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The importance of recycling

  • By Cooney Architects

Yesterday after shopping in our local supermarket, I was in the queue at the Check Out, and heard when the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment.
The woman apologised to the young girl & then sighed, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”
The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. You folk didn’t do enough to save our environment for future generations.”
The older lady said “Ahh yes you’re right — our generation didn’t have the “green thing” in its day.” She sighed then continued:
Back then, we returned milk bottles, lemonade bottles & beer bottles to the shops. The shops then sent them back to the plant to be washed, sterilized & refilled, so those same bottles were used over & over, thus REALLY were recycled. But we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.
Grocery stores put our groceries into brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) were not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalise our books on their brown paper bag/covers. But, too bad we didn’t do the “green thing” back then.
I remember how we walked up stairs because we didn’t have an escalator in every store or office building; walked to the grocery store & didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go 200 yards.
. . . But she was right. We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day.
Back then we washed the baby’s nappies because we didn’t have the throw away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind & solar power really did dry our clothes back in our days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. . . . But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.
Back then we had one radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And if anyone did own a TV, it had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of a football pitch. When cooking we blended & stirred by hand coz we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send by post, we used layers of old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity., , , , But she’s right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.
We drank from a tap or fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, & we replaced the razor blade in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the “green thing” back then. Back then, people took the bus & kids rode bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s expensive car or van, which cost what a whole house did before the “green thing”..

Oh and we had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest leisure park.
. . . . But it so sad this current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the “green thing” back then? . . . I think you should forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from some smart ass young person. .. …
We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off… Especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smart ass who can’t make change without the cash register telling them how much. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Cooney Architects Christmas party in Belfast

  • By Cooney Architects

Cooney Architects had a Christmas party last weekend in Belfast. Great fun had by all.

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Páirc Tailteann Public Consultation

  • By Cooney Architects

Páirc Tailteann public consultation of proposed development  took place on November 29th. We got lots of useful feedbacks and comments from local residents.

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Congratulations to Ian McDonald on recently receiving his Certificate in ‘Building Regulations Explained’ from Dublin Institute of Technology

  • By Cooney Architects

Congratulations to Ian McDonald on recently receiving his Certificate in ‘Building Regulations Explained’ from Dublin Institute of Technology.




Well done Mairead!

  • By Cooney Architects

A big congratulations to

Mairead Bolger M.Arch,

Cooney Architects-

Graduation ceremony at University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland on 07th November.




Cooney Architects enjoy the VR experience with Camille

  • By Cooney Architects

Cooney Architects enjoy having a wonderful introduction of VR by Camille Donegan from and we are thinking about using this in architecture realization.




Otherworldly adventures for aspiring astronauts

  • By Cooney Architects
We are working on existing I-Lofar Telescope project, so we are interested in space architecture. This article gives us an inspiration that maybe we can live out of earth after exploring solar system!
This article was published in Lonely Planet Website August, 2017 by TAMARA SHEWARD (Lonely Planet Writer).

When you’re a kid smitten with the solar system, gravity sucks – all those planets to explore and no way to get there!

While intergalactic travel may be a while off yet, we’ve rounded up some of the best out-of-this-world adventures – right here on Earth – for kids captivated by the cosmos. No jetpack required.



Venture to Venus in Hawai’i, USA

Home to the most volcanoes in the solar system and with an average temperature of 460°C, Venus is a fascinating but forever off-limits planet. Kids can get a taste of all things Venus on Hawai’i’s Big Island, where one of the world’s most active volcanoes – Kilauea – has been continuously erupting since 1983. The surrounding black, basalt landscape is open for exploration; hiking and biking tours are best suited to older kids, while young ‘uns can goggle at the Venusian volcano’s lava lake from the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park’s Jaggar Museum lookout.

Extra astro-allure: While you’re on the island, head up (2743.2m up!) to the Maunakea Visitor Information Centre for free, expert-led stargazing events four nights a week. The centre is en route to the global ‘Astronomy Precinct’, home to 13 of the world’s largest and most powerful telescopes.


Goggle at galaxies in the Atacama Desert, Chile

With cloudless skies and virtually no light pollution, Earth’s driest non-polar desert is the ultimate stargazing showplace. Home to the aptly-named Valley of the Moon, some of the world’s top observatories and the occasional NASA research team, the desert is a must-visit for school-aged space buffs. Child-friendly tours take in the night sky with a whopping 70cm telescope – the largest tourist telescope in South America – providing glimpses of distant galaxies, stars and nebulae in full colour. Very young children can be accommodated on early-evening private tours.

Extra astro-allure: Not all of the Atacama’s lunar-like lures require staying up late. From the desert’s main gateway town of San Pedro de Atacama, kids can take short hikes through the Valley of the Moon, explore the moonscape of the Salar de Atacama (salt flat) and thumb their noses at gravity while bobbing in the Cejar Lagoon, where an abnormally high salt concentration makes sinking impossible.


Splash through the stars in the Maldives

While floating through the cosmos is a distant dream (for now), a visit to Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives comes pretty close. Aptly billed the ‘Sea of Stars’, the waters lapping the equatorial island glow with electric-blue bioluminescence, giving it the appearance of a glittering, star-speckled night sky. After dark, starstruck scallywags can splash around in the shining sea, while younger kids and the water-shy can get their fill of stellar sport on land: bioluminescence – essentially glowing plankton – often washes up on Vaadhoo’s beach, making for lit-up footprints and sparkling sandcastles.

