Winners of Ireland’s Water School of the Year Award announced
18 May 2022
The achievements of Ireland’s young water champions were celebrated this week at the annual Green-Schools Water Awards hosted by An Taisce Green-Schools and Irish Water.
Balbriggan Community College in Fingal was named the Secondary Water School of the Year, while St Brigid’s National School in Meath Hill, Navan, Co. Meath were the winners in the Primary category.
Over the past school year, over 123,000 students in 551 schools all over Ireland have participated in the Green-Schools water theme which is sponsored by Irish Water. The water theme looks at developing awareness around water conservation and how to effectively manage this precious resource in our schools and at home.
Both schools showed exceptional commitment to the water theme and to raising awareness of the value of water in their school and the wider community. Balbriggan Community College really embraced water conservation, installing a water butt and greywater reuse tanks on the school grounds, amongst other water-saving measures. They took part in RTE’s Ecolution podcast as well as doing “Walks for Water” and beach clean-ups.
The pupils in St Brigid’s NS, Meath Hill reached out to their local community to learn more about where their water comes from and how it is treated, and also to encourage everyone to become more aware of how they use water by sharing ‘top tap tips’ for water conservation. During the year they hosted a day of action during which the school visited their local group water scheme.
The two schools were chosen from a list of eight regional winners, who were recognised for their exceptional commitment to safeguarding our important water resources.
Speaking at the awards, Geoffrey Bourke of Irish Water congratulated all the winners for their efforts to highlight the value of water. “We have seen how the younger generation has taken the lead in the battle against climate change. In the same spirit, the students and schools who have taken part in the Green-Schools Water Theme this year have shown exceptional leadership in inspiring their communities to value our precious water resources. We all have a role to play in safeguarding our water and they are leading by example through outstanding water conservation, communication and education initiatives. Congratulations to all the winners and everyone who has taken part in this excellent programme.”
Green-Schools Manager Cathy Baxter said: “Once again this year we have seen some and inspirational ideas from the participating students. They have shown great leadership, not just in their schools but also in their wider communities. Our Schools of the Year winners have shown a real willingness to reach out beyond the schools themselves to engage with a wider audience, including using social media to spread the word about water conservation.
“Well done to all the schools who took part in the programme this year for their outstanding efforts.”
Among the awards given out at the event were the regional and national Water Schools of the Year and the Green-Schools poster and video competition winners. The country’s top Water Ambassadors were also honoured at the special ceremony which took place in Dublin.
This is the ninth year of the Green-Schools partnership with Irish Water, and in that time over 1,600 schools have taken part, attending interactive water workshops or Walk for Water events, hosting talks from Irish Water staff or visiting their local water and wastewater treatment plants.