Golfer Graeme McDowell has paid tribute to the volunteers who cleaned up his hometown ahead of last year’s Irish Open.
The Major winner praised the Portrush spruce-up as he became the latest celebrity to throw his support behind the Belfast Telegraph’s Big Spring Clean.
The ex-US Open winner backed Northern Ireland’s biggest anti-litter campaign and highlighted the work of volunteers in the run-up to last summer’s Irish Open.
We’ve teamed up with Tidy NI and DoE Rethink Waste to inspire tens of thousands of people to roll up their sleeves this spring and tackle the litter blight.
We’re hoping to galvanise 50,000 people to get involved in the Big Spring Clean across Northern Ireland this April — doubling last year’s target of 25,000. G-Mac said: “A big thank you to all volunteers helping out with Tidy Northern Ireland's Big Spring Clean initiative.
“During last year’s Irish Open you helped showcase Portrush the way it should have been. The town looked great as huge numbers flocked in for the week. Keep up the good work and I will be sure to help out next time I’m home!”
In June last year around 40 volunteers took to the East Strand
beach in Portrush to clear away unwanted debris which had washed up on shore before the Irish Open.
People worked for a solid two hours collecting buckets of debris, hoping to win sought-after tickets to the competition.
For every bucket of debris gathered and emptied into a skip as part of the One Big Shine Up event, volunteers received a ticket and entry into a raffle to win a pair of tickets to the Irish Open.
Last week Olympian Paddy Barnes supported the Big Spring Clean by heading to the Waterworks Park in his native Belfast to make sure it was clear of litter.
Last year the Big Spring Clean mobilised 26,000 volunteers who lifted 163 tonnes of litter — equivalent to 23 double decker buses.
This year’s campaign is already gaining momentum, with clean-ups already pencilled in for our towns, cities and beaches.
Joining in the Big Spring Clean is easy. All you need to do is register an event or join an existing event online at www.big springclean ni.org, order your free clean-up kit and get stuck in. Your local council will supply additional kit and will collect rubbish gathered. The website has council contact details to co- ordinate this. For more, check out the website, or email info@bigsprin gclean ni.org or contact Tidy NI directly 028 9073 6920.