Schull students had a ‘whale’ of a time in city

April 13th, 2023 5:45 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The winning whale float, dating back to the 90s, taking part in the Cork city parade.

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A WHALE float built by the iconic Galway Macnas Theatre Group in the 1990s recently came out of retirement to secure the ‘Best Overall Entry’ for two West Cork groups at last month’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Cork city.

Schull Community College, in conjunction with the Oceans Plastic Project, were invited to take part in the St Patrick’s Day parade in Cork city under the umbrella of the ‘We Act’ campaign, which is part of the Wheel organisation. 

The ‘We Act’ campaign is about championing the doers – those who organise, activate, inspire and ignite change around them, and the students were delighted to participate with them.

‘It was Roy Regan, caretaker in the school, who came up with the offer of using the whale float, which had been stored in his dad Michael’s shed in Galway. It was originally built by Macnas in the 1990s for one of their iconic street performances and had been in storage since,’ said teacher Kay Quinn.

‘It obviously needed some restorative work to make it useable again and this included re-patching some of the canvas-covered timber frame, repainting with re-used paint which was supplied by Cycle Sense Skibbereen, part of Cork County Council’s recycling network.’

The students then covered the whale with old netting found on local beaches, to emphasise the plight of mammals and plastic waste in the seas.

Their hard work paid off when they won the best float trophy after impressing the judges.

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