July 5, 2018, W. Cork Southern Star: Sensory classroom for pupils with autism is first of its kind in Beara https://www.southernstar.ie/news/roundup/articles/2018/07/05/4158302-sensory-classroom-for-pupils-with-autism-is-first-of-its-kind-in-beara/ A NEW autism classroom, the only one of its kind on the Beara peninsula, has been officially opened at Scoil An Croí Ró Naofa in Castletownbere, by the new county mayor Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy, on his first engagement on the peninsula as mayor. … School principal Ann McNally outlined how the dedicated classroom, which is used by eight pupils, is named the Cuan, the Irish word for harbour. … ‘While most children can cope with the rough and tumble of the normal school day, it isn’t the case for all children, in particular a child with autism or with high sensory needs,’ she explained. ‘Although the children attend mainstream classes as much as possible, we have created the Cuan for them, as somewhere which offers them a calm, safe environment they can go to, to take some time out.’ A new sensory garden has also been installed at the school, which is a space for all pupils to avail of, and the children have a big part in maintaining the garden, says Ms McNally. … Also attending the launch were Mary McMahon special education needs officer for the Beara area and Fr Noel Spring, parish priest in Castletownbere, who blessed the new room and garden. Finbarr MacCarthy of the board of management and Breda Sheehan representing the Parents’ Association were also in attendance. … ‘Three years ago the parents organised a fashion show here in Castletownbere, which was attended by former Miss World Rosanna Davison, and raised a staggering €8,000 which enabled us to create the sensory garden,’ she said….