sean-og-eva-nicol-loyMs Larney’s 3rd class were delighted to be invited to an Taisce’s National Conference on the Marine Environment, which took place in the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin on Tuesday 6th December. This was part of the programme for their Green Flag renewal – Global Citizenship – Marine Environment.

We had to be in Dublin for 9am so this meant that we were in the school, in the pitch dark, at 7am, ready to set off on our bus for the south side of the city. There were a lot of sleepy heads – particularly parents and teachers!! We reached our destination, the Royal Marine Hotel, shortly before 9 and after a quick snack went in to register and set up our project on Marine Wildlife and Marine Litter.

img_1550There were over 400 children from schools all over Ireland packed in to the conference hall. An Taisce had a busy programme of talks, displays and activities all based on raising awareness of just how precious our marine environment is and the threats facing it. The timetable was as follows:


  • Introduction from Birgit O Driscoll, an Taisce
  • Formal welcome from Michael John O Mahony unit director in an Taisce
  • Talk from Conall O Connell advisor to the Minister of the Environment
  • A video on Phytoplankton followed by art work based on this essential part of marine life
  • Oregami with Arran Towers from organisation Mind the Gap. We made a lovely boat from newspaper
  • A talk from environmentalist Olivia Jones on Clean Coasts
  • A video presentation from Fort Dauphin Public High School in Madagascar by Chloe Kinsella, an Taisce
  • Aidan Grey from an Taisce gave a visual display on seashells and the seashore
  • Presentation from Scoil Bhríde, Liosdowney, Co Kilkenny on Climate Change
  • img_1551Presentation from St. Clare’s NS, Harold’s Cross, Co Dublin on Plastic Islands
  • A talk from two students from Lismore Comprehensive, Craigavon, County Armagh, on microbeads
  • Sea Shanty singing with John (Cork) and George (Wexford) from the Molgoggers
  • Relaxation with Carol O Donoghue from Yo Yo Yoga
  • Jo Ruxton, film maker, talked about the making of the film A Plastic Ocean. She talked about the terrible damage being done to our oceans and wildlife. She introduced us to Mae West the famous snapper turtle
  • Finally we had Richard Cronin technical advisor to the marine unit Dept of the Environment. Mr Cronin postponed a trip to the EU in Brussels to speak at the conference. He praised the great work being done by the children and their schools.

During  the day we had lunch and refreshments and also a chance to visit the projects from the other schools. Our Marine Litter game was very popular and 3rd class enjoyed explaining their work to all the visitors who came to our stand.

The conference finished shortly after 2.30pm and we left Du Laoghaire at 3pm reaching home about 4.15pm. We were tired but had great fun and learned so much about our marine environment. A big thank you to an Taisce and to Ms Larney for all her hard work.