TYDAVNET NS CELEBRATIONS

Past pupils Terry Cavanagh and Frances Treanor (Texaco Art Winner 2015) raising the second green flag at Tydavnet National School  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Past pupils Terry Cavanagh and Frances Treanor (Texaco Art Winner 2015) raising the second green flag at Tydavnet National School Photo: © Michael Fisher

SECOND GREEN FLAG FOR ST DYMPNA’S NS TYDAVNET 

Michael Fisher   Northern Standard  Thursday 18th June p.39

Two flags now fly proudly at the entrance to St Dympna’s National School in Tydavnet, marking their contribution to preserving the environment. In a special ceremony last week, past pupil and now successful video games designer Terry Cavanagh from Tullyvogey returned from England to raise the second Green Flag awarded to the school. He was assisted by another former pupil, Frances Treanor from Drumdart, who received national acclaim recently when she was overall winner of the Texaco Children’s Art competition.

Tydavnet National Shool Principal Fiona Connolly at the start of the Green Flag celebrations  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Tydavnet National Shool Principal Fiona Connolly at the start of the Green Flag celebrations Photo: © Michael Fisher

The Green Flags are part of a international scheme to encourage schools to develop action programme for reducing litter and waste and conserving energy. Green-Schools is an international environmental education programme, environmental management system and award scheme that promotes and acknowledges long-term, whole school action for the environment. At European level, Eco-Schools is operated by the Foundation for Environmental Education whose main partners include the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Pupils at Tydavnet National School celebrating the second Green Flag   Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Pupils at Tydavnet National School celebrating the second Green Flag Photo: © Michael Fisher

Green-Schools in Ireland is operated and co-ordinated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce in partnership with local authorities throughout the country, such as Monaghan County Council, and is sponsored by the Wrigley Company Ltd.

Over 3,800 primary, secondary and special schools in Ireland are currently participating part in the programme and 2991 schools have been awarded a Green Flag. The Irish Green-Schools programme is one of the most successful within the international network.

Pupils at Tydavnet National School celebrating the second Green Flag   Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Pupils at Tydavnet National School celebrating the second Green Flag Photo: © Michael Fisher

Green-Schools is a themed and seven-step programme. Schools undertaking the programme work through the seven steps one theme at a time. The themes in sequence are:

  1. Litter & Waste
  2. Energy
  3. Water
  4. Travel
  5. Biodiversity
  6. Global Citizenship – Litter & Waste
  7. Global Citizenship – Energy

The school drew up an action programme last year as part of their attempt to earn a second flag. Led by the principal Fiona Connolly and the Board of Management chaired by Peter Cavanagh, they applied to the Summer Works Scheme for funding to replace single glazed windows with double glazing in order to conserve energy.

Example of project work on Energy by pupils at Tydavnet National School  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Example of project work on Energy by pupils at Tydavnet National School
Photo: © Michael Fisher

At the start of the new school year last September, two members from Senior Infants were chosen to replace sixth class pupils on their action committee. The principal and senior pupils organised senior pupils to do door duty on the main door on cold or wet days to ensure the doors remain closed in order to retain heat as much as possible in the building. They also organised a low energy action day, and formed a ‘Switch it Off’ squad to monitor lights and appliances. Pupils were asked to write poems or draw pictures on the theme of energy conservation and these were displayed near the entrance to the school, along with a diagram showing the reduction in the amount of electricity the school had used over a twelve months period.

Example of Green Flag project work on Energy by pupils at Tydavnet National School  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Example of Green Flag project work on Energy by pupils at Tydavnet National School
Photo: © Michael Fisher

Among the snappy slogans the children came up with were:

“When you’re in bed, make sure all the energy is dead”, “Don’t waste energy”, “Energy misused cannot be excused” and “Switch the switch to slow down global warming”. The event was described succinctly in this report (published on the school website) by one of the pupils:  Caoimhe McCarra, 6th class, Secretary of Green Schools Committee

The Green Flag ceremony started at 11:00 sharp. Miss Connolly told Ben and I to start. Ben welcomed everyone and talked about what he does as Chairman of the Committee. I talked about what I do as secretary.  Mrs Slowey’s class did a poem called ‘Growing’ by Linda Hamill and sang a song called ‘Marvellous Things’. Mrs Meehan’s class said a poem called ‘Éirigí a pháistí’ and sang ‘An Brat Glas’. The Senior Speech and Drama class performed a wonderful mime. Miss Connolly’s class sang ‘Happy’ and a One Direction Medley.  Miss Connolly made a presentation to Mrs Mc Crudden because she is sadly leaving us at the end of the year. Peter Cavanagh said a few words on behalf of the Board of Management. He then called on his son Terence Cavanagh who came from London for the day! Terence showed us equipment he used to code and programme when he was our age. Miss Connolly got a massive shock the whole school kept secret from her! We made a card and everyone in the school signed it. She also got a lovely present. Mrs Finnegan got  a bunch of flowers. We then proceeded down to where the flag was being raised. We counted down 5-4-3-2-1 and up it went! Everybody got ice cream and sauce. We were delighted!

