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A Very Special School Visit

MulkearLIFE was delighted to have the opportunity to visit Scoil Caitriona, National School, Cappamore, Co. Limerick on Tuesday of this week. The school featured in the TV documentary ‘Living the Wildlife’ which was broadcast earlier this year on RTE 1 television. MulkearLIFE was in a position to present a copy of the DVD to the principal of Scoil Caitriona, Ms. Maura Walsh. The DVD was shown to 4th, 5th & 6th classes. This was followed by a presentation on the work of MulkearLIFE, a quiz and a short field trip to the nearby Bilboa River.

Staff and students of Scoil Caitriona, Cappamore (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)

The ‘Living the Wildlife’ programme, presented by wildlife cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson, featured the work of MulkearLIFE, including the tagging of sea lamprey and subsequent radio tracking. The students of Scoil Caitriona featured in the television programme as part of the project’s Environmental Education Programme with schools throughout the catchment.

Staff and students of Scoil Caitriona, Cappamore (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)

During the short field trip to the nearly Bilboa River, the enthusiastic students were shown juvenile sea lamprey and even smaller juvenile brook lamprey. The importance of habitat protection was discussed as was the actual habitat of otter, salmon and lamprey. The students were treated to the wonderful sight of swallows catching insects on the wing directly above the surface of the river water and on occasion swallows taking a drink of water on the wing. They witnessed at first hand the impact of the invasive weed, Himalayan Balsam, and the erosional impact of livestock with direct access to the river.

Mute Swans and signets, Bilboa River Cappamore (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)

The school children were also given the most wonderful opportunity to see at close hand five signets and their parents feeding in the river, moving in an out of the fast flowing river channel, and the river vegetation, which included river water crowfoot.

Mute Swans and signets, Bilboa River Cappamore (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)

The highlight of the field trip was a parting rendition by the school students of ‘The Fair of Cappamore’. MulkearLIFE would most sincerely wish to express its deep gratitude to the stars of Scoil Caitriona and to the wonderful staff. We wish all the students well for the coming year and look forward to working with the school again.

The Fair of Cappamore
It was on a Summer’s evening in the merry month of May
I was coming from the fair of Cappamore
I was driving home a purty pair of heifers by the way
When I chanced to stop outside a cottage door.
I just stepped in to light my pipe, as any man would do
Going to or coming from a fair
There I spied a pretty cailin with two eyes of melting blue
Begorra then my heart felt very quare.

I love to ramble down the old boreen
When the hawthorn blossoms are in bloom
And to sit by the gate on an old mossy seat
And to whisper unto Kate Muldoon.
I was coming from my farm, down a neighbouring boreen
When I met sweet Kitty tripping like a fawn
She gave me such a smile that I felt as in a dream,
Sure I never slept a wink that night ’til dawn.

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Mulkear LIFE, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Ashbourne Business Park, Dock Road, Limerick, Ireland
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