Kilmeen students enjoy their ‘path to freedom’

October 24th, 2020 11:40 AM

By Emma Connolly

Kilmeen NS students enjoying their path to freedom in their school garden were back, from left: Donnchadh O’Keeffe, Darragh Collins, Donnchadh Hayes, Ciaran Harrington, Byron Malone and Aaron Murphy. Front: Rosie O’Donnovan, Ashling Burke, Jennifer Beer, Caoimhe Sutton and Emma Medcalf.

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STUDENTS at Kilmeen NS are enjoying year-round access to their Granster Garden thanks to Keohane Readymix.

The garden was established a few years back and was the brainchild of teacher Liz Twomey. The idea was to set up an inter-generational space which would connect students with their grandparents and other members of the community.  It was an incredible success, but a wet year last year, meant it wasn’t accessible for periods of time.

As getting outdoors is more important to schools than ever this year, due to the ongoing threat of Covid-19, principal Kenneth McCarthy decided to invest in footpaths around the garden at a cost of €3,000.

Well-established West Cork business Keohane Readymix is right next door to the school and they did the work for them, with the path going in a few weeks ago.

‘But when I went to foot the bill, they said they wouldn’t take a cent from us,’ said Kenneth.

There are five members of the Keohane family currently on the roll books in Kilmeen NS, along with lots of children of other employees, and Kenneth said the company wanted to give something back.

He described their garden as a ‘magical space’, that works on lots of levels. It’s obviously used to plant trees, herbs and plants; but it’s also a good chill-out spot for those who don’t like to play ball at lunchtime and was even used pre-Covid as a place to play a game of chess or a Zumba class. The principal said they’re exploring ways to use the space again in such ways via Zoom.

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