DUNDALK'S PARALYMPIC medal winner Eilish Byrne proudly returned to her roots to help St. Malachy's Girls School launch their Green Flag last week.
A past pupil of Sr. Malachy's, Eilish said she was 'delighted' to join the students and staff in celebrating the award.
Green School co-ordinator Karen Tuite explained how a range of initiatives focused on tackling litter and waste.
' There were great celebrations in the school, and it is a wonderful achievement for the girls,' said Ms. Tuite.
Two sixth class students, Megan Hearty and Katie Smyth, spoke at the flag ceremony about the environmental efforts made in the school.
'First of all we had to set up our green flag commitee, and the first task involved was to carry out a litter and waste review. After that we needed to put an action plan in place,' said Megan.
Katie explained that they began a green school noticeboard and held a litter and waste slogan competition, where the winning slogan was 'Scrunch it up, give it a spin, and throw it in the litter bin.'
The young students told how every class in the school now has a recycling bin and a pairings bin and every teacher is encouraged to save paper with a blank side for reuse, and to use back to back photocopying as much as possible
'We set up a litter rota and established litter patrol teams for the school yard. We also discourage children from taking any food to the yard,' said Megan.
The school also recycle old phones for the Jack and Jill Foundation and recycle used batteries. Pencil pairings are also used the school compost bin.
'Every year we enter Louth County Council's Christmas decoration competition to promote recyclable materials, and we also sell our school books at the end of every year so that they can be re-used the following year.' The students added that work has already begun on an energy theme, and they hope to have two green flags flying in the near future.