Christmas Decoration Competition Teaches Schoolchildren “the three Rs”

Monday, 22nd December 2008 - Three deserving winners of the Clare Christmas Decoration competition were today presented prizes at Aras Contae and Chláir by the Mayor of Clare, Cllr. Madeleine Taylor-Quinn and Chairperson of Clare County Council’s Environment SPC, Cllr Patricia McCarthy.

Organised by Clare County Council’s Environment Section, the competition for primary school pupils seeks to encourage children and their parents to think about reducing, reusing and recycling materials that might otherwise be thrown away.

Cllr Madeleine Taylor-Quinn commented, “Hundreds of students from schools all over the county participated in the competition, with only one entry from each school going forward to the Final.  The standard of entries was very high indeed and choosing the winners proved difficult.”

The Mayor added, “There was a wide range of reused materials in the entries including bottles, cornflakes boxes, old pillow cases, party blowers, egg cartons, knitting wool, and  reused tinsel and tinfoil.  There were some very unusual materials such cotton wool from the dentist’s surgery and even an old shoe!  This competition is educational but also fun, and I would like to congratulate each of the participants.”

The winning decorations have been placed on public display on the Council’s Christmas Tree at Áras Contae an Chláir on New Road in Ennis.”

Cllr Patricia McCarthy noted, “These decorations are very special, and I would be delighted to hang all of them on my own Christmas tree. However, I am sure the students will want them to take pride of place in their own homes over the festive season.  Congratulations to all of the students, teachers and parents involved”.

The competition winners are:
-    1st Prize: Brian Donnellan of Mullagh N.S whose entry is entitled “Goldie”.  Brian (aged 11) designed the decoration as a Christmas bird-feeder using a lucozade bottle, recycled newspaper, a stick found in the school yard for the perch, and the Robin made from a Weetabix cereal box and pipe cleaners.
-    2nd Prize: Emma Vaughan, St. Enda’s N.S., Lisdoonvarna.  The “Christmas Star” was designed by Emma (aged 5) using old egg boxes, red card, old Christmas cards, reused gold ribbon with a sprinkle of glitter.
-    3rd Prize: Coady McElligott, St. Finnachta’s N.S., Sixmilebridge.  Coady (aged 9) created the decoration “Snowman from a light bulb” with a used energy-efficient light bulb topped with a sock that acts as a hat.

Joan Tarmey, Environmental Awareness Office with Clare County Council said, “Students all over the county who participated in this competition are setting a wonderful example to us in promoting the three Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle – by making unusual Christmas decorations from everyday household materials.  They are an inspiration to us all”.


Note to Editor:
Media queries to Joan Tarmey (Clare Environmental Awareness Officer) at

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations

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