meara explained.

“The Picker Pal Programme is a fantastic initiative and will go a long way to raise awareness of the impact litter has on our environment,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

Real litter-picking is motivated by a Picker Pack made from upcycled dinghy sails and containing adult and child litter-picking tools, gloves, hi-vis vests and safety information.

“This pack is then taken home by a different pupil every week. That child takes their adult on a litter-picking adventure. The children then tell the story of their litter-picking adventures through art and writing. Raising awareness is an essential part of the solution to littering. Picker Pals gives young people the tools and positive motivation to steward their local environment and make the world a better place.”

The programme, run by environmental NGO VOICE Ireland, is funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and various local authorities across Ireland.

Now in its third year of operation, over one thousand schools all across Ireland will be taking part in the Picker Pals programme this year. In Kerry, 29 schools are taking part, and Scoil Bhríde, Loreto is delighted to be included, she added.

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