Gardai and residents join forces in clean up

The Athlone Garda Community Policing Unit has joined forces with local residents to undertake a major clean-up of the Woodlands and Ashdale areas next Saturday April 18, as part of An Taisce’s National Spring Clean campaign.

The event is the first of a number of similar events planned for Athlone over the summer period. Speaking in advance of the event, Superintendent Aidan Glacken of Athlone Garda District said the initiative shows what can be done when various community groups work together.

“The clean up of Woodlands and Ashdale has been co-ordinated by the Community Policing Unit at Athlone Garda Station. Taking part in An Taisce’s National Spring Clean initiative further demonstrates An Garda Síochána’s commitment to fostering and sustaining positive community partnerships,” said Supt Glacken.

“The Garda Community Policing team in Athlone is working closely with schools and local voluntary/community groups in their efforts to organise clean-ups and thus raise awareness of issues such as graffiti in our communities.

Athlone Community Policing Unit is planning other like initiatives for the Athlone urban area over the summer months.”

Volunteers are to meet at St Kierans Community Centre, beside Ashdale Housing Estate, at 11am next Saturday April 18, and the group would like to encourage as many people as possible to join in the event.

Athlone Town Council will arrange for the removal of all rubbish collected on the day.  

National Spring Clean chairperson, Patricia Oliver, said the initiative relies on people’s willingness to give their time and energy to help make a difference in their community. “I would like to praise the Athlone Community Policing Unit and the residents of Woodlands and Ashdale for organising this event,” she said.

The National Spring Clean campaign is organised by An Taisce and funded by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. In 2008, more than 450,000 people volunteered to join with other members of their community to organise clean-ups around the country, with an estimated 1,596 tonnes of litter collected and 35 per cent of that waste recycled. 

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