Club pilots national initiative to eliminate single use plastics


Among those to attend the launch were Caroline Fitzpatrick (Park/Ratheniska LGFA), Sara O'Hara (Green Club Committee), Christy Fingleton (Park/Ratheniska, Treasurer), Joe Cunningham (Juvenile, Chairman), Cllr Conor Bergin (Cathaoirleach, Laois Co Council), Suzanne Dempsey (Environment Awareness Officer, Laois County Council), Mide Ni Shuilleabhain (Chair, GAA Green Club Comm) Brian Ramsbottom (Secretary, Park/Ratheniska Senior Club), Jimmy Darcy (National Manager, GAA Sustainability), Se Ramsbottom, Molly Fitzpatrick, David & Sarah Cunningham and Declan Breen (Regional Waste Management Council).

Park/Ratheniska GAA Club welcomed a number of representatives from Croke Park, Laois County Council and the Regional Waste Management Council to our Grounds on Thursday last to formally launch the latest part of our Green Club Iniative. 

Laois County Council is supporting Park/Ratheniska GAA Club in the GAA Green Clubs pilot initiative which aims to develop good practice guidance for Clubs focusing on five key areas to support sustainability challenges.

The Green Club Programme is a partnership between the GAA, LGFA and Camogie Association and local authorities across Ireland and is structured around five key areas; Waste, Water, Biodiversity, Energy and Travel and Transportation. 

Park/Ratheniska GAA Club is one of several GAA Clubs that have been chosen nationally to participate in the pilot phase of the programme. The Laois Club’s focus is waste and following on from an initiative brought forward by their Green Club Committee, they have piloted a programme to assist in eliminating all single use plastic bottles from the Club. To this end, phase 1 of the project will see all juvenile members from age four up to fourteen in both the Mens and Ladies Club being presented with reusable water bottles. 

Park/Ratheniska GAA Club will work with the GAA, Regional Waste Management Offices, and Laois County County Council to develop guidelines and share knowledge on how to manage waste in GAA Clubs.

The final stage of the project will be to develop a waste management toolkit, which will be made available to GAA Clubs across the country.

Speaking on behalf of Park/Ratheniska, Club Secretary Brian Ramsbottom said: 

“With close to 500 members, Park/Ratheniska GAA Club are a huge part of the community here in Park and Ratheniska. We are delighted to be part of this national GAA Green Clubs programme and look forward to helping other Clubs identify and implement simple measures to protect our natural heritage and secure a sustainable future for all our local communities. This is just another part of our ongoing efforts to give back to our community and assist our younger members across both the Ladies Club and ours, in becoming more socially and environmentally aware. Already we are seeing the effects of this initiative with our adult football team taking it upon themselves to go single use bottle free in recent months.”

Suzanne Dempsey, Environment Awareness Officer, Laois County Council said 

“This is a great example of climate action at local level. GAA Clubs are central to many communities across the country and it is inspirational to see Park/Ratheniska GAA Club taking a leadership role in the fight against climate change by encouraging waste prevention through reuse which is more sustainable option to single-use.   We look forward to Clubs around Ireland learning as a result of the hard work of Park/Ratheniska GAA Club here in Laois.”

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