The Kilsheelan Scout group launched their new fleet of kayaks on the river Suir in Kilsheelan recently.
The launch was the culmination of a project started last year and the group were the successful applicants for Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD’s) International Neighbour of Choice Grants programme for 2012.
The guiding principle for this programme is to support the work of non-profit organisations that strive to improve their community in which MSD resides and operates. By winning the grant from the Ballydine plant the Scout group were able to purchase ten kayaks with all the required paddles, helmets and life jackets.
The launch began with the transporting of kayaks, scouts and leaders to Ferryhouse by road, where a training session began with trainers from Waterford who brought the group safely to the bridge at Kilsheelan to be greeted by parents, other scouts and officials from MSD.
The official presentation of the kayaks was made by Kieran Dunne, Human Resources, MSD to Scout Group leader Ann O’Reilly. who thanked Mr. Dunne and the company for their generosity. She said it would be a great asset to the Scouts, particularly with such a wonderful natural amenity as the river on their doorstep.
David O’Connell, General Manager of MSD Ballydine, said the plant had been in operation for 37 years and had grown and developed throughout that period with significant investment in technology, equipment and resultant employment. This would not have been possible without the support and partnership with the local community.
He said the company was delighted that one of its close neighbours, Kilsheelan Scout Group - who had also been in operation for more than 3 decades - had been awarded funding from the MSD International Neighbour of Choice programme.
He said they were honoured to help the Kilsheelan group in establishing a new kayaking activity centre on the River Suir and were proud of their neighbouring association, which provides valuable training for the children from the wider areas of Kilsheelan, Kilcash, Ballypatrick, Ballyneale and Grangemockler.