Students from St Colman’s Community College, Midleton Co Cork, have removed over 12 tonnes of marine litter from beaches, waterways and rivers across the East Cork area, earning them the title of ‘School of the Year’ by An Taisce in the 2015 Clean Coasts Ocean Hero Awards.

An Taisce Clean Coasts Awards

Students from St Coleman’s spell out ‘Clean Up’ on their local Ballynamona beach

Seeing off competition from 3,700 primary and secondary schools, the students concentrated their efforts near Ballycotton where fly tipping is a big problem.

“They have shown a keen interest in protecting their local beaches and promoting environmental issues in their school and throughout the local community,” explained Olivia Crossan, Clean Coasts Programme, An Taisce.

The awards acknowlege local effort and promote the concept of litter-free seas. More  than 870 students from St Colman’s are involved in the initiaitve. Students focussed on Ballynamona Beach and the Wetlands Complex in East Cork and have documented their progress on

“We’re absolutely delighted with this award; it is so important to educate our young people about the importance of protecting the local environment. The students particularly enjoyed documenting the ‘retro rubbish’ they found, including 7up bottles from the early ’70s and crisp packets from 2000,” remarked Proinsias Ó Tuama, teacher at St Colman’s Community College.