Extra astro-allure: Starry seas aren’t limited to the Maldives. In Australia, beaches around Tasmania have been experiencing recent bouts of bioluminescence; New Jersey’s Manasquan Beach lights up between July and September; and in the UK, kids aged four and up can go on a guided glow-walk with Jersey Walk Adventures.


Catch a glow show in Swedish Lapland

Astronauts viewing aurora borealis from the International Space Station have called the experience ‘simply magnificent’. But you don’t have to be 400km above the Earth – or an adult, for that matter – to catch the show. Aged six or older? Pack your woollies and head to the Swedish village of Abisko, where a chairlift whizzes 1169m up to the Aurora Sky Station, renowned as the world’s best place to view the Northern Lights. Look on in awe, or delve deeper into the phenomenon with a guided station tour.

Extra astro-allure: Even the littlest lights-lover can have an illuminating stay in Abisko. When active, the lights are visible from the village (providing aurora adorers can stay awake long enough to see them!), and the Abisko Naturum visitor centre has a children’s corner plus plenty of absorbing exhibitions for young ones.


Act like an astronaut in Florida, USA

With real-life rocket launches and a space-themed smorgasbord of intergalactic activities to choose from, Florida’s Kennedy Space Centeris guaranteed to get kids starry-eyed. While there’s plenty to keep parents entertained, the center is famous for its immersive, child-friendly experiences: complete NASA-science-based challenges (build a habitat on Mars! Save Earth from an asteroid!) to score a Commander’s Badge at the interactive Cosmic Quest; pilot a space shuttle in an astronaut training simulator; crawl and slide through a space station model; and whoosh off into orbit on the exhilarating, realistic Shuttle Launch Experience, suitable for kids taller than one metre.


Extra astro-allure: Kids aged nine and up wanting to take their astro-ambitions to the next level can sign up for NASA’s legendary Space Camp in Huntsville, aka ‘Rocket City’, Alabama. With gravity-defying simulators, rocket-building workshops and alumni including astronauts and engineers, this camp is no mere marshmallow roast!


Plunge into a parallel universe at the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Offering the chance to experience weightlessness and meet alien lifeforms, Earth’s largest coral reef guarantees a truly out-of-this-world experience. Actual astronauts train for their zero-gravity experiences by scuba-diving; kids aged 12 and up can give it a go with an introductory dive off Green Island. Not ready to take the full plunge? Strap on a space helmet and bounce like Buzz Aldrin on the bottom of the sea with a Seawalker expedition, or hop aboard a glass-bottomed coral viewing boat for a dreamy drift above the Reef’s unearthly expanses.

Extra astro-allure: While you’re revelling on the Reef, be sure to give a wave to the skies; satellites regularly pass overhead to take photographs used to monitor the health of the world’s largest living organism.


Marvel at Mars in Wadi Rum, Jordan

Though the indigenous Bedouin call it the ‘Valley of the Moon’, Wadi Rum’s red dunes and rock formations are more akin to Mars – so much so that the desert was used as the backdrop for 2015 blockbuster The Martian. There are plenty of opportunities for extra-terrestrial hikes and dune-surfing, though little ones may prefer checking out the Marscape from the back of a camel. And while by day Wadi Rum is often scorching, come nightfall temperatures plummet to a somewhat more Mars-like 5°C: snuggle up in a geodesic dome – billed as ‘Martian Tents’ – at the family-friendly SunCity Camp.

Extra astro-allure: Can’t make it to the Middle East? The USA’s Grand Canyon bears remarkable resemblance to the Red Planet’s Valles Marineris, a vast system of ravines that runs along Mars’ equator. Kids can explore the Colorado canyon on short scrambles, on the back of a mule or by joining a Junior Ranger programme.


Journey to Jupiter via Catatumbo River, Venezuela

Jupiter – the biggest, fastest-spinning planet with the most moons – has long intrigued curious young minds. Not least due to the fifth planet’s Great Red Spot, an unremitting storm up to three times the size of Earth that’s been raging for 340 years. A trip to Venezuela’s Catatumbo River gives adventurous kids Earth’s closest thing to a Jovian storm-chasing experience: here, the night skies explode with an average of 28 lightning strikes per minute. Storm-watching tours of Catatumbo – designated by NASA as the lightning capital of the world – welcome all children over the age of two, but kids able to stay up late will catch the best bolts.

Extra astro-allure: Lightning tours leave from the city of Mérida; while you’re in town, visit the Museum of Science and Technology. Aimed squarely at kids, the museum houses a planetarium and various solar system displays. Mérida is also a great base for visiting the nearby observatory and astronomy museum of Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomía.


Soak up a starscape at Nagoya City Science Museum Planetarium, Japan

Housed in a gigantic silver globe suspended 11.4m above the ground, the world’s biggest planetarium projects the exact positions of over 9000 stars in astonishing detail across a 35m-diameter dome. With kid-centric programmes aligned with current astronomical events including eclipses and meteorite showers, what’s not for an aspiring astronomer to love?


Parents with very young children should time their visit with the regular Family Hour or Preschool Projections, where simple shows cover constellations, space travel and more. Shows are in Japanese, but the planetarium’s immersive visuals and spooky sound effects transcend language barriers. Bonus points for being free to anyone 15 years old or younger.
Extra astro-allure: Don’t miss the rest of the museum, which is also strongly geared towards kids. Check out the man-made auroras in the Deep Freezing Lab, peer into an asteroid’s core or head to the roof for daytime stargazing sessions that take in Venus and super-bright stars.

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