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Tree planter was a role model for us all

December 5th, 2022 8:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

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EDITOR –Trees in the tens of thousands are cut down every year to make reams of paper and cardboard. Many of us recycle these. In order for us to live and have homes, we sell a service or product. Many products are packaged in cardboard. The demand for it is insatiable as ever with more tonnes of cardboard produced.

Some individuals give back to the planet like the inspiring Wangari Maathai who founded the Green Belt Movement in Kenya in 1977, which has spread to over 20 countries. Millions of trees planted as a result with 51m trees planted by the movement so far in Kenya up to 2021.

Born in Kenya in 1940, she won a Kennedy scholarship in 1960 to study in the US and received a master’s degree in science. She went on to do a PhD in veterinary anatomy in 1971 at Kenya’s University of Nairobi and was the first woman in eastern and central Africa to receive a doctorate degree.

As the first woman to be a professor and a department chair in the same university, she became concerned over the destruction of Kenya’s environment and that 90% of its forests had been cut down since 1950.

She decided to plant trees with the support of relatives and friends. Colleagues, students and the local community joined her.  It became the Green Belt Movement. It expanded to include the protection of human rights, women’s rights, minority and disability rights, democracy and to continue planting trees. She was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 1991. However, in 1992, she was told she was an assassination target. She went on to be given the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.

She is a role model in how a person can lead others to make changes for the better. Wangari died in Kenya in 2011, leaving a long-lasting legacy. She was an amazing human being. Governments in Kenya became dedicated to planting trees projects as a result of the Green Belt Movement.

Mary Sullivan,


Would you like to be a volunteer in 2023?

EDITORAs we begin the countdown to Christmas 2022, I’d be grateful for the opportunity to remind readers of the Southern Star of the continuing need to support their local causes this festive season.

The We Act campaign is about celebrating the value and impact of Ireland’s almost 35,000 charities and community groups, each providing crucial services dedicated to making our world a better place. Our charities, community groups and individuals work tirelessly to build thriving communities, inspiring and igniting change all around them. 

Research undertaken by the campaign has found that three quarters of people believe that the lives of the vulnerable in our society would be impacted if charities disappeared. So, whether it’s snatching up a bargain gift at your local charity boutique, or throwing a few bob in the bucket for the choir singing on the street, or jumping in some ice-cold water on Christmas Day to raise funds, your generosity of spirit in supporting those most in need is vital. And if you’re already contemplating some New Year resolutions, why not consider joining the more than one million volunteers around the country and consider how you can give back in 2023? See to find the role to suit you.

Madeline Campbell,

Campaigns officer 

We Act campaign,

The Wheel, Dublin 2.

Looking forward to new Macroom bypass

EDITORIt will be a great day for Macroom to have the long-awaited bypass due to be opened shortly. I, like many others on Munster final day, remember the long never-moving match traffic, and the same on the return journey, but now it will be a pleasure to travel it. I was delighted when I discovered that Michael Creed was appointed a cabinet minister. He constantly put the case that the bypass had to be included in the capital roads programme, and alleviate the ongoing increase of traffic which was choking the town and preventing future investment in the area. The cabinet table does work wonders! 

I want to compliment all concerned in bringing the project to fruition. Fair play to the local athletic club, who are organising a pre-opening fundraiser – that’s what you call opportunistic!

John O’Sullivan,


We all felt a connection to the remarkable Vicky

EDITOREveryone felt a connection with the remarkable woman Vicky Phelan who had to go through the trauma of the High Court to get justice and won. 

Not only did she win but she exposed a huge scandal and brought women’s health to the fore. She fought to uncover the truth in the face of a deadly disease. She brewed up one hell of a storm while this government hid behind closed doors and was no help to this brave woman. The tributes were a simple sign of her impact on Irish society. She will have a seminal influence on the healthcare system of this country for ever more. Rest in peace. 

Noel Harrington, 


A show that could travel to the Bord Gáis theatre

EDITOR – I wish to congratulate all those involved in the production of Chicago in Baltimore recently. It truly was a massive cast and crew. It was an epic performance! What talent. Everything about it was so professional despite the limitations of the hall. Without a doubt it could travel to the Bord Gáis theatre in Dublin. I feel so proud of you all.

Geraldine O’Hare, 


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