Ballyhaise and St Pat’s Colleges combine forces to plant oak and beech trees on St Pat’s College grounds. Back (from left): Gavin O’Donnell, Ballyhaise College; Cormac Delaney, St Pat’s; Ben Maguire, Ray Dunne, Jamie Sherry, Kyle Howden and Evan Brady, Ballyhaise College; ssecond row, Christopher Rowley, principal, St Patrick’s College; Fr Donal Kilduff, Diocese of Kilmore and St Patrick’s Trust; Eamon Carty, student Ballyhaise; James Clarke and Evan Brady, St Pat’s students; Max Carey, Ballyhaise College; Killian O’Reilly, St Pats; Conor Lawless, Ballyhaise College and Adge King, St Patrick’s Trust; front, Marianne Lyons, deputy principal, Ballyhaise College, after fitting a netted surround to ensure that the young beech tree is well protected and afforded every opportunity to grow and was assisted by Mark McNerney.

Agri students in tree planting project

Students from Ballyhaise Agricultural College and St Patrick’s College Cavan have engaged in a tree planting and renewal project, involving the planting of scores of beech and oak trees. They will replace trees that had to be felled for safety reasons on a site adjacent to the entrance to St Patrick’s College in Cavan Town. Fr Donal Kilduff, St Patrick’s Trust, explained to the Celt: “This is part of an ongoing project over the past number of years with a view to developing and maintaining the site adjacent to the entrance to St Patrick’s College. Many of the trees were over 100 years old and a number had to be felled for safety and congestion reasons.

“The project ties in with Pope Francis Encyclical, Laudato Si, in which he urges us to listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. We are aware that we are co-created with God and that we need to be caring for our common home,” added Fr Kilduff. He pointed out that Bishop Martin Hayes is most interested in the project and “is the co-ordinating Bishop for ‘Laudato Si’ on the Episcopal Conference.

The Deputy Principal at Ballyhaise College, Marianne Lyons, explained that their involvement became a reality when “Adge King from the St Pat’s Trust contacted to see if we would be interested collaborating with this planting programme. I am joined by the second year forestry students from Ballyhaise College and it is beneficial from the social benefits of forestry, to be out here on the ground and be part of this project.”

She also commended the collaboration between the two colleges saying: “It is in a highly visible location and this under planting of broad leaves will enhance the location. It is great to have the link between the two local colleges, which play such a large part in the community.”

Marianne Lyons said that oak, the native species was being planted together with beech. The deputy principal pointed out that Ballyhaise is the only college in the country that offers a Level 5 and Level 6 qualification in forestry and it also qualifies the students in respect of their green cert.

The Principal of St Patrick’s College, Chris Rowley said that fifth and sixth year Agricultural Science were helping with the planting and which he described as a “great project” and extolled the benefits of the initiative involving both colleges, planting trees “which, hopefully will be here for a long time to come”.