02 Jul 2022

Louise Loves: Keys to award are ‘empathy, kindness and connection’

Louise Loves:  Keys to  award are  ‘empathy, kindness and connection’

Louise Cantillon and students from Thomond College at the launch of the Narrative 4 Empathy School Award

I AM delighted to be an ambassador for the brand-new national award scheme launched here in Limerick which aims to recognise and celebrate post-primary schools that promote empathy, kindness and connection among students and staff.

The initiative is being rolled out to schools across the country by Narrative 4 Ireland, a Limerick based empathy education organisation that has trained hundreds of teachers and youth workers to deliver an evidence-based teaching method that fosters connection, empathy and encourages positive relationships in the classroom.
The Narrative 4 Empathy School Award follows the format of having three levels of recognition for schools: gold, silver, and bronze. The Gold Award requires at least 10 teachers to be trained in Narrative 4’s Empathy Education Online CPD as part of their continued professional development. Other requirements include a School Empathy Charter, a ‘Walk and Talk’ Empathy Challenge, and a series of modules for both students and staff. The silver and bronze options have similar components, albeit with less time commitments.
Narrative 4 was co-founded in 2012 by New York-based Irish author Colum McCann, who went on to bring it to Ireland in 2016. Narrative 4 is a registered Irish charity and has its Irish base in Limerick city. Its empathy education programme has won several awards and praise from students, parents, teachers and beyond. Narrative 4 has received recognition and support from organisations such as Rethink Ireland, the JP McManus Fund, the Ireland Funds, and Creative Ireland.
McCann says the work that the organisation does offers benefits across society.
“This is about embedding empathy work into our schools. So many schools are doing amazing work, but it’s clear there’s potential to do so much more. We’re at a real turning point in our world, and I think this can be a transformative moment for the better. Change starts with education, and by giving our young people the right opportunities. That’s why we developed this award. Our hope is that it provides a valuable and timely offering for schools. I’ve seen first-hand how this work brings benefits to staff, students and, in fact, entire school cultures. This ripples into our homes and into society, creating a kinder and more nuanced world, something that is very much needed right now.”
For more information and to register your school visit

Team Limerick Clean-Up Back For 7 In A Row
Limerick Sports and Community Leaders Launch ‘New Look’ TLC in Kilmallock
Registration is now open for the 7th edition of the largest one-day clean-up in Ireland, Team Limerick Clean-Up (TLC), set to take place on Good Friday, April 15 across Limerick city and county.
Members of the Limerick community, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr. Daniel Butler, Paul O’Connell and Helen O’Donnell helped launch the event at the Abbey, Kilmallock. They were joined by Paralympics Ireland swimmer, Roisin Ni Riain, well-known Limerick priest, Fr Chris O’Donnell, RTE Sport commentator, Aoife Sheehan, John Kiely and Cian Lynch of the Limerick Senior Hurling team.
Sponsored by the JP McManus Benevolent Fund, TLC has seen over 400 tonnes of litter gathered from the streets by volunteers and event partner Mr. Binman since inception in 2015 – equating to over 14,500 household wheelie bins.
Overall participation figures are close to the 100,000-mark and include volunteers from all walks of life from schools, colleges and GAA clubs, to Munster Rugby, community, residential groups, businesses, charities, nursing homes and well-known faces locally.
Volunteers are urged to sign up early on

After what seems like forever, COVID restrictions have been lifted.
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Only 17 years old! This Irish singer songwriter is one to watch in 2022.
Back with another heartfelt single from here forthcoming EP. This is a lovely listen.

THE JOY! Live music is officially back and there are so many great gigs to choose from.
Check out the full list of acts performing in DOLANS this February/ March

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