Pictured Above: The ceremony for the 2014 Limerick City Fairtrade Christmas Card Competition took place in The Strand Hotel. Picture by: Sean Curtin.
Christmas has come early for three Limerick students after they were named winners of the 2014 Limerick City Fairtrade Christmas Card Competition at a ceremony in The Strand Hotel.
Sinead Reidy of Scoil Mhuire Broadford, Kristina Pupeikyte of a Scoil na Trionoide Naofa in Doon and Ciara Marron from Laurel Hill Secondary School were chosen ahead of hundreds of other local primary and secondary school students to have their cards reproduced and sent to a variety of local businesses, shops and cafes that have supported the Fairtrade initiative.
Limerick City was awarded status as a Fairtrade City in 2005 as a result of the concerted efforts by local people to ensure that Fairtrade produce was made widely available.
Ahead of this week’s awards ceremony, Fairtrade Ireland congratulated the City on its 9th anniversary and its continued promotion of Fairtrade produce. The national organisation also commended Limerick for “contributing significantly to its work in promoting FT and enabling disadvantaged producers from poor countries to receive a better deal.”
This year’s annual Christmas card competition – the theme of which was “Encourage people to use Fairtrade this Christmas” – was run by the Limerick City Fairtrade Group and supported by the Environment Section of Limerick City and County Council.
First prize in the Primary section went to Sinead Reidy (Scoil Mhuire, Broadford), with Kristina Pupeikyte (Scoil na Trionoide Naofa, Doon) and Cara O’Donnell (Coláiste Iosaef, Kimallock) being named overall winners of the Senior and Special Prize For Beautifully Crafted Card sections respectively.
PRIMARY SCHOOLS- Highly Commended
Calum Boyle (St Mary’s Boys NS, Abbeyfeale); Caoimhe Cahill (St Paul’s NS, Dooradoyle); Bonnie Daly / Kiara O’Donoghue / Daniel Onyekaba / Christy Collins (Our Lady Of Lourdes, Rosbrien); Abbey Bourke / Clara Morrissey (Scoil Mhuire, Broadford); Natalia Chroniak (Presentation Primary School, Sexton St); Risteard Morey / Alisha Kelly / Sinead Ward / Leon Daly (Corpus Christi Primary School, Moyross); Amy O’Connor (Scoil Fhionáin, Kilfinane); Noelle O’Shaughnessy / Romeo Nwosu (St Senans Ns, Foynes); Laura Farragher / Joaquim Duarte (Milford NS); Ellie Sheehy / Sophie Moore (Scoil An Spioraid Naoimh, Roxborough); and Saoirse McArdle / Holly Lynch / Jana Zundel (Donoughmore NS, Donoughmore).
SENIOR STUDENTS- Highly Commended
Jeffrey Ryan (Catherine McCauley School , Ashbourne Avenue); Dale Llewellyn (I-Scoil Steps Scp, Balllinacurra); Alan Buckley / Lily Sadlier / Jade Kelly (John The Baptist Community School, Hospital); Nicole Harte / Chantelle Troy / Christopher Bourke (St Nessans Community College); Anthoniet Ohanya / Orla Mccormack (Coláiste Nano Nagle , Sexton St); James Henry (Coláiste Mhichíl Cbs, Sexton St); Ciara Marron (Laurel Hill Secondary School); Roisin Murphy (Desmond College, Newcastle West); Heather Curtin (Coláiste Iosaef, Kimallock).
Representing the Cathaoirleach of Limerick City and County Council at the event, Cllr. Maria Byrne praised the students for the standard of their work and particularly thanked the Fairtrade Committee for their “terrific efforts ongoing work on behalf of producers in developing countries.”
Cllr. Byrne added: “Fairtrade is an important ideal and it is great to see Limerick City and County Council, businesses and householders showing their ongoing support. This competition helps to remind people in Limerick of the importance of purchasing Fairtrade produce and supporting suppliers of such goods not only in the run up to Christmas but also year-round.”
“I am delighted that Limerick City is part of a growing list of Irish towns and cities now considered as Fairtrade Towns,” commented Mayor of Limerick Cllr. Michael Sheahan.
The Mayor continued: “The people of Limerick and Ireland can hold their heads up high and declare that they are delivering a fair deal for farmers and workers in the developing world, through better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade. We must continue to support all companies that ensure farmers get a fair price for their raw material and are given a chance to face a better future.”
Dolores O’Meara, Chair of the Limerick City Fairtrade Committee explained: “Fairtrade purchases help to put producers at the heart of things, not at the periphery as remains the case in many locations around the world. It is about allowing them to trade and not depend on aid. It also supports their children’s education, helps them develop their communities and enables them to have a living wage in their own country.”
She added: “A recent Oxfam report shows that globally the gap between the rich and the poor is widening, with the world’s 85 richest people possessing as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion people. This is a shocking statistic but we have it in our power to change this. When we choose to purchase Fairtrade-marked items, we provide producers in developing countries with the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty.”
“The good news is that sales of Fairtrade products in Ireland have risen by 13% from €174 to €200m. We should not be complacent however. We can do more and I would ask Limerick consumers to remember to make Fairtrade choices when doing their Christmas shopping this year,” concluded Ms. O’Meara.