I see that six members of the Avondale class of 1953-56 returned to Avondale in the Garden County last week to celebrate their platinum jubilee. In all, 18 completed the three-year course which began 70 years ago on 17 May 1953.

All six, Micheál Mac Giolla Coda, Tony Gallinagh, Nicolas McCormack, Christy Jeffers, Pat Halloran and Wicklow town resident Bill Luddy, availed of the new canopy walk at Avondale.

They all climbed the viewing tower and even three of them took the slide – the longest in Ireland – led by 92-year old Nicolas. I’m told they are “disappointed” that afforestation rates are so low.