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Sean McMahon of the INTO, Meath Footballer Niamh O'Sullivan, Mary Magnier of the INTO, Dublin all-Ireland senior football winner Ciaran Kilkenny, Fr. Michael Mullaney President of Maynooth's St. Patrick's College, and school children Sophie Scully, Amber Heneghan, Nicole Connolly and Sienna Heneghan were at the site of Ireland’s oldest tree for the launch of Self Help Africa's One Million Trees campaign

Local schools helping plant the seeds of growth in Ireland and Africa

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SCHOOLCHILDREN from over 20 Clare national schools have joined a campaign that’s planting more than a million trees in Ireland and Africa this year.
In the lead up to Christmas, close to 160 class groups at national schools across the county will hold tree planting ceremonies on school grounds, local parks and public land, and will lend their backing to communities who will be planting tens of thousands of new trees in Uganda, Kenya, Senegal and Malawi before the end of the year.
The schools initiative is part of the One Million Trees campaign, which will see Self Help Africa plant over a million trees this year.  The campaign is being coordinated by Clare native Sean McMahon, the former principal of Mullagh National School and a former President of the INTO teachers union.
The campaign is being backed by the INTO,  and will see native Irish seedlings being distributed for planting by each participating class group. Workshops, collections and other activities are also being held in hundreds of schools to support tree planting activities in Africa.
Mr McMahon said that the campaign was a great opportunity for schoolchildren to learn more about trees, and climate issues, and also play their part in the worldwide effort to combat climate change.
“Young people are very aware of the challenges of global warming. A campaign like this gives them the change to engage directly with the issue, and also learn about the impact in parts of the world that are extremely vulnerable to climate change,” he said.
Former INTO President Mary Magnier, who is also an ambassador for the One Million Trees schools campaign said that she been overwhelmed by the support that the campaign has received from schoolchildren and their teachers right across the country. The venture is also being backed by the Gaelic Players Association (GPA), who include thousands of primary teachers in their ranks, and is supported by Glenisk, who have mobilised public support by promoting the tree planting initiative on their products.
Self Help Africa planted ‘One Million Trees’ in Africa and a further 100,000 native trees in Ireland last year, and are on course to achieve a similar target in 2021, thanks to the support of Irish primary schools. To find out more visit:

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