WATCH: Rugby legend Paul O'Connell hopes for change of litter habits after TLC Limerick

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

RUGBY legend Paul O’Connell says that while Team Limerick Clean-Up makes “a big difference to the city and county”, the most important aspect is that it changes people’s habits when it comes to litter. 

The former Munster, Ireland and Lions captain was speaking at the launch of the sixth edition of TLC which took place this Monday in the LIT Gaelic Grounds.

“You look at drink driving laws - very few people would dream of doing it now,” said Paul who is a TLC ambassador. “You look at seat belts, people get in a car now, everyone puts on a seat belt - front and back. When I was young no-one did. You look at the way people bring a bag now when they take their dogs for a walk, 10 or 15 years ago you never imagined people would be able to change those kind of habits. It (TLC) is a great one-day clean-up but hopefully as well it can lead to a change of habits that people don’t litter any more,” continued Paul who joined GAA President, John Horan in the LIT Gaelic Grounds for the launch.

The pair were joined by members of underage hurling and football teams from Kildimo-Pallaskenry GAA Club and St Patrick’s GAA Club. 

Registration is now open for TLC 6 which takes place on Good Friday, April 10 across Limerick city and county. Celebrating another great year for the much-loved community event, volunteers are urged to sign up early at www.teamlimerickcleanup.ie and join the 20,000+ volunteers expected to once again show their support for their locality.

This year, TLC is celebrating how far the event has come since 2015, and the amount of litter that has been collected by the army of volunteers that take part. Sponsored by the JP McManus Benevolent Fund, the event has seen over 400 tonnes of litter gathered from the streets by volunteers and event partner Mr Binman since inception in 2015. Last year’s record-breaking participation figures exceeded 20,000 volunteers, with over 600 groups from across the county.  A total of 470 of these held tea and coffee gatherings to celebrate.

In addition to encouraging volunteer participation in the clean-up, TLC is encouraging sports fans attending matches throughout the city and county to keep their stadia tidy and pick up any litter they come across. The Gaelic Grounds and Thomond Park are perfect examples of venues where thousands of people congregate and where litter can get dropped.

Commenting on Team Limerick Clean-Up 6, GAA President John Horan said; “Team limerick Clean-Up has been going from strength to strength over the last six years. It is a wonderful community event which brings groups from every walk of life together for one cause. I am honoured to be here today to launch this year’s edition of TLC. I would encourage everyone to sign up this year, get involved and continue the good work!”

JP McManus, Team Limerick Clean-Up sponsor reflected on the last five years: “It is very evident how much pride and passionate Limerick people have for their county and the environment. Team Limerick Clean-Up has come a long way since the early days and is now very much in the minds of volunteers year-round.”

Indeed, TLC’s year-round initiatives feature a strong focus on sustainability. Hundreds of specially-designed, Paul O’Connell-signed reusable coffee cups have already been distributed and more will be offered on TLC’s social media channels later in the year, along with further sustainability enterprises.

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, the Limerick Post and Limerick’s Live 95FM. Register: www.teamlimerickcleanup.ie