To know fully even one field or one land is a lifetime's experience.
Irish Poet & Author, 1967.
While our primary focus will always be keeping our children participating in and enjoying GAA games
What about the arena in which our games are played?
- the greenspace surroundings
- the grass pitches upon which we play, mentor and watch our games
- our clubhouse and facilities
To help improve our playing environment the Club’s Executive have committed to improve the local eco-system & biodiversity, committing where feasible to our Green Charter addressing the club’s facilities and our playing pitches. Croke Park have already led the way on this.
If we can move towards this charter for our club then it can be an example for other GAA and sports clubs across the country and ‘’Ólaf us together’’ we can help make a real difference to help our environment and the community we live in and represent.
We have commissioned a biodiversity audit of our club’s surroundings and pitches. We have already installed 3 beehives on the roof of the club, . They were sourced by Club stalwart and ‘Master Beekeeper’ Pat Kavanagh. They help boost biodiversity in both the Club and community environment. The honey that the Olaf's bees produce will be used by The Juice Boxx to make their healthy, cold pressed juices. We are also looking at hosting Insect hotels on our grounds.
A rare breed of geese visit and land on our pitches at certain times of the year. We will look to reduce, and where feasible, to move away from chemical fertilisers to more organic spreadable compost from the likes of coffee grinds and fruit waste from the club, and so reduce and reuse our own organic waste within our ecosystem. This will help improve the soil of the pitches we play on, the water table, local wildlife and fauna. Our players and the geese will have a healthier play area.
A handful of soil holds more than 50 billion life forms.
March 30, 2018.
Amuigh Faoin Spéir '’Out under the Sky’' is the name of the Club’s Greenspace Sustainability Charter - named after Gerrit van Gelderen, a Dutch artist, natural historian, filmmaker, author, and a resident at Twayblade, Sandyford before his passing in 1994.
‘Amuigh Faoin Spéir’, an Irish wildlife television series broadcast by RTE in the 1960s, co-produced by Gerrit with Éamon de Buitléar, effectively introduced many Irish television viewers to the natural wildlife in our own country decades ago.
In the mid 1970s Gerrit went on to create, write, film and produce his own wildlife series, To The Waters And The Wild. Filmed extensively in Ireland, he also journeyed to the USA, Canada, Iceland, Europe, Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and India.
Gerrit van Gelderen spent much of his life drawing (literally and figuratively) our attention to the world around us, and focused our attention on the fragility of natural habitats through the medium of film, the written word and his own passion and personality. Husband to Lies van Gelderen (RIP, 2017). Father of Merlin, Aoife, Finn and Oisin.
Captured by Lies van Gelderen, Bull Island, 1962.
Captured by Merlin van Gelderen, Netherlands, 1979.
Captured by Merlin van Gelderen, The Gulf of St Lawrence, Canada, 1978.
Captured by Wenzel Schurmann, Greenland.
Photo by Merlin van Gelderen.
Gerrit and Éamon de Buitléar at work.
Photos & images courtesy of the van Gelderen family.
All rights reserved.
We are all custodians - Image © Gerrit van Gelderen.
The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them,
but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.
George Bernard Shaw,
Irish Playwright, 1901.
Naomh Ólaf Greenspace Charter Launch, March 29th 2022.
Left to right: Neil Barrett, Catherine Martin (TD, Green Party, Govt Minister for Sport, Culture, Tourism, Gaeltacht, Media), Finn van Gelderen, Daniel Dunne (Green Party), Cllr. Lettie Mc Carthy (Cathaoirleach of DLRCoCo), John Somers (Chair. Naomh Ólaf), Oisín O’Connor (Green Party).
On Tuesday evening, 29th March 2022, the Naomh Ólaf GAA Club Greenspace Sustainability Charter was launched.
The initiative is dedicated to the legacy of local Sandyford resident, environmentalist, natural historian, artist, filmmaker & author Gerrit van Gelderen, best known to most for his acclaimed nature programmes for RTÉ.
Finn van Gelderen put together a wonderful tribute to his dad on the night, as well as a passionate address to current and future generations.
Club chairman John Somers outlined the Charter's aims, highlighted what had been done so far and how we all can help to make a difference making small changes; from the beehives (managed by master beekeeper Pat Kavanagh) on the club roof, to the recently planted pocket forest with support from Sandyford Business District, Harry O'Crowley and beyond.
Neil Barrett spoke about his work with Vermicomposting and how much value can be provded to the Club and its greenspaces, and how the green waste from The Juice Boxx is being put to great use.
Minister for Sport, Culture, Tourism, Gaeltacht, Media Catherine Martin, T.D., Cllr. Lettie McCarthy (Cathaoirleach of DLRCoCo), Daniel Dunne (DLRCoCo & Green Party), Oisín O’Connor (Green Party) were also able to attend on the night to help the launch and raise awareness.