St Kenny NS pupils try out the new buddy bench.

Buddy bench and tree at St Kenny NS in memory of late Arthur Fallon

Mullingar Tidy Towns and St Kenny National School have worked together to install a ‘buddy bench’, complete with a tree, on the school grounds in memory of the late Arthur Fallon, the much missed former principal of the school.

Claire Egan, principal of St Kenny NS, and Bill Collentine, chairperson of Mullingar Tidy Towns, backed the project carried out by the Green-Schools Committee and the parents council.

Mr Collentine said that he had had the pleasure of working with Mr Fallon on many projects in the past and he believed in the work he had done for the students, teachers and families of St Kenny NS.

The new buddy bench is made out of recycled plastic and the tree planted in its centre is a Quercus Robur (oak tree), purchased from Kelly’s Nursery in Streamstown, regular supporters of Mullingar Tidy Towns.

The bench, intended as a memorial to Mr Fallon, is a place where students can sit and reflect and share their thoughts with each other.

On Thursday March 31, there was a small ceremony at the school to unveil the bench and plant the tree, and present along with the pupils and teachers were Ms Egan and Mr Collentine, Irene Fallon, wife of the late Arthur Fallon; Cllr Aoife Davitt, mayor of Mullingar; and Isolde Dingerkus, Mullingar Tidy Towns horticulturist.

Minister of State Peter Burke, TD, couldn’t make it on the day but sent his apologies and said he was delighted to be part of the project.

“It was a very special occasion which will be in the minds of everyone, like Arthur for a very long time. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam,” Mr Collentine said.