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Bid to Rid Ireland’s Eye of a Build-up of Marine Litter

27th August 2018
Volunteers removed half a ton of marine litter from Ireland's Eye Volunteers removed half a ton of marine litter from Ireland's Eye

Seastainability and Clean Coasts coordinated a specialised clean-up of Ireland’s Eye off the fishing village of Howth, Co. Dublin. Ken of Ireland’s Eye Ferries offered his support by ferrying 23 volunteers to the island to undertake the mass clean up.

It is estimated that half a tonne of marine litter was removed from the Island. The volunteers were not only locals, but many came from the greater Dublin area. David Hughes gave the group a brief history of the Island on landing and Tara Adcock of Birdwatch Ireland enlightened the group of the many types of seabirds dwelling on the Island. 

Seastainability Founder, Rebecca Flanagan said; Looking out at this beautiful, uninhabited Island every day, you would never imagine the level of litter and marine debris matted into the sand and rock. It’s an interesting area to survey since the level of foot fall is relatively low compared to Howth Village. No one group is responsible for cleaning or preserving Ireland’s Eye so the level of debris we found on our pre-assessment was alarming. This Island is a habitat for Seabirds and Seals, yet sadly it has become a landing area for wandering marine litter and fishing equipment. 

"23 volunteers trekked 70 bags of debris across the Island" 

The volunteers cleared an accumulation of plastic litter, lengths of tangled fishing ropes, fishing material, textiles, aluminium cans and glass. 23 volunteers trekked 70 bags of debris across the Island where it was loaded onto two ferry boats and brought back to Howth Harbour.

Ireland’s Eye Ferry owner, Ken Doyle commented; Ireland's Eye Ferries were delighted to facilitate the volunteers from Seastainability and Clean Coasts. Ireland's Eye is a beautiful amenity so close to the city and keeping it clean is in the best interests of all who use it, wildlife and human. Well done to all for their efforts today. We will continue to encourage all visitors to take their rubbish home with them.

Clean Coasts Coastal Programme Officer, Richard Curtin said; Clean Coasts were delighted to be involved with this clean-up of Ireland’s Eye which is one of the most beautiful sites on the Dublin Coastline. The volunteers braved the wet conditions and did trojan work to remove such a large quantity of rubbish. Each year millions of tonnes of marine litter enter our seas and oceans, resulting in environmental, economic, health and aesthetic challenges. Clean-ups such as this help in reversing these trends.

A great sense of community and collaboration was felt by all involved. The Beshoffs Market Cafe, welcomed the volunteers to the West Pier with a rewarding hot drink refreshment and newly appointed Harbour Master, Harry McLoughlin, arranged the disposal of the collected debris.

Published in Island News Team

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