Team Limerick Clean-up is a family affair for O’Donnells

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

Email:

aine.fitzgerald@limerickleader.ie

Lucy, Emma, John and Kailey O'Donnell were out with their pickers this week in Patrickswell in preparation for TLC5

Lucy, Emma, John and Kailey O'Donnell were out with their pickers this week in Patrickswell in preparation for TLC5

WITH six weeks to go to Limerick’s big clean up, TLC5, one Patrickswell family have already taken out the pickers and high-vis vests in preparation for the much-loved community event.

The latest registration figures have passed the 13,000 mark and it is hoped that more people than ever before will participate in the fifth edition of Team Limerick Clean-Up (TLC), set to take place this Good Friday, April 19, across Limerick city and county.

“It’s a nice way to get out and be part of the community,” explains Louise O’Donnell from, Ballyanrahan, Patrickswell.

There are several reasons why the mother-of-four gives up a few hours of her day every Good Friday for the good cause, none more so than setting a good example for Kailey, 10, Emma, nine, Lucy, six and John, four.

“We want to show the children what it means to keep your community tidy and to teach them that they shouldn’t throw their rubbish around, that someone does have to come and clean it up after you - just taking pride in your own community,” says Louise who is married to John.

“The children enjoy it - there are running around and they don’t feel like they are working.”

Each Good Friday the O'Donnells head off with their plastic bags, gloves and pickers and tackle their own road around Ballyanrahan and Lurriga.

“There are loads of different groups and the village is broken into different areas. We try and go to the quieter areas and do our own road down by the church in Patrickswell. Last year Keith Earls was there and there was a big gathering of around 30 or 40 people. There was every age. It would be nice to see more older people coming out - people who wouldn’t normally mix in the community and they might get to know people they wouldn’t have met otherwise. It might start a friendship for them.”

The social aspect of the event, Louise feels, is just as important, if not more important, than the physical work element. “It’s a nice way to get out and be part of the community. Everyone is friendly - you are not on your own. It doesn’t cost anything and everything is provided by TLC.

“And you’d be very surprised by how much you collect. When you see what people throw out - it’s just astonishing.”

One of the things people most look forward to each year before they roll up their sleeves, and again after they take off the gloves, is the cup of tea or coffee, hot cross bun and chat with friends and neighbours.

“You get to put the faces to names,” smiles Louise.

Team Limerick Clean-Up is an initiative sponsored by the JP McManus Benevolent Fund and supported by Limerick City and County Council. Endorsed by Paul O’Connell, the official partners include Mr Binman, the Limerick Leader, Live95 and the Limerick Post.

To register for TLC5 log onto www.teamlimerickcleanup.ie