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A ‘stimulating multi-sensory feast’ at Limerick school - principal's dream becomes a reality

A ‘stimulating multi-sensory feast’ at Limerick school - principal's dream becomes a reality

Thiseas Smalis checks out the water feature in St Michael’s National School’s new sensory garden

A CITY centre primary school has unveiled a new sensory garden for its children to enjoy.

Stone formations, a ribbon forest, growing plants, musical pipes, a bamboo water feature and brightly coloured tyres are among the many parts of a unique play area for the children of St Michael’s National School in Barrington Street.

Since principal Miriam Smyth joined the school in 2017, she wanted to see her students enjoy a “stimulating multi-sensory feast” in a garden like this.

They secured funding from the Department of Education for a school building extension – but not the garden.

However, thanks to the goodwill of parents and staff, the dream is now a reality.

Ms Smyth paid tribute to one of the parents Manuel Smalis, who is a landscape architect.

“He made our dream a reality. We were also extremely fortunate that a parent in our school Marcin Plictha, works in Mid-West Tyres and he kindly delivered a total of 90 tyres. Nobody could have imagined where all these tyres would go or what the result would have looked like, but it is truly magical. Mani’s ideas were so imaginative.

“We worked with Hawthorn Landscapes to take the concepts from paper to the garden. We knew the plans looked amazing but once the landscapers began their work the garden came to life,” she added.

The Sensory Garden is dedicated to the Stockil Family of Catherine Street.  Denham Stockil was a pupil in 1907 and his four daughters attended Saint Michael’s.

Manuel said: “I hope that the children will enjoy this unique outdoor space as much as I enjoyed designing it.”

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