The work of students and staff from schools nationwide were recognised at the Green-Schools Water Awards 2018 for their work on the Water theme of the Green-Schools programme. These particular schools were selected due to their extensive efforts in involving the local community in their work along with innovative ideas to conserve water. The Green-Schools programme is coordinated by An Taisce’s Environmental Education Unit and is proudly supported and sponsored by Irish Water.

The Green-Schools Water School of the Year Awards recognise the dedication and innovation shown by schools that are receiving the internationally recognised Green Flag for Water. This year Esker E.T.N.S. Primary School and St. Tiernan’s Community Secondary School were announced as the National Water Primary School and Secondary School of the Year respectively. Read their stories below on how they earned their title of Water School of the Year 2018. Six other primary and secondary schools were also named as regional winners. Congratulations to all of the Schools involved!

Overall Winners

Esker E.T.N.S. Primary School, Lucan, Co. Dublin

  • Esker E.T.N.S. encouraged the ‘one push is enough rule’ and composed a rhyme to help people remember how to use the dual flush: ‘If you go to the toilet, here’s what to do, small flush for one and big flush for two’.
  • President Michael D Higgins was invited to unveil “The book of Climate Bells” sculpture designed by Vivienne Roche. Esker E.T.N.S. used this opportunity to inform the president on all the work that they do on the Green-Schools programme.
  • During Water Week events such as a water quiz, walk for water day, spring clean, water singing school assembly and a dress up in blue awareness day were undertaken.
  • Students took part in Green-Schools/Irish Water poster competition.

Actions taken include:

Students and staff checked both water and recycled water meters frequently allowing them to identify a massive leak. They discovered 2000 litres were being lost every 5hrs and contacted Irish Water to get them to fix it.

Esker students made a presentation on Green-Schools to trainee teachers visiting their school.

Switching to environmentally friendly cleaning products where possible.

Experiments throughout all classes were done including water footprint investigations and making rain gauges.

Tiernan’s Community Secondary School, Balally, Dublin 16


  • Tiernan’s students and staff monitored water meters daily and graphed their usage over the year; they achieved approximately a 30% reduction in water wastage.
  • A poster competition was run to raise awareness of the project and “turn if off” poster campaign was organised throughout the school.
  • ‘Adopt a river’ cleaning and preservation was practiced with the River Dodder which runs adjacent to the school.

Actions taken include:

Putting “Hippos” into school cisterns.

Switching to environmentally friendly cleaning products where possible.

Organising a water conservation public debate and their own walk for water event.

Caretakers undertook an environmental training course

Water conservation was added into the school curriculum

Water experiments were carried out.

Flowers and vegetables were grown from water collected from water butts.

Southern Region:

  • Ballygarvan National School, Co. Cork
  • Duiske College, Co. Kilkenny

Western Region: 

  • Gaelscoil Riada, Co. Galway
  • Nathy’s College, Co. Roscommon


Eastern Midlands Region:

  • Bohermeen National School , Meath
  • Sacred Heart Secondary School, Drogheda, Louth

Dublin Region

  • Esker E.T.N.S. Primary School, Lucan, Co. Dublin
  • Tiernan’s Community Secondary School, Balally, Dublin 16