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School gets free toilet paper

August 30, 2012

A toilet-paper maker has come to the aid of a school that asked pupils to bring in their own toilet paper, towels, and soap to class due to Government funding cuts.

After the Irish Examiner’s weekend story about the policy at Gaelscoil Chloch na gCoillte in Co Cork was discussed on 2FM’s Breakfast with Hector show, producers decided to see if any Irish companies could help out.
Shane McEntaggart, sales manager at Dawn Paper & Tissue, heard the end of the item on the radio show on Monday and was surprised by the situation.
“I suppose it highlights problems with funding at a lot of schools, and we were happy to help in our own small way,” he said.
Every child and staff member at the school will be sent a 10-pack of the company’s new Silk ‘n’ Soft brand from the Drogheda factory, where 18 people work.
The toilet paper can be used in the washbags that all pupils from first to sixth classes must bring to school. The washbags must also include a hand towel and soap.
School principal Carmel Nic Airt said everybody at the school was grateful to Mr McEntaggart for his generous gesture. She said the washbag measure was introduced as the school tried to deal with falling income.
“We’re looking at creative ways to get a better bang for our buck with regard the funding available to us. Funding is being cut back and our costs have gone up,” Ms Nic Airt told radio presenter Hector Ó hEochagáin.
As highlighted in Saturday’s Irish Examiner, despite rising numbers, Department of Education grants to the school for running costs, bills, secretarial and caretaking services fell by €25,500 to €101,587. Like all primary schools, its capitation grant, used for insurance, heating, and other costs, has been cut by another 3.5% this year to €178 for each of the 320 pupils.
Ms Nic Airt said the washbag policy meant the school did not have to increase the €25 charge for each child under its book rental scheme.
With 320 pupils at the school, the gesture from Dawn Paper & Tissue will cost almost €700, as well as the cost of delivery to the school next week.
Breakfast With Hector producer Alan Swan said the colourful radio presenter saw it as an opportunity to help out the school and its families, as well as giving a little bit of promotion to an Irish business.
“This an Irish company doing a new product and hopefully, with their help, any money saved at the school can be used for educational purposes,” he said.
A similar policy introduced in 2009 at a primary school in Carrigaline, Co Cork, prompted a Dublin firm to send a toilet paper supply for its 540 pupils.