Charleville Schools join the community effort against COVID19

8 May 2020
By Mary Bermingham

Pictured with Mayor Doyle are principal Una Griffin, principal and Dep. Principal Tony McSweeney.
Pic: Brian Lougheed

Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Ian Doyle recently met with students of St. Mary’s Secondary School and staff of CBS in Charleville, both of whom have developed innovative initiatives to help protect their communities against Covid 19.

Mayor Doyle visited St. Mary’s Secondary School in Charleville to pay tribute to the 31 students and 4 members of staff who took part in their first ever Wallathon Ballathon. This challenge saw participants hit a ball off a wall at home as many times as they could in half an hour to raise funds for the purchase of PPE for frontline workers.

St. Mary’s student Emma Kerins, commented

“We have proved that although we are apart, our school spirit remains and we can still work together as a school despite social distancing to raise much needed funds to protect our local heroes on the frontline.”

The school succeeded in raising over €3,800 for the cause, which will provide protective equipment to facilities in the local community, including St. Gobnait’s Nursing Home Ballyagran, Beech Lodge Care Facility Bruree, St. Martha’s Nursing Home Charleville, Caherass in Croom, The Windmill in Churchtown and Padre Pio Nursing Home in Churchtown.

Cllr. Ian Doyle, Mayor of the County of Cork, with Charleville gardaí Sgt. Ciarán Doyle and Comm. Garda Nick Phelan.
Pic: Brian Lougheed
Pictured with the mayor are Mairéad Finn, Principal Acting (left) and teacher and camogie coach Collette Kelleher
Pic: Brian Lougheed
Cllr. Ian Doyle, Mayor of the County of Cork paid a courtesy visit to thank the pupils and staff of St. Mary’s Secondary School, Charleville 
Pic: Brian Lougheed

These care facilities are also receiving vital PPE equipment from CBS Secondary School in Charleville, who are utilising school facilities to produce 100 HSE approved self assembly visors per hour. The brainchild of Construction Studies teacher Barry McGill, together with school caretaker Tadhg Mortell, over 160 visors were produced initially using existing school materials. The staff and students then issued an appeal locally for support to purchase additional materials. Thanks to the generosity of local businesses, a further 860 masks have been prepared to date, which are then distributed by school staff to local nursing homes where they are sanitised before use. Mayor Doyle visited CBS to meet the team and view the innovative visors, which are designed with replaceable screens, ensuring the safety of healthcare staff and reducing the risk of transmitting the virus between care facility clients.

School Principal Una Griffin spoke of the success of the initiative

“Everyone is immensely proud of the project. Our schools are an integral part of the community and we are delighted to be in a position to give something back and in particular to support our front line workers. We have received an overwhelming response from the community.”

Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Ian Doyle congratulated both schools

“Charleville’s schools are central to the community here, providing pride of place and social connection. It’s inspiring to see that despite the Covid 19 restrictions and the closure of schools, staff and students have come forward to support to their community. The funds raised and the PPE produced will save lives and both initiatives send a clear and strong message that old or young, whether at home or on the front line, we are all In This Together. I am immensely proud of the work being done voluntarily here in Charleville, and by community groups throughout County Cork. This community spirit will see us through this crisis.”

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