A CLONAKILTY woman’s concern for hedgehogs getting stuck in training nets at her local club has resonated with both her local club and leading GAA bosses.
Louise Kingston, who runs Inchydoney Candles, had been walking in the town’s GAA pitches in Ahamilla last month when she and others came across a small hedgehog caught in a training net.
‘He was tired and dehydrated and unable to free himself so we called the local animal rescue and vet to help us release him and thankfully we set him free back into the wild with the vet even giving him a flea treatment,’ Louise told The Southern Star.
‘I then realised this probably happens all over the country and it could be solved by pegging up the nets after training sessions. It could be a small job for someone to do while also being a terrific goodwill gesture for protecting these endangered species.’
She then contacted her local GAA club about her idea and they responded positively with chairperson of Clonakilty GAA Ger McCarthy thanking her for bringing the matter to their attention and said they hadn’t encountered it in the past.
‘Ger said they would do their best to ensure that there is sufficient space for small animals to travel underneath the netting without getting entrapped,’ said a delighted Louise.
Not only that, she also heard from GAA HQ in Croke Park, that they are working on a green programme for clubs that will examine biodiversity, energy, waste, water and travel and transport.
‘Jimmy Darcy, who heads up a pilot scheme known as the GAA green club programme that features 45 clubs, said they were totally unaware of the hedgehog situation and said they will now include it in their programme. They will be sending GAA green clubs toolkits to every club in the country and they aim to run the programmes countrywide by next June. This is fantastic and great to see both Clonakilty GAA and GAA HQ committed to helping hedgehogs that are under threat due to a loss of habitat and food,’ added Louise.