Fair play, Flossie – the 10-year-old beach hero

by Emma Nolan

AN INSPIRATIONAL little girl from Sandycove is dedicating her summer holidays to cleaning up our coastline.

Flossie Donnelly, 10, has decided to devote every Friday evening of the summer months to conducting a clean-up of the shore around the Sandycove area.

She told The Gazette: “Me and my mummy live right next to the beach and we go crabbing in the rocks and we find loads of rubbish every time, and I decided I’d rather have the beach looking amazing than looking horrible.”

In an appeal for volunteers, Flossie has made a poster requesting people to meet up at 6pm every Friday for an hour-long clean up.

Initially, the poster didn’t reach many people, but after her mum Harriet shared it online, she’s had a great response.

Last Friday evening, a family from Finland changed their holiday plans so that they could come along and help Flossie after seeing her poster on social media.

Flossie said she wants others to be able to enjoy a clean beach. She said: “Other families come and see the beach full of rubbish everywhere. I know the council come [to clean up] but they need some help sometimes.”

Flossie has had the support of several local people and individuals. Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s Environmental Officer Dean Eaton has supplied gloves, litter-pickers and bags for the clean-up.

As group organiser, Flossie says that anyone who goes along to the clean-up is given the gear to help do so.

“Then we start on the beach and end on all the rocks where we check all around the place to make sure there’s no more rubbish left – it’s always worse on the rocks.”

Thanks to her efforts, Flossie says the beach is looking “a lot better” but she maintains that there is still a lot of work to be done.

Mum Harriet says she “couldn’t be prouder” of her daughter and her initiative. “We’re really proud – she was finding rubbish every day and putting it in the bin, so she said: ‘I’m going to make a poster and see if anyone wants to do some beach cleaning’. She put the whole thing together.”

Harriet said the response online has been great. “People from England, Italy and Finland have been saying how they appreciate what she’s doing. We are genuinely so proud of her.”

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