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Blue Beat: Naomh Olaf are caring for the environment


Dean Rock presents the inaugural ‘Gradam Dean Rock’ to Katelynn Wilson Daniels (Holy Family NS, Swords).

Dean Rock presents the inaugural ‘Gradam Dean Rock’ to Katelynn Wilson Daniels (Holy Family NS, Swords).

Dean Rock presents the inaugural ‘Gradam Dean Rock’ to Katelynn Wilson Daniels (Holy Family NS, Swords).

THE wise words of Con Houlihan decorate the Naomh Olaf website. He wrote them sometime back in the ’80s. When the anticipation of his column roaring off the presses had the salmon leaping outside the ‘Evening Press’ office on Burgh Quay.

The open field and its freshly-cut grass was our community hall before town halls were ever built.

“The mountain was our wall and the blue sky above, our roof. Everyone of all ages, families, friends, met and played there together.”

Olaf’s are looking to the future. In more ways than one. They cradle and care for the environment. Their sustainability charter has been much welcomed.

There are beehives on the club roof. A pocket forest has been planted.

The project is all about increasing awareness of aspects like waste management, composting and having a plastic-free zone.

The initiative is dedicated to the legacy of the film-maker and author Gerrit van Gelderen, who lived in Sandyford.

His son Finn remarks: “As my father said 40 years ago, we are just temporary custodians, and we need to make sure to pass on the planet to the next generation in a better state than it is now.”

Olaf’s biodiversity officer Neil Barrett says: “I think we all wish we can do something and look our children in the eye and say we tried to make a difference.”

To which chairman John Somers adds: “We can all help to make that difference.”

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Katelynn tops the charts

KATELYNN Wilson Daniels has struck the jackpot – the inaugural winner of the Gradam Dean Rock.

She was the top scorer in this season’s Cumann na mBunscol football finals in Parnell Park. Scoring 4-3 for her school – Holy Family, Swords.

Her tally was five points better than any other player across all the boys’ and girls’ finals. She was also on the mark for her school in the camogie final at Croke Park.

Dean Rock, Dublin’s all-time top scorer, came along to present Katelynn with her award. He was generous with his time. And his advice to her was simple. “Keep practising, but, most of all, enjoy playing sport with your friends.”

He told Katelynn that’s why he still enjoys pulling on the jersey so much.

He wore the Dublin shirt for the first time in 2000. At half-time in the Leinster final. In a Cumann na mBunscol game. He scored 1-2 that day. And he hasn’t stopped scoring since.

Dick has inspired so many

ONE in a million – the great Dick Fields. A constant heartbeat of Kilbarrack and Naomh Barróg.

For a half a century, Dick has been inspiring the youth of the area. Helping them to grow. To develop self-esteem.

He did it through sport. And through the youth club. And, most of all, for being the person he is. Always there. To offer a quiet, guiding word. Lifting their spirits.

The community organised a special event to thank Dick for all his wonderful years. Of serving the locality. Of putting everybody before himself.

Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland made a special presentation. The former minister Michael Woods was among the huge gathering that came to pay tribute to this remarkable person.

Dick arrived in the area in the early ’70s. And he immediately saw the benefit of providing a focus for the young people.

Barróg played a crucial part. And as Dick said himself: “It was all about giving the young people confidence. To help them have pride in their community. And to make them realise the good people that they are.”

It’s too much of a penalty for players

PENALTIES. High drama for everybody. Except the players. There has to be a better way.

Players feel the pressure. The concern of letting down their team-mates.

Perhaps, scoring difference would work. Even the toss of a coin would be better than placing such a burden on players.

Anything that takes away the worry from the individual would be welcomed. In some ways, it’s a pity that the age of the replay is gone. Some of the most memorable debates of all involved replays. The Dublin-Meath four-time saga topped the lot.

And they still talk about the Dubs sailing down the Lee in ’83.

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