STUDENTS went wild at Mountrath Community School, as popular broadcaster Éanna Ní Lamhna gave a workshop on the wonders of local ecology.
A long-time panellist on the RTÉ Radio 1 show Mooney Goes Wild, Éanna captivated senior and junior science groups as she explored the incredible wealth of wildlife on their own doorsteps.
The inspirational ecologist, renowned for her passionate knowledge of all things environmental, encouraged the Mountrath teenagers to learn more about the extraordinary range of insect and animal life in their home area.
Following the memorable practical workshop last week, Mountrath CS science teacher Dr Mary Kelly said Éanna’s remarkable expertise really helped students to “appreciate their local ecological habitat, which is extremely important”.
Student Bradley Finnegan said he had never realised how many insects and animals lived in the local habitat, while fellow student Cathay Burke said the workshop made him appreciate how “incredible” nature really is, even around the school grounds.
A fluent Irish speaker, Éanna regularly visits schools around the country to lead nature workshops and field trips in both English and Irish. She loves to bring children and teenagers out around the school or within walking distance to investigate trees, flowers, birds and a variety of fascinating creepy-crawlies. Students use umbrellas, nets and jars to catch and study a range of creatures, before returning them to the wild. Back in the classroom, they discuss the wildlife they found, their life cycles and their habitats.
One of the most instantly recognisable voices on Irish radio, Éanna has been a freelance wildlife consultant for more than 30 years and visits both primary and secondary schools. Her infectious enthusiasm is matched by deep expertise, with degrees in botany and microbiology and a doctorate in entomology. She has written many wildlife books for children and adults and is voluntary PRO and former president of the Tree Council of Ireland.