TYDAVNET’S TERRY CAVANAGH

Terry Cavanagh

Terry Cavanagh

Congratulations to Tydavnet’s Terry Cavanagh whose entrepreneurial skills have been recognised by the prestigious Forbes magazine. The County Monaghan native, now based in London,  is one of five Irishmen (another being the golfer Rory McElroy from Holywood, County Down) who have been included in their annual ’30 under 30′ worldwide list. There is a montage picture of these ‘young men to watch’ in today’s Irish Times and it looks like Rory’s golf club is hitting Terry on his back somewhere around the shoulder! By coincidence Terry’s parents and aunt were with me in Holywood walking along a short section of the North Down coastal path on New Year’s Day. Terry was included because of his expertise as a video games developer (products such as Super Hexagon and VVVVV). The company he founded is Distractionware. He was home in Tydavnet for Christmas and the New Year.

Five Irish in Forbes '30 under 30'   Photo from The Irish Times

Five Irish in Forbes ’30 under 30′ Photomontage from The Irish Times

I started writing about Terry over three years ago when he won a video games ‘Oscar’ for his game VVVVV at the Indiecade festival for independent game develpers in Los Angeles. So here’s a blog I published in October 2010, shortly after my retirement from RTÉ News:

Congratulations to Terry Cavanagh from Tydavnet in County Monaghan on winning an award at the Indiecade showcase for video games in Los Angeles (Culvert City). The game he developed VVVVVV won the most fun and compelling game at the festival. This is how I described his success in the Northern Standard :

“A Monaghan man has achieved international recognition in the computer games world for developing the most fun and compelling video game. Terry Cavanagh from Tullyvogey in Tydavnet picked up the prize at a festival in Los Angeles for independent games creators.

Terry Cavanagh

A former pupil of St Macartan’s College in Monaghan, has been making games since he was at  school. He moved to the university city of Cambridge in England six months ago as he said  he felt isolated in Dublin where there was no “indie scene”.

This award is an important breakthrough for him in a market that is dominated by global companies. Another game developed by him has also proved popular, Don’t Look Back. He has been described by one trade journal as “one of the industry’s brightest up-and-coming independent developers”.

His game VVVVVV was one of 32 games short-listed by 160 international jurors from over 350 submissions in the annual international festival of independent games (IndieCade) held at Culver City outside Los Angeles. It’s the main showcase for independent games developers from around the world, where they can meet collaborators and investors.

While established companies measure their budgets in millions, independents have to raise their own capital, sometimes putting their life savings into projects in the hope of creating a global success.

Terry found it was difficult at first to get financial support for this type of work and was unsuccessful in seeking enterprise funding in Monaghan. But that did not deter him and having arranged a bank loan he was able to embark on his creative projects. He can now boast that his creation is the most fun and compelling computer game on the market this year.

In the game, players imagine themselves as the fearless leader of a team of dimension-exploring scientists, who are separated after inadvertently crashing their ship.

VVVVVV uses smart, interesting puzzles and a strong world and environment, supported by simple visual design combined with awesome music.

The IndieCade festival helps to encourage innovation in interactive media. It includes games producers from Europe, Australia, Asia, Latin America and other countries.

News of Terry’s success in LA delighted his parents in Tydavnet. Peter, a retired Garda, and Patricia, a former psychiatric nurse, were proud he had won his own “Oscar” in what is a very competitive industry.”

TERRY’S SUPER HEXAGON

Terry Cavanagh

Terry Cavanagh

A big night in London tonight for Terry Cavanagh from Tydavnet in County Monaghan, developer of Super Hexagon. It was in the running for a BAFTA video games award in the Best British game category. Terry is based in Cambridge and his parents were with him at the finals at the Hilton Hotel in the West End. Dara O Briain was compere. Here’s how The Guardian described the ceremony:-

10.31pm:

Now it’s time to turn to the award for British game. Not the game that best embodies Britishness (croquet? cricket? cluedo?) but the best game made by a Brit. A difficult award to judge this. The nominees are:

·  Forza Horizon ·  LEGO: The Lord of the Rings ·  Need for Speed Most Wanted · (these three are “hefty multiplatform blockbusters” according to the blog)

· Dear Esther · The Room ·  Super Hexagon (Terry’s game is among three independent creations, self-funded by their developers). These two different groups “exemplify the current tussle at the creative and commercial heart of the industry”, says the Guardian video games journalist, Simon Parkin.

10.34pm:

And the winner is: The Room, an iOS puzzle game that’s heavy on atmosphere and light on scarves.

The game, according to a BBC report, challenges players to solve puzzles in a 3D environment in order to reveal the secrets of a mysterious box. It was created by Guildford-based Fireproof Studios and had previously won Apple’s 2012 iPad game of the year.

