Naomh Padraig GAA Club in Muff has become one of the first GAA Clubs in the country to join the Clean Coasts programme.
In what was a complete change from their normal activities of training and playing Gaelic games, Naomh Padraig GAA Club, in conjunction with Clean Coasts and local marine biologist, Rosemary Sweeney, carried out a cleanup of the local coastline close to their club in Ture.
The club grounds run along the shore of Lough Foyle and they were delighted with the success of the initiative which was set up by club member Peter Mclaughlin.
Many children and parents took part and gathered an amazing amount of litter. In just one hour a large pile of litter including over 20 bags and many larger items was collected with the biggest culprit being plastics along with several tyres and metal pieces.
After the cleanup, Beckey-Finn Britton, Clean Coasts Officer for Donegal and Leitrim, did an interactive workshop with the children on marine litter and the issue plastics can cause in the environment.
Rosemary Sweeney, who is also a member of the Inishowen Basking Shark Study Group gave a talk on local marine life off the coast of Inishowen, in order to demonstrate how important is to protect our coastlines from plastics and pollutions that are potentially harmful to marine life.
She said “Its wonderful to see a club like Naomh Padraig GAA taking an active interest in their local marine environment; our coast is a fantastic resource and we can all do our bit to help protect it and encourage a sense of respect and care for the environment in our own communities”.
The workshop and talk was very educational for all involved.
Speaking about the event, Beckey-Finn said, ‘I was delighted to be part of Naomh Padraig GAA Club’s first annual shoreline cleanup especially as they are the first GAA club to join the Clean Coasts programme in the Northwest. The amount of litter collected really reflects the hard work carried out by everyone on the day. It also highlights how important it is to have the club involved not only to look after their local shoreline but also to encourage other GAA clubs, many of which are in beautiful coastal locations, to do their bit to protect our waterways, beaches, seas and marine life.’
The club was delighted with the outcome of the initiative and many thanks to Beckey-Finn and Rosemary. Making young people, and the not so young, aware of the damage that litter causes is vitally important and the club hopes to change people’s habits and attitudes through days like this and education.
It’s important to remember that litter discarded a long way from the sea can make its way into our waterways and be carried out to sea where it can cause immense damage to the varied marine life around our coast.
The club plans to carry out cleanups of the local shoreline on an ongoing basis and by doing so help to educate their young members on the damage waste products do to the environment both on land and at sea.
Clean Coasts engages communities in the protection of Ireland’s beaches, seas and marine life. The programme is operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce and is currently funded by the Department of the Housing, Planning and Local Government, and Fáilte Ireland.Tags: