Wednesday 21 February 2018

GAA clubs tackle cemetery clean up

Hubert Murphy

The GAA sums up everything that is great about community.

So when the call to arms was made in relation to a major clean up at St Peter's cemetery, the GAA united.

Last Saturday morning, on a day plucked from the middle of summer it seemed, they came from north and south, east and west of the town, volunteers all, united under one banner, one association.

The vastness of St Peter's is extraordinary, maybe four football pitches in size, maybe more.

The vast majority of graves are supremely kept, tended to by loving hands on a regular basis.

But some are not so lucky. And as the volunteers looked around, they could see the task ahead. Many are overgrown with weeds - loved ones all gone, just nature caring for them now.

On this day, men and women from the Nicks, the O'Raghallaighs, Blues, Plunketts, Tones and others, were suddenly family.

They cut, brushed and carried away the past and gave these graves and names new lives.

Fittingly, it all began at the rear of the graveyard, at the Angels Plot. Within a few hours they had the place pristine.

Dessie McDonnell from the Nick's who organised the clean up, said it was necessary, but it would take more than one morning. 'Maybe more groups will come out now and do the same', he stated.

Given the role of the GAA, he felt being part of such a community project was natural.

'We just wanted to be part of it. The cemetery needs a big clean up and the fact that the clubs have the likes of church gate collections, it was appropriate to help', he added.

'All the GAA clubs are represented because they want to give back to'the town. Hopefully this will kickstart an ongoing project here.'

Louth CC played its part, giving bags and gloves while'the Market Cafe hosted the volunteers with refreshments aftetwards.

Some volunteers were there from 7.30am while the Red Door project checked the area for syringes in advance.

It is hoped Saturday willl be the start of the project, rather than the end, with other clubs and groups invited to become involved.

Drogheda Independent

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