COMMUNITY spirit and co-operation was the theme when the National Spring Clean campaign was launched in West Cork this week.
Rosscarbery Tidy Towns hosted the launch, which marked the start of An Taisce’s month of cleaning up our towns and roadsides, in preparation for the coming tourist season.
The launch, held in the Celtic Ross Hotel, was also attended by model Sarah McGovern, An Taisce ambassador, who said she always loved visiting West Cork.
‘It’s people like yourselves who are doing all the hard work,’ she said, referring to the great clean-up that had taken place along the roads of West Cork over the weekend, as part of the KWD-sponsored April 2nd annual clean-up day.
She said that every year the number of bags collected along roadsides increases, and she looked forward to a time when the numbers would fall, or disappear, signalling a change in attitude to littering.
John Moloney, chairman of Rosscarbery Tidy Towns, extended a welcome to the guests, which included Dr Mary Stack, Cork County Council’s environmental awareness officer; litter inspector Teddy Browne; Sharon Corcoran, Cork County Council’s director of environmental services; members of Rosscarbery Tidy Towns committee and local schools.
Mr Moloney congratulated those involved in the weekend’s clean-up in association with KWD recycling, especially the great work carried out between Skibbereen and Clonakilty and beyond.
Referring to the importance of getting schools involved, he said we need to pass on the importance of keeping our environment clean ‘to the people who will be taking care of it when the rest of us have retired!’
Sharon Corcoran of Cork County Council said that litter was a ‘blight’ on our environment but that the Council has had a very active role in reducing it, as do today’s children.
‘We need ye to give out to your friends if you see them littering,’ she told the pupils of the three local primary schools. ‘You wouldn’t invite someone into your house for a cup of tea if there was litter all over the floor, so we must keep our roads clean for our visitors too.’ She congratulated the West Cork litter clean-up crew of Teddy, Joe and Frank, for their work since they were formed a year ago, and reminded the audience of the helpline to alert them to litter blackspots – which is 021 4285417.
‘West Cork has the name of being the tourism part of our county and we need it to be green, clean and environmentally friendly,’ she said.
‘Other parts of our county could learn from West Cork. Days like this are very important to get the message out there to the public and the kids. Sometimes it’s seen as a thankless job, but if ye weren’t doing it, God only knows what kind of environment we would have. It’s all about setting an example.’
John Moloney said there was a ‘chain’ in operation and if any link in the chain was broken, the whole thing would collapse. ‘We have to keep on keeping on, and hopefully the penny will eventually drop with everyone.’