Cathaoirleach John Dolan had a very important job on his final day in office as Westmeath County Council Cathaoirleach, presenting the first Green Dog Walker’s Champion award to Moate native, Luke Lynam.
Luke is a resident of Moate and a keen dog owner of Flo and Myia. He loves to bring his dogs for a walk to the Amenity Park and along the Old Rail Trail and this is what sparked his interest in joining the Green Dog Walkers scheme. Luke loves the area and it’s his love of it that made him want to get other dog owners to get involved and clean up after their dog so that the park and rail trail remain clean for others to use and enjoy.
“I am delighted to present Luke with his award. Communities need champions like Luke that see a problem, highlight it and want to change it. Luke is an exceptional young man who knows the responsibilities that come with having a dog,” Cllr. Dolan remarked.
Olive Quinn, Dún na Sí Amenity & Heritage Park stated, “we are very proud of Luke, he is a wonderful person and is always ready to help us in our work. He is the perfect fit for a Green Dog Walker’s Champion and has told a lot of people about the scheme and encourages them to participate and take the pledge. We want people to come and enjoy the park and unfortunately dog faeces detracts from a person’s enjoyment when they stand, walk or push their buggy or wheelchair across it.”
The Green Dog Walkers (GDW ) is a non-confrontational, friendly way to change attitudes about dog fouling. The scheme consists of dog owners ‘pledging’ to clean up after their dog, wearing a GDW hi vis vest/carry the GDW bag dispenser when walking their dog, carry extra dog waste bags and be happy to be approached to ‘lend’ a dog waste bag to those without and to be a friendly reminder to other dog walkers to clean up after their dog/s. The philosophy of this campaign is to start shifting public attitudes so that it becomes socially unacceptable not to clean up after your dog. With this change in attitude it is hoped for a general acceptance that dog owners must clean up after their dog fouls and therefore reduce the amount of litter in public areas.