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  • Writer's pictureMáthair

The Story of Three by Eileen O’Malley

Updated: Oct 26, 2019

Eileen at White Strand (Miltown Malbay) Beach

It is our absolute pleasure to introduce Eileen O’Malley one of the founders of the ‘3 for the sea’ initiative in Co Clare, West Ireland. Eileen talks to us about her experience of motherhood, her inspiration behind ‘3 for the sea’ and how we can all do our bit to fight against plastic pollution.

'3 For the Sea' is a simple initiative which asks beachgoers to commit to taking away 3 pieces of plastic every time they visit the beach. We are delighted to have erected two permanent stone '3 for the Sea' signs here at Spanish Point and Whitestrand Milltown Malbay beaches in Co Clare. There have since been similar signs placed on Bray Seafront in Co Wicklow and 5 similar beaches in Co Cork, with the promise of more signs to follow. It would be great if this very simple message could be voiced by every coastal community across the country and beyond. Taking away 3 pieces of plastic is one thing each of us can do to help in the fight against plastic pollution. In the words of someone else "No one can do everything, but everyone can do something." (3 For The Sea)

Way back in 1986 at the age of 22. I became a mother to the first of my two beautiful daughters. I felt overjoyed, and very quickly overwhelmed with the weight of the huge responsibility that came with Motherhood. The girls early years were the happiest of my entire life. I loved being a mother. I loved being with them. I wanted to help and encourage my babies to grow into strong, confident and caring women. And despite the many mistakes I made along the way, they have…..

I moved to live in West Clare almost 2 years ago, a very beautiful part of the world, but like most of the planet it is experiencing the awful problem of plastic pollution. The idea for the ‘3 for the Sea’ initiative coincided with my daughters announcing that they were both pregnant. Sinéad was expecting a baby girl and Gráinne expecting twin boys. Three babies.

Late last year, with the help of others in the community, we managed to get two permanent ‘3 for the Sea’ stone signs erected at Spanish Point and White Strand beaches in Clare. The signs ask visitors to take away three pieces of plastic every time they visit the beach. It is a simple way in which each one of us can do our bit in the fight against plastic pollution and I am happy to say the response to the initiative has been really positive.

Twenty Five weeks ago, my two beautiful daughters became Mothers, for the first time I had the joyful experience of becoming a grandmother to my darling Rósaí at 4 am and again to my gorgeous Laoch and Fiach at 4 pm on Friday January 11th, 2019. Three beautiful babies came into my life on the same day and my heart is bursting with love for all three of them.

In the past few days I have been informed that there have been three more ‘3 for the sea’ signs erected in Co Wicklow and I am delighted that the initiative now runs coast to coast across the country.

My hope is that this and other similar initiatives continue to spread and develop and that despite all the mistakes we have made in polluting and damaging our world over the years, that the future starts to look brighter for the planet and for my ‘3 Beautiful Grandchildren’.


For more information on the global initiative 'Take 3 For The Sea' have a very informative and helpful website:

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