Green Schools

  • A Mayo school was among eleven schools that won awards today at the Green Schools Big Travel Challenge ceremony in Dublin Zoo.

    During February, schools undertook the challenge to concentrate on one sustainable transport mode for two weeks, to see if they could achieve lasting change in the travel behaviour of students and staff.

    The overall award went to St Peter's National School from Dromiskin in Co Louth, where they focused on walking to school.

    Belcarra National School, Castlebar was one of ten other schools which were awarded for their efforts in promoting sustainable and active travel modes to school.

    Belcarra won the award for using the park 'n' stride option to school.




  • The Chairman of Mayo IFA Martin Gilvarry, with the IFA President Joe Healy,is calling on Minister Richard Bruton to immediately withdraw the Green Schools teacher resource pack, produced by An Taisce, which encourages students to eat less meat and dairy.

    The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment is visiting Mayo tomorrow for a number of engagements, including a Climate Action Forum in GMIT IN Castlebar.

    The resource pack that has been sent to schools, is promoting veganism and therefore is not acceptable, Mr Gilvarry insists.

    He says the appropriateness of An Taisce’s involvement in the Green Schools programme should also be reviewed by the Department of Education and Science. 

    The IFA accepts that the Green Schools initiative has been a very positive educational programme, but accuses An Taisce of crossing the line by including dietary advice in their resource pack, arguing that it is  beyond the remit of An Taisce and it not consistent with dietary advice given by the Department of Health, the competent authority, on balanced diets.

    Mr Gilvarry told Midwest News today  what he and members of Mayo IFA will say to the Minister tomorrow.

  • Galway East TD and Minister of State Séan Canney has got involved in the row over the Green Schools teaching resource pack, which encourages schoolchildren to reduce their meat and dairy intake, and introduce Meatless Mondays.

    The issue was raised during the week by the IFA, who claimed An Taisce had overstepped their remit, and said the information contradicted advice from the Department of Health which says meat and dairy are essential for a balanced, healthy diet.

    Speaking on Midwest News on Friday, the Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton said he would not withdraw the teacher resource pack, as this would amount to censorship.

    However, Minister Séan Canney says An Taisce has gone over the top in encouraging children to reduce their meat and dairy intake.

    He says the proposed lesson plan by An Taisce contradicts nutritional advice from the Department of Health and is also at odds with the EU School Milk Scheme.

    Minister Canney also says farmers are being unfairly scape-goated, at a time when they're leading the way on climate action.