Friday 19 July 2019

Wicklow's finest rub shoulders with Royalty during Prince's visit

Students from Scoil Chaoimhín Naofa showing HRH the different types of animals that live in
Glendalough National Parks
Students from Scoil Chaoimhín Naofa showing HRH the different types of animals that live in Glendalough National Parks

Myles Buchanan

The Royal couple's visit to the Garden County last week placed Wicklow firmly on the international stage as images of the Prince and Duchess were viewed worldwide.

Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were afforded a warm Wicklow welcome upon their arrival last Monday at Powerscourt House, where a lavish reception was laid on for the guests by Wicklow County Council.

Pam Beacom, the founder of the Blue Dolphins Special Olympics Club in Wicklow town, was in attendance along with her daughter Aisling, who achieved gold and bronze medals at the Special Olympics World Games held in Abu Dhabi during March. Also present was fellow Special Olympian and Blue Dolphins member Rukky Atiyota.

'It was really a great day and Prince Charles came across very normal and really down to earth,' said Pam her meeting with Royalty.

'He greeted al the athletes and took time out to speak to everyone. It was a great honour and a privilege and it's something the athletes will be able to treasure forever.'

The Prince and the Duchess also visited the estate's climate change attraction, Planet Cool. They watched a children's workshop and met local schoolchildren who were learning about climate change. Electrifi, an Irish car manufacturing company based at Powerscourt House which specialises in electrifying high-end cars, showcased an electrified 1983 Range Rover for the Prince.

Cllr Mary Kavanagh decided to take some time out from her election campaign to attend the reception.

She joked: 'I thought this could be my last event as a Councillor before the elections so I might as well go out on a high.'

She feels the Royal visit should help boost Wicklow's tourism numbers and was pleased to see the Prince take such an interest in tackling climate change.

'I'm thrilled Wicklow was so involved and it can only help tourism. You had press from all over the world present. It was great Wicklow played such a pivotal role as often these sort of events are usually held in Dublin. The County got great coverage from former President Obama's visit in 2011 and the Royal visit has just as much of a reach. It was also encouraging to see the Prince take such an interest in the environment.'


St Kevin's NS pupils make presentation to Prince

There are many benefits to being set so close to Wicklow Mountains National Park for pupils attending Scoil Chaoimhín Naofa, but last Tuesday the children from sixth class received an extra little bonus.

The National Park's Education Centre played host to HRH Prince Charles and the pupils were given an opportunity to present activities carried out by them throughout the year. Divided into three groups working on mammals, invertebrates and moths, the children talked about what they were learning.

Scoil Chaoimhín Naofa Principal Anne Savage said: 'It was a wonderful occasion filled with excitement when Prince Charles arrived at the Upper Lake. He moved from group to group chatting to all the children about what they were doing and about life in sixth Class.

The children told him about moving onto Secondary School and about living in Wicklow Mountains National Park.'

During the year the children in fifth and sixth classes had been involved in the Junior Entrepreneur Programme. They had set up a company called Glendarock and produced framed pictures with scenes of Glendalough using drawings and stone.

A presentation was made of one of these pictures to the Prince depicting a Glendalough scene with the Round Tower. He happily talked about the Round Tower to the children and asked if he was taking from the profits of the company by accepting the gift.

Meanwhile, the remainder of the school children and staff received a 'royal wave' as they cheered Prince Charles as he was being driven to his destination.

Wicklow People