Well done Terry, who no doubt might disagree strongly with that description of the category namely “the best game made by a Brit”!!    gamegames-awards-logo-2926

For a full list of the nominations in the nineteen categories, you can go to the BAFTA website here. The Best Game award went to Dishonored, as the BBC News technology section reports. This was the fifth year O’Briain acted as master of ceremonies. The Guardian said he took to the stage and opened his remarks “by expressing his dismay at continually being asked to defend video games in the role of ‘token’ game playing celebrity”.

Dara O Briain

Dara O Briain

BAFTA GAMES AWARDS

BAFTA Game Awards 2013

BAFTA Games Awards

You might think that BAFTAs were just for films. But that’s not the case. The British Academy also has its own “Oscars” for video games. So congratulations go to County Monaghan man Terry Cavanagh on his latest success (with potentially more to come!).

Terry Cavanagh

Terry Cavanagh

His parents from Tydavnet who are over in Cambridge at the moment tell us he is in the running for a BAFTA award for his Super Hexagon game. It’s one of six nominations in the “British game” category, which has been added for the first time this year.

Dara O Briain

Dara O Briain

The host for the gala evening at the London Hilton hotel on Tuesday 5th March is another Irishman, Dara O Briain. It will be shown on the UK’s Challenge television channel (Sky 125, Freeview 46, Virgin 139).  Another of Terry’s game creations, VVVVV, won an award for being the most fun and compelling game at the Indiecade showcase for games developers in Los Angeles in October 2010. So let’s wait and see if he gets another “Oscar” under his belt!   gamegames-awards-logo-2926

BRITISH GAME:

1. Dear Esther

Daniel Pinchbeck, Robert Briscoe, Jessica Curry

Thechineseroom/thechineseroom

2. Forza Horizon

Development Team

Playground Games/Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios

3. LEGO: The Lord of the Rings

Development Team

TT Games/Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment

4. Need for Speed Most Wanted

Development Team

Criterion Games/EA

5. The Room

Mark Hamilton, Rob Dodd, Barry Meade

Fireproof Games/Fireproof Games

6. SUPER HEXAGON

Terry Cavanagh, Niamh Houston, Jenn Frank

Terry Cavanagh/Terry Cavanagh

VIDEO GAMES “OSCAR” FOR TERRY

Congratulations to Terry Cavanagh from Tydavnet in County Monaghan on winning an award at the Indiecade showcase for video games in Los Angeles (Culvert City). The game he developed VVVVVV won the most fun and compelling game at the festival. This is how I described his success in the Northern Standard (new window) http://tinyurl.com/3xnxfyv

“A Monaghan man has achieved international recognition in the computer games world for developing the most fun and compelling video game. Terry Cavanagh from Tullyvogey in Tydavnet picked up the prize at a festival in Los Angeles for independent games creators.

Terry Cavanagh

The 26 year-old Maths graduate from Trinity College Dublin launched the game called VVVVVV earlier this year through his own company distractionware.com. The music was provided by a Swedish composer and the game went on sale originally for $15. Another company (Steam) was then contracted to distribute it and when the price was reduced to $5 sales grew and grew. Now Terry’s creativity has been rewarded by the games development industry.

A former pupil of St Macartan’s College in Monaghan, has been making games since he was at  school. He moved to the university city of Cambridge in England six months ago as he said  he felt isolated in Dublin where there was no “indie scene”.

This award is an important breakthrough for him in a market that is dominated by global companies. Another game developed by him has also proved popular, Don’t Look Back. He has been described by one trade journal as “one of the industry’s brightest up-and-coming independent developers”.

His game VVVVVV was one of 32 games short-listed by 160 international jurors from over 350 submissions in the annual international festival of independent games (IndieCade) held at Culver City outside Los Angeles. It’s the main showcase for independent games developers from around the world, where they can meet collaborators and investors.

While established companies measure their budgets in millions, independents have to raise their own capital, sometimes putting their life savings into projects in the hope of creating a global success.

Terry found it was difficult at first to get financial support for this type of work and was unsuccessful in seeking enterprise funding in Monaghan. But that did not deter him and having arranged a bank loan he was able to embark on his creative projects. He can now boast that his creation is the most fun and compelling computer game on the market this year.

In the game, players imagine themselves as the fearless leader of a team of dimension-exploring scientists, who are separated after inadvertently crashing their ship.

VVVVVV uses smart, interesting puzzles and a strong world and environment, supported by simple visual design combined with awesome music.

The IndieCade festival helps to encourage innovation in interactive media. It includes games producers from Europe, Australia, Asia, Latin America and other countries.

News of Terry’s success in LA delighted his parents in Tydavnet. Peter, a retired Garda, and Patricia, a former psychiatric nurse, were proud he had won his own “Oscar” in what is a very competitive industry.”