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 Mc Laughlin of Donegal Signs.

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: "It's 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 it’s way into
our waterways and be carried out to sea where it can cause immense damage to the varied
marine life around our coast.

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