Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Robert O’Donoghue, launched the initiative today at the Rusk and Lusk Educate Together National School when he presented Third Class with the first rain gauge. The Council plans to distribute rain gauges to 100 primary schools across the county in time for the start of the new school year in September. For the second phase of the project, the Council are seeking champion schools across the seven Local Electoral Areas to host an automatic weather station, which will be visible on Met Éireann’s website and will provide real-time weather data. Schools interested in having an automatic weather station installed should send an email Kevin.Vallely@fingal.ie before Friday, September 10. The launch was also attended by representatives from Met Éireann, the Office of Public Works (OPW), the Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly, and Fingal County Council Executive Engineer Kevin Vallely who is leading the project. Cllr O’Donoghue said: “This is a great initiative as the information gathered will be used to provide a more accurate understanding of river response to different rainfall depths and can be used by the OPW, Met Éireann and Fingal’s flood sections. Most importantly the project will help to further students’ knowledge of the key challenges faced by society including climate change and flooding.” The Weather Stations for Schools project is being supported by the Chief Executive’s Innovation Fund which was set up earlier this year by the Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly.“ The Innovation Fund facilitates staff submitting innovative ideas that can bring greater value to the Council, support new ways of working and create a positive impact for public services. It was launched in January and there were 14 applications from which four projects were subsequently chosen to be funded this year. This is the first of the four projects to be launched and, as well as providing valuable information, the data collection process by teachers and pupils will help to promote an appreciate of the water cycle and climate change challenges faced by the community,” said Ms Farrelly.