Gaelic Athletic Association

The GAA meets the three Irish waste regions to prepare the country-wide outreach and replication of ACCESS results

During the week of 29 May, Dublin saw many relevant events taking place at various locations, including the Circular Economy Hotspot Conference at Croke Park, ACR+’s General Assembly at Trinity College and the European Week for Waste Reduction Awards – a perfect opportunity for a meeting in the margins.

Being ACR+ members, the three Irish regions – the Connacht – Ulster, East Midlands and Southern Waste Regions, found themselves in Dublin to attend the network’s General Assembly, as well as the Circular Economy Hotspot Conference the day before at Croke Park. It didn’t take long before a side meeting was called to allow ACR+ to present the ACCESS project and the GAA to present their ongoing activities, and more importantly – what is yet to come.

Attended by Ernest Kovacs on behalf of ACR+, the GAA’s Jimmy D’Arcy and Míde Ní Shúilleabháin, and Sinead Ni Mhainnin, Joanne Rourke and Philippa King representing respectively the Connacht-Ulster, East Midlands and Southern Waste regions, the meeting had the objective to lay the basis for the outreach and community engagement activities which are set to start early next year. This phase will see the GAA and the other three participating sport organisations (FC Porto, the Welsh and the Danish FA) becoming the reference points in their countries for improved environmental management and the application of circular economy solutions in sports and reaching out to sport organisations in rural and/or remote areas and enable them to access European good practices and the knowledge base developed by the project.

As Ernest and Jimmy explained, the project is currently in the phase where the participating sport organisations are setting up relevant partnerships with their imminent stakeholders. Jimmy further said that while the local activities and the set up of the local Circular City Committee are currently ongoing in Dublin, this meeting came at a perfect time for starting to imagine and understand what next year and the nation-wide outreach campaign would look like, as that particular phase would need the involvement of public authorities and agencies in order to replicate the methodology and the lessons learnt from Dublin. Míde highlighted the fact that the GAA’s Green Club has already achieved a significant outreach, as many GAA clubs from all over the island are adhering to the Green Club – something certainly promising for the ACCESS project’s objectives. The three waste regions confirmed that they were aware of the GAA’s initiatives and that they would be willing to participate and furthermore help the GAA and the project in mapping relevant stakeholders.

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