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*Molly McPhillips. Photograph: Arthur Ellis

Nine-year-old Molly McPhillips, a 3rd class student at St Senan’s Primary School in Shannon has won a competition to design a new biodiversity garden in the town.

Students were encouraged to get creative by Shannon Group and assist in design a biodiversity garden for residents of Shannon and visitors to the area to enjoy.

Over 70 entries were received and shortlisted to 13 finalists from three Shannon Schools, St. Conaire’s National School, St Senan’s Primary School and St. Tola’s National School. These were then put to a public vote on social media to select the winner.

An acre of land in a prominent location on the Shannon Group campus near the entrance to Shannon Free Zone and Shannon Airport has been chosen as the spot for Molly’s winning garden design to be developed on over the coming months.

Molly’s winning design includes a bug hotel, fruit trees, and a seating area. She has also suggested rubbish bins, litter bags and sensor lighting. She is the daughter of Garret and Jennifer.

Third class pupils in St Senan’s will receive a school tour to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in 2021, as soon as public health restrictions will allow, included in the prize is a workshop of their choice.

CEO of Shannon Group, Mary Considine praised Molly for a creative design that “shows a great understanding of the elements needed to make a superb biodiversity garden that can be enjoyed by everyone. We were really impressed with the standard from all participating students, and we would like to thank them and their teachers for supporting this initiative. We are really looking forward to seeing Molly’s design come to life in the garden.

“This initiative was driven by our employees as part of our Shannon Group sustainability programme to spread sustainability awareness in the communities we work in and are proud to be part of,” she added.

All participants will receive seeds to plant and a special certificate of participation. In addition, all participating classes will have access, should they wish to avail of it, to a workshop facilitated by the Bunratty Castle and Folk Park gardening team who will be giving tips and insider knowledge on the amazing grounds at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park.

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