Garden festival boosts funds for school project

Published 09/07/2013 | 05:30

Andrew Dudley "Horticare" and Helen Lawrence.

SUMMER holidays may have arrived but plans are still being laid for developments at St. Senan's primary school in Enniscorthy. One of the most memorable events of 2012/3 was the garden festival which raised funds for a remarkable project at St. Senan's PS.

Guest gardener Gerry Daly – and one of Enniscorthy's most famous celebrities – was happy to appear at the festival on his birthday. And he was joined on the programme by award winning cook Samara Cherrabi, a former pupil of the school.

With the help of the renowned pair, the event pulled in €7,000 for the planned sensory garden on the campus. A preliminary blueprint for the initiative has already been drawn up by Bloom gold medal Deirdre Prince to make a wonderland of an area about the size of a tennis court, currently used as a vegetable patch.

The idea is that the peas and beans will be replaced by a layout which will appeal to all five senses – touch, taste, smell, sight and sound, complete with wind chimes, flowers of all colours and fragrant herbs. A canopy will provide shelter for an outdoor classroom.

While every pupil will have a chance to enjoy the garden, it is expected to be of particular benefit to children in the autistic unit. The school has 18 autistic children on the roll in three classes, as well as seven more integrated into mainstream classes.

Principal Oonagh Rackard says the plan is so ambitious that it will take at least three years to bring to full fruition, though she hopes that phase one will commence without delay.

In the meantime, the date June 21, 2014 has already been earmarked for next year's garden festival, with teacher Helena McAteer and parents Linda Murphy and Venie Mullett to the fore.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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