As another Lough Ree Environmental Summer School draws to a close this week, organisers are reviewing what was a very lively and entertaining weekend which included field trips in the company of national and local environmental and heritage experts, such as Dick Warner, Richard Collins, Harman Murtagh, Sean Cahill and Johnny Horohoe. Speaking at the Summer School opening on Thursday, July 5th, environmentalist and head of An Taisce, Eanna Ní Lamhna, praised the Summer School organisers for their continued efforts to highlight the rich environmental heritage of the Lough Ree area. Summer School Chairperson, Evelyn Rooney, thanked all the sponsors who continue to support the Summer School, including Roscommon and Longford County Councils, ESB, Poetry Ireland, Keane’s Eurospar, and local shops and pubs. Waterways Ireland, the Heritage Council and the Arts Council each sponsored a programme of events for the Summer School. The arts feature strongly in the Summer School programme, helping to convey the environmental message. The ten year retrospective art exhibition included works by artists such as Michael McCarthy, Michael and Kevin Casey, JJ Macken, Rachel Ballagh, Lucy Brennan Shiels, Noel Molloy and Anne Rigney. Tuesday night featured a reading by local poets Kieran Furey and Colm Carberry. An evening of poetry, music, song and dance on Friday, entitled By Shannon’s Waves, showcased a host of local talent, including a group of talented young dancers. Local poets provided the centrepiece with newly penned poems on the subject of ‘Roots’, the chosen theme for this year’s Summer School. A lively music session on Saturday, featuring Noel Carberry, Patsy Hanly, Johnny Duffy, Joe McGrath kept the festivities going late into the night. The programme of field trips drew to a close on Sunday with a lake cruise facilitated by Sean Cahill, Johnnie Horohoe, Liam Finnegan and Michael McDonnell, and a walk on Sliabh Bán conducted by Pat Compton. The success of this year’s Lough Ree Summer School augurs well for continued interest in the rich heritage of the Lough Ree area.