‘My Town, My Dream’ Presentation in Iontas

There was what can only be described as an amazing presentation of exhibits, models and art work on display at the final presentation of the unique ‘My Town My Dream’ event, held in Iontas last Tuesday night.  Great credit must go to all the schools involved and particularly the students who created such wonderful work and demonstrated creativity and ingenuity.

This unique and innovative Schools Project involved a partnership of community, business and local authority stakeholders, which worked closely with school children in the town and surrounding areas.  Great credit to the Teachers and School Principals, who supported the project in their schools.

The project titled ‘My Town My Dream’ was co-ordinated by local Community group Castleblayney Community Enterprise in conjunction with Shabra Plastics Recycling and the Castleblayney Regeneration Committee, who operate under the auspices of Carrickmacross/Castleblayney Municipal Area through Monaghan County Council.

The competition was open to students attending Primary and Post Primary schools in the Castleblayney area and encouraged students to look at proposals, which would be of benefit to the town of Castleblayney or to the communities where they are living.

The students were asked to think about the town and its surrounding areas and present an essay and a drawing or model based on an idea they had for the future.  Most of the students based their project on the improvement and development or the re-use of an existing building or open space that exists in the community.  They also used other choices, which included the staging of an event, which celebrated an achievement, personal endeavour or recognised local history.  The option to create something totally new was also taken up.

Speaking on the night the Chairperson of Castleblayney Community Enterprise Marese Heavin acknowledged those responsible for the night’s success and that of course was all the boys and girls from the local Primary and Secondary Schools who spent countless and tedious hours putting together all the fabulous exhibits, models and essays.

She acknowledged and thanked the people that made the event happen; firstly, Shabra Plastic Recycling a local Company in the town, who she said, had themselves, in what they do, typified what the competition was all about.  She welcomed in particular Rita Shah, Director of the Company, who was joined on the night by Elizabeth McMahon and Anthony McCann.

Secondly, she acknowledged Castleblayney Regeneration Committee, who works closely with and under the auspices of Carrickmacross/Castleblayney Municipal Area and Monaghan County Council.  In a sense she stated, that these bodies are contributors to and are the policy makers for the town and local Communities and it was fitting that they were part of the competition and hopefully there would be learning for them, from the results of the exhibits.  Castleblayney Regeneration Committee was represented by Annmarie McHugh their Chairperson, Martina Quinn, Jane McKenna, Brian Quinn, Deirdre Power and Paul Clifford the Director of Services.

She acknowledged the role of the Board of Castleblayney Community Enterprise, who devised the competition and who brought it to fruition.  She added, this was just one of the many worthwhile and invaluable projects that the Community group have been responsible for over the years and that Castleblayney Community Enterprise had begun as a Company in 1987 and this year celebrated 30 years of existence.

She concluded by sincerely thanking the adjudicators of the competition, who she said, “must surely have been given an impossible task”. She added “if this competition had as its objective to get young people think about where they lived and explore their ideas and visions for the future, well it certainly did that and I congratulate them and compliment them for all their excellent work, creativity and enthusiasm”.  In concluding, she thanked the Management and staff at Iontas for their assistance and support with the event and also specially thanked the staff at Castleblayney Community Enterprise, who had been busy working on the event from inception to its final presentation.

Mayor of Carrickmacross/Castleblayney Municipal Area, Aidan Campbell in his address praised the young involved in this exciting competition and said, “it was heartening to see such talent and creativity that exists in all our schools” He thanked the many teachers who got involved in the competition and who encouraged their students to participate.  He thanked also the Principals in these schools who he said, “should be acknowledged for recognised the importance of Community involvement and the benefit of involving young people in Community projects”.

Others speakers on the night included, Rita Shah on behalf of Shabra Plastics Recycling, Annmarie McHugh on behalf of Castleblayney Regeneration Committee and Liz Christy on behalf of the Adjudicators.

Results of My ‘Town My Dream’

Primary School

Junior & Senior Infants:- 1st Daithí O’Loinsigh (Gaelscoil Lorgan), 2nd Seanagh Coleman (All Saint’s National School).

1st & 2nd Class:- 1st Lucy Carey (Scoil na gCailiní), 2nd Ryan Hoare, Dylan Campbell, Cathal Duffy, Kurt Daniel - Animal Farm & Museum, (Scoil Mhuire na mBuachaillí).       3rd Ríona Sherry - My Fairy Garden (Scoil na gCailini).

3rd & 4th Class:- 1st Harry McQuillan – Quarry Activity Centre, (Scoil Mhuire na mBuachaillí).  2nd Theo McMahon – Annex Pet Farm, (Scoil Mhuire na mBuachaillí).

3rd Niamh Kelly – Annex Family Fun Activity & Craft Centre, (Scoil na gCailiní).

5th & 6th Class:- 1st Max McGinnity – Muck Around & Muckno Boat Tours, (Scoil Mhuire na mBuachaillí).  2nd Roisin McEnaney – Town Plan, (Annalitten National School).

3rd Kevin McCully – Skate Park, (Scoil Mhuire na mBuachaillí).

Primary Special

Biggest Effort:- Katie Coleman – Eco Bus Stop, (All Saint’s National School).

Outside the Box:- Connaire Casey, Ryan Duffy, Cooper MacMahon & Lochlann Duffy, Temple Astronomy, (Scoil Mhuire na mBuachaillí).

Secondary School

Junior Cycle:- 1st Sarah Brennan – The Benches (Our Lady’s Secondary School).

2nd Briege Duffy – Improvement of Black Island, (Castleblayney College).

3rd Allona D’Souza – Muckno Music Notes, (Our Lady’s Secondary School).

Senior Cycle:- 1st Natasha Joksimovic – Muckno Adventure, (Our Lady’s Secondary School).  2nd Laura Halpin – Running Track, (Our Lady’s Secondary School).

3rd David Quinn – Hidden Structures, (Our Lady’s Secondary School).

Special Class Secondary:- 1st Gerard Fox – Dirt Track, (Our Lady’s Secondary School).  2nd Sean McCullagh – Autism Services, (Our Lady’s Secondary School).

3rd Shane McElwain – Chocolate Fountain, (Our Lady’s Secondary School).

Special Class Primary:-

1st John Martin Cawley - Candy Corner.  2nd Luke Sanderson – Skate Park.

3rd Marc Duffy – Develop Court House (Scoil Mhuire na mBuachaillí

Biggest Effort:- Veronika Putnina, Nikita Martin & Kerri Daly – The Party Palace,

(Scoil na gCailiní)

Outside the Box:-

Sophie Collins – Light of My Life, (Castleblayney College)

Special Family Award:- Regan & Brenóg Tavey, Junior School & Scoil Mhuire na mBuachaillí