Members of Keep Our Beaches Clean group in Mayo.

Mayo features prominently at Ocean Hero Awards ceremony

Clean Coasts hosted the Ocean Hero Awards Ceremony at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Dublin to celebrate and thank the groups, individuals, communities, and businesses who, throughout the year, have done outstanding work to protect their local coastline and environment.

Each year, the Ocean Hero Awards honour the invaluable contribution Clean Coasts volunteers, groups and communities have made towards conserving our spectacular coastline.

This year, Clean Coasts has chosen seven dedicated categories with a total of 33 groups, organisations and individuals shortlisted for the title of Ocean Hero within each category.

During the ceremony, the work and achievements of all 33 groups have been showcased and celebrated, and winners for each category have been announced:

Mairead Staunton from Keep Our Beaches Clean. Mairead is vital in co-ordinating these groups and participates in all calls to action from Clean Coasts. Photo by Agnese Santoro

In County Mayo, Keep Our Beaches Clean were nominated for the Group of the Year award as well as prominent Keep Our Beaches Clean volunteer Mairead Staunton being shortlisted for Individual of the Year.

Pictured, from left, are Mairead Staunton from Keep Our Beaches Clean Group, Austin Moran from Western Care Group Association, Sinead McCoy, Coastal Communities Manager at An Taisce’s Environmental Education Unit, Marck McDonagh and Mark Roche from Western Care Association, Conall O’Connor, representative for the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and Louise Munster. Photo: J Barker / Naoise Culhane Photography-no f

Western Care Group Association, who work a lot with Keep Our Beaches Clean, have won the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion award at the Clean Coasts 2023 Ocean Hero Awards.

This award celebrates and acknowledges the Clean Coasts groups in Ireland that actively embrace and promote diversity among their members, making clean-up efforts more inclusive and representative of the diverse communities across the country.

This award category is designed to shine a spotlight on those actively fostering a sense of equality, diversity, and inclusion within their organisation, ensuring no one is left out.

Western Care Group Association’s aim is to empower people with a wide range of learning and associated disabilities in Co. Mayo to live full and satisfied lives as equal citizens.

They work with Mairead Staunton and Keep Our Beaches Clean, and get involved in regular weekly clean-ups.

Keep Our Beaches Clean in Mayo were nominated in the Group of the Year category in Clean Coasts 2023 Ocean Hero Awards. As well as weekly beach clean, using the Clean Coasts grant, they developed a campaign to tackle smoking related litter.