Five students from Laurel Hill Secondary School FCJ, Limerick City were announced as overall winners of the Certified Irish Angus Beef School Competition 2019. At an awards ceremony in Croke Park on 14 March 2019, Susan O’Neill, Jane McNamara, Aishling O’Neill, Aoibhinn Leahy & Emily Walsh scooped the top prize amid strong competition from four other finalist schools from Mallow, Co. Cork, Ashbourne, Co. Meath, Glenamaddy, Co. Galway and Strokestown, Co. Roscommon.
The students helped to rear their Angus calves at the Salesian College Farm in Pallaskenry over an 18 month period. They explored a project on ‘The Importance of Irish Agriculture’, creating lesson plans that could be used by primary school teachers to explain agriculture, beef production and the unique characteristics of Irish Angus beef. They created the slogan ‘From Wellies to Bellies’ and a cartoon of Alfie the Calf to appeal to a younger audience.
The Runners Up were Cathal Moran and John Duignan from Glenamaddy Community School in Galway who explored the sensitive theme of ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Farmers and Rural Communities’.
The award for Outstanding Achievement by an Individual went to Emily O’Callaghan from Davis College, Mallow, Co. Cork who the judges said ‘demonstrated a passion for farming and an outstanding personal commitment to the project and the rearing of the animals’.