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School gets lift with jungle makeover

THE next time Aer Lingus chief pilot Frank Lawless comes in for landing at Dublin Airport, he'll be flying directly over a children's paradise that he and other airline staff helped create.

Located underneath the flight path is the Darndale National School in north Dublin where he and 71 other Aer Lingus employees spent yesterday transforming a bleak schoolyard in a deprived area into a colourful playground and jungle oasis with exotic trees.

Wielding a handsaw, the 43-year-old father of two from Castleknock, put his DIY skills to the test as he lashed into building a wooden fence that will surround a jungle-themed garden in the school's playground complete with a camouflage-net roof.

Brian Coote (45), the airline's business development manager, got stuck into daubing a square section of concrete on which hopscotch and other children's games will be stencilled.

The school – whose pupils come from one of the most socially and economically deprived areas of country – was chosen by the airline to be the recipient of a free make-over courtesy of staff and the Dublin-based company "Difference Days". It organises "socially responsible" endeavours for companies whose employees donate their time and money towards community projects and other worthwhile causes.

The airline staff all gave up a day's annual leave and pitched in.

Irish Independent