Ven­try meitheal takes one small step for mankind

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

Over 30 bags of lit­ter was picked up off Ven­try strand on Satur­day by a ‘meitheal’ of lo­cals and vis­i­tors who share the view that ev­ery lit­tle ef­fort helps in keep­ing our seas and coast­line cleaner and health­ier.

The clean-up was or­gan­ised by Orna Dun­levy who lives within sight of Ven­try strand felt that if peo­ple were en­cour­aged “to clean up our own lit­tle patch” on a reg­u­lar ba­sis it would be one small step on the long jour­ney to­wards turn­ing back the tide of pol­lu­tion en­gulf­ing the world’s oceans.

Dún Chaoin-based Su­san Vick­ers, who works as An Taisce’s Clean Coasts Of­fi­cer for Kerry, Cork and Lim­er­ick, was happy to sup­port the ef­fort, pro­vid­ing refuse sacks, gloves, lit­ter pick­ers and ar­rang­ing for the rub­bish to be col­lected by Kerry County Coun­cil.

The lit­ter found on the beach in­cluded count­less strands of ny­lon rope en­meshed in sea­weed. The rope is com­monly used by fish­er­men who are prob­a­bly not aware of the pol­lu­tion that re­sults when a fathom of dis­carded rope be­comes frayed and sep­a­rates into thou­sands of sep­a­rate strands of plas­tic. Dog dung bags were an­other com­mon fea­ture of the haul of lit­ter from Ven­try, but there’s no ex­cuse for those who left them be­hind – and we’re not talk­ing about the dogs here.

“I thought ev­ery­body is re­ally wor­ried about how the sea is get­ting more and more pol­luted… and it seemed to me that if our com­mu­nity cleaned our beach it would help the sit­u­a­tion some lit­tle bit,” said Orna.

The plan is to con­tinue the Ven­try beach clean on the first Satur­day of ev­ery month from 2 – 3.30pm. The ad hoc group goes un­der the ti­tle of Meitheal Trá Fionn Trá, which now a mem­ber of Clean Coasts and ev­ery­body is very wel­come to join the ef­fort. There’s a so­cial side to the work as well, which makes the post clean-up cof­fee in Quinn’s an im­por­tant part of the op­er­a­tion, and Orna hopes Ven­try’s ef­forts will en­cour­age other coastal com­mu­ni­ties to fol­low their lead.

Pho­tos by De­clan Malone

Stella Doyle on a mis­sion to clean up Ven­try beach at the Clean Coasts lit­ter pick­ing op­er­a­tion on Satur­day af­ter­noon. TOP, RIGHT: Daniel Byrne help­ing with the lit­ter pick­ing. BOT­TOM, RIGHT: Brothers Owen and Ben Sheehy weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty for the sake of a clean beach.

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