Bettystown Tidy Towns wins local action award in Clean Coasts competition

Bettystown Tidy Towns has won the Local Action Award in the 2022 Clean Coasts competition.

The accolade is an acknowledgement of an individual or group who have gone above and beyond and undertaken a special project in their local area this year.

This year alone, the volunteers have collected 665 bags of rubbish and putting in thousands of volunteer hours, and have constructed public pathways to the beach, and carried out dune works to tackle erosion. 2022 was a special year for the group as they embarked on a marine awareness drive – organizing 11 beach activity days for local schools and colleges on the beach, facilitated business clean up events, and organized a World Oceans Day festival on the beach.

A spokesperson for the awards said the group "really stand out as an example of how one voluntary group can engage all the sections of a community with coastal protection and marine awareness."

Liam Keane (from Bettystown Tidy Towns) was nominated in the Individual of the year category and Bettystown Tidy Towns were nominated for both the Group of the Year and the Local Action Award.

Clean Coasts hosted the Ocean Hero Awards Ceremony and Ocean Talks amber 6 Kildare Street, in Dublin, today to celebrate and thank the groups, individuals, communities, and businesses who, throughout the year, have done outstanding work to protect their local coastline and environment.

Each year, the Ocean Hero Awards honour the invaluable contribution Clean Coasts volunteers, groups and communities have made towards conserving our spectacular coastline. The awards, originally called the ‘Clean Coasts Merit Awards’, were conceived in 2006, consisting then of only one category, ‘The Clean Coasts Group of the Year’.

Liam Keane from Bettystown Tidy Towns

Malcolm Noonan, Minister of State, was the keynote speaker of the event. He said: “The Clean Coasts brand is intrinsically associated with environmental excellence and it is widely acknowledged that its community engagement initiatives and environmental campaigns are making a tangible difference to our coastal environment. The Ocean Hero Awards recognise the effort, dedication and commitment of individuals, volunteers, groups and the wider community to safeguard the future of our oceans. I am struck and heartened by the wide variety of entries and the amazing work that is going on around the length and breadth of the country. My Department will continue to support the Clean Coast range of programmes into 2023. We consider these to be important national anti- marine litter and citizen activation measures which we will continue showcase internationally as examples of best practice.”

Sinead McCoy, Clean Coasts Manager said: “For the past 15 years, the Clean Coasts programme’s Ocean Hero Awards have been celebrating the incredible efforts of Clean Coasts volunteers around the Irish Coastline. We have nothing but awe and respect for the amazing groups and individuals highlighted in our shortlist for this years Ocean Hero Awards. We were delighted to have received so many inspirational nominations that show not only the true dedication of these coastal custodians, but also that their efforts don’t go unnoticed by the community”

Further information on the Clean Coasts Ocean Heroes can be found on the Clean Coasts website