INTERNATIONAL building developer Sean Mulryan is supporting a charity initiative to gift trees to schoolchildren in his home county.
Mr Mulryan, Chairman and Group Chief Executive of Ballymore Group and a former Irish Post Business Award winner, has sponsored the ‘I’ve planted a tree and my garden is pesticide free’ campaign.
The joint initiative between the Ballymore Group and Variety - the Children’s Charity of Ireland, will donate 7500 native Irish trees to all national school children in Co. Roscommon to plant in their gardens at home.
Roscommon County Council and The Federation of Group Water Schemes are also involved in the scheme.
Mr Mulryan, a Roscommon native whose firm is headquartered in London, said of the project: “We take sustainability and biodiversity seriously on all our projects and I’m thrilled to be a part of this.
“It’s a fantastic idea that will make a big impact on the education of children and on the future of Roscommon.”
He added: “Initiatives like this spark young people’s curiosity and help to get them involved in safeguarding our planet’s future.”
Variety Ireland’s Head of Programmes, Kevin O’Brien, also hopes the scheme will inspire young people to be mindful of their environment.
“The initiative, which is a first anywhere in Ireland, we hope will inspire young children to be mindful about their local environment. At the same time, these young people can be active in planting a tree in their own garden with their family,” he said.
“As a voluntary run Irish charity we are committed to helping children with disabilities across the county and are delighted to be involved in such a creative initiative with Sean Mulryan and Ballymore,” he added.
“The work that The Federation of Group Water Schemes and Roscommon County Council have done in putting this programme together is simply incredible.
“It actively allows for children to be physically involved in planting a tree which they can watch grow as they grow.
“As one of the oldest children’s charities in Ireland, another aspect of our charity work here at Variety Ireland is to help educate and engage children in environmental activities (regardless of their ability) which in turn will help them to become more environmentally aware and sustainable in their local environment.”
The community initiative, which is being launched as part of Rural Water Week, is also intended to inspire the next generation and their families to think about sustainability.
National school children across Roscommons will also receive online information about the damaging consequences of pesticide use and about the importance of biodiversity enhancement.
Just before the mid-term school holidays, every child will receive their tree sponsored by Ballymore as well as a certificate recognising the child’s role as ‘an advocate for biodiversity’ in their own homes.
Welcoming what she describes as ‘a key element’ of the Roscommon GWSs Source Protection Pilot Project, Senior Executive Officer with Roscommon County Council, Catherine Finlay said: “In raising awareness about environmental issues, the ‘I’ve planted a tree and my garden is pesticide free’ schools initiative has the potential to bring lasting benefits to drinking water sources across the county and to the communities that rely on them.”