Muire Gan Smál, the Special Guest and the Amber Flag

At the awarding of the Amber Flag by their guest of honour, Ian O’Connell on Thursday were: Teacher, Lisa O Connor, Amber Flag coordinator;  Michael and Ian O’Connell with Amber Flag committee members: Saoirse Collins, Molly Moran, Amelia Jarza and Basia Dolata and Principal, Seamus Moynihan. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Wall of Welcome: The wall in the foyer of Scoil Muire Gan Smál which greeted their special guest, Ian O’Connell and the granting of the Amber Flag on Thursday. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Muire Gan Smál fundraisers with their teacher and event co-ordinator, Lisa O’Connor presenting their cheque for €400 to Con O’Connor, Pieta House. Included are: Basia Dolata, Amelia Jarza, Emily Moran, Jean McGuire, Ms. O’Connor, Nollaig Collins, Saoirse Collins and Molly Moran. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Management, staff and pupils of Muire Gan Smál Primary School in Castleisland felt honoured to have their Amber Flag Award from Pieta House presented to them by the inspirational Ian O’Connell from Killarney.

The flag award recognises schools that create inclusive, healthy environments that support mental well-being.

“Ian is passionate about people reaching out to one another and showing that there is always hope and he left a lasting impression after speaking with our fifth and sixh class girls,” said teacher and Amber Flag Committee coordinator, Lisa O’Connor.

Inspired and Motivated

“Ian was left paralysed from the neck down after falling from his bike in 2017 and since his accident he has inspired and motivated young and old through spreading positivity and speaking so openly about his journey alongside his slogan: ‘If you can’t stand up,  stand out.’

“Just a couple of weeks previously we held a pyjama day fundraiser for Pieta House and we raised €400,” said Ms. O’Connor.

Mental Health Awareness Day 

The fundraiser was part of their mental health awareness day for their Amber Flag award. 

All at Muire gan Smál worked hard towards the awarding of the flag and the fundraising day included a whole host of enjoyable events.

“Pupils and staff were asked to bring a €2 donation which has now gone directly to Pieta House as it was gratefully received by representative, Con O’Connor during his recent visit to the school,” said Principal Seamus Moynihan.

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