6 December 2017
By Elaine Murphy
More than 100 school children from schools across Cork County travelled to the top of County Hall to receive their prizes from Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Declan Hurley at the inaugural Primary Schools Road Safety Short Story competition.
The competition – launched earlier in the year as part of the Children’s Book Festival Week 2017 – asked entrants to feature 2 children, Sally and Jake, aged 8 and 10, who are great friends and love to get up to all sorts of fun and games together. A requirement of the competition was that children would demonstrate within their story that they understood key road safety messages and that these messages would be relatable to other children.
Cork County Council’s Water and Road Safety Development Officer Caroline Casey, was delighted with the volume of entries, “I received over 400 entries which was fantastic. The stories showed that by encouraging children to think for themselves and process the road safety message we teach we can really empower our children and develop independent thinking. Children will think and protect themselves before they step onto our roads. We are also reminding adults and older siblings to be role models regarding road safety.”
Prizes included class trips to Spike Island, Tir na Si Open Farm and Crosshaven RNLI Station with book vouchers from the Council’s library as well as pool parties in Mallow, Dunmanway and Fermoy Swimming Pools.
This is the latest in a variety of initiatives undertaken by Cork County Council to increase awareness among children of being safe on the road and around water, with the Council recently presented with the Charles Thomson Award as the Local Authority to have achieved the most to promote water safety on the island of Ireland.
Cork County Council facilitates free school visits to educate children around water, on the farm and road safety. The winning stories from this competition have been compiled into a booklet which will be distributed by Caroline during education visits to schools.
In congratulating the winners, Mayor Hurley spoke of the importance of such initiatives to make safety top of the list when it comes to being on the road, “Children are our most vulnerable road users and it is up to all of us to safeguard them on our roads. Road accidents account for a significant number of child fatalities in Ireland making it vital that we encourage children to be safe and smart road users in a manner that resonates with them.”
Mayor Hurley went on to say, “I would like to thank all who have made the short story competition such a success, our sponsors, our judges, Caroline on the incredible work achieved and most of all our competitors. The quality of the stories has been phenomenal and a credit to all the schools.”
Schools across County Cork can register for a free school visit to help educate children around Water, Road and Farm Safety where a free pack of safety-themed games, books for schools as well as a Safety Flag to fly proudly outside the school is provided. There is no cost involved and the sessions are run in a manner that is fun & interactive enabling children to think for themselves around safety. Please e- mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further information to register for a school visit.
Sarah Keohane St. Mary’s National School, Enniskeane.
Ava Rose Ballygiblin National School.
Lisa Kaar St. Lachtan’s National School , Donoughmore.
Danny Cronin St. Colmans Boys National School, Kanturk
Age 9 to 12 category
Anna Kearney Clogheen Kerrypike National School
Eadaoin Farrell Bunscoil Rinn an Chabhlaigh Cobh
Age 6 to 8 category
Kelly-May Cogan Flynn Schull National School