Winners of the ‘Green-Schools Ireland 2040 – Our Plan’ National Poster Competition were today presented with their prizes by Minister Simon Coveney at an Awards Ceremony at the Custom House in Dublin.
Over 3,000 students from 255 schools representing every county in Ireland responded to the challenge of creating a poster to share their thoughts and ideas on how they would like Ireland to look in the future. The competition gave a platform to children and youth to engage in the consultation around the development of Ireland 2040 – Our Plan (National Planning Framework).
The competition was run by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce in partnership with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.
The organisers were delighted with the response from schools nationwide and impressed by the ideas and talent expressed through their students.
Themes such as the environment and sustainability were very popular and the demand for quality education and healthcare infrastructure was evident. Students also want a diverse, fair and multicultural society with plenty of room for recreation facilities, parks and open spaces. Topical issues such as the election of Donald Trump, homelessness and climate change also featured on many posters.
Speaking about the posters at the event, Minister Coveney said…
“ Ireland is growing and it’s changing. There is likely to be an extra half a million people in Ireland in less than 20 years and we will need more homes and jobs. Where will people live and where will they work? How will we meet energy targets? Ireland needs a plan for the future. Engaging with young citizens of Ireland about the future of their country is an important part of preparing this plan and the exceptional standard of posters received is testament to the students’ talent and imaginations. The messages shared by the students will be taken on board in advancing a draft plan.
Also speaking at the awards ceremony Dr Michael-John O’Mahony of An Taisce commented
‘we were surprised and amazed by the volume and quality of the entries from schools across Ireland and the judges had some very tough decisions to make’ He went on to say ‘the development and evolution of the country will be in safe hands if the voices and ideas of our young people are listened to and acted on by decision makers’.
At the conclusion of the awards ceremony, Minister Coveney expressed gratitude to the parents, teachers and schools involved with the competition and thanked the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce for partnering with the Department stating
‘ I would like to thank An Taisce for being so willing and supportive of this competition when they were first approached by my Department. The students’ engagement and interest is testament to the excellent work that is undertaken through the Green Schools programme in schools across the country’.
National Award winners included Iulia Sirbu from St. Lawrence’s N.S., Crookstown, Co. Kildare who won the National Junior Primary category, Jennifer Nicholas of St. Mochulla’s N.S., Tulla, Co. Clare, who won the National Senior Primary category and Emily Miller of St. Leo’s College, Carlow who won the National Secondary category.