The first environmental day of action, “Let’s Team Up to Clean Up, Together for Kilkenny” got off to a wet start, as the rain fell, it by no means dampened the spirit of the event. In the weeks leading up to the event registered groups attended health and safety information sessions which informed them how the event would work and provided safety tips for their volunteers. The army personnel of St Stephens Barracks, volunteered to assemble the community litter packs and following attendance at the safety session, each group then collected their pack from the local army barracks.
Over 50 groups registered, with 600 litter pickers distributed along with 6,000 flowering bulbs to neighbourhoods across Kilkenny. These flowers will bloom next Spring adding to the floral displays across the city. As the weather was unfavourable on the event day, many groups postponed their litter pick. Bernadette Moloney, Environmental Awareness Officer with Kilkenny County Council, commented “at the health and safety information sessions, the feedback from groups was highly positive. Groups were delighted with their litter packs and providing a time period to complete the litter pick, gave groups an incentive to gather their neighbours to pitch in. The litter packs provide the tools for future litter picks and the addition of flowering bulbs was complimented, as planted bulbs will stand as a yearly reminder of the community spirit, present in their neighbourhoods”.
Mayor of Kilkenny, Cllr David Fitzgerald greeted volunteers at various events, his first stop was RehabCare, where the staff and service users committed to complete their first litter pick and to use the litter picking supplies for regular litter picks as part of their educational programme into the future. The Mayor commented, “I was delighted that “Lets Team Up to Clean Up, Together for Kilkenny” pilot event took place during my term of office, while Kilkenny City is known for its litter free status, engaging the community and enabling them to look after their own neighbourhood is a positive step in assisting Keep Kilkenny Beautiful, the city’s tidy town group to retain their gold medal and strive for another national title”.
Sean McKeown, the Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council greeted the participants gathered the Volunteer Centre on the event morning. “This pilot event complements Kilkenny Day, and it helped us to gain logistical experience in advance of running the much larger event next spring, that will incorporate both the city and county. I am very grateful to our sponsors namely PRL, Dawn Meats, John O Shea Trust and Glanbia PLC/Glanbia Co-op together with our waste management sponsor Panda. They have been instrumental to allow this initiative to become a reality by providing the necessary financial support for the next three years to cement this environmental day of action into the county’s community calendar. I must also thank, Commandant Stephen Mac Eoin and the army personnel from Stephens’ Barracks who very kindly provided their logistical expertise to assist the Council to arrange the community litter packs, as large amount of supplies were ordered and distributed out to the neighbourhoods around Kilkenny City via Stephens’ Barracks.”
The next event will coincide with St Brigid’s Day, the new public holiday on the first weekend in February 2023. Registration is now open for next year’s event, sport groups, community groups, schools and resident associations are welcome to participate by registering via https://cleanup.kilkenny.ie/.
Release Date; 13th of October 2022