June 2015
Green News and Events Guide 


Welcome to the Green News and Events Guide for June. 

After the buzz of Biodiversity Week things turn to matters more political this month. The Climate Bill took a step closer to becoming law this week. Despite pressure from a number of environmental groups no changes to strengthen it were included at committee stage. Minister Kelly did leave open the possibility of changes coming at the report stage. This really is the last chance to give Ireland a climate law that will prepare our society and economy for the future. 

Also this month we are highlighting an interesting documentary being put together ahead of the COP21 climate talks in Paris, a stance taken by the Environmental Pillar against the eco-labelling of a Kerry salmon farm and an international award for one of Ireland's peatland conservationists.  

As always stay up to date through our website, facebook and twitter. 

Many thanks,



Communications and Development Officer 

Irish Environmental Network

[email protected] 

Stay Connected
Last chance to amend weak climate bill 
  • Friends of the Earth, An Taisce, and Stop Climate Chaos lead the charge to amend the Climate Bill before it is too late.
  • Ireland's Climate Bill is expected to make it through the houses of the Oireachtas before the summer break. 
  • Calls to improve the Climate Change Advisory Council as the first line up is announced. 
This week the long awaited Climate Bill continued its journey through the D�il. Attempts to strengthen the bill through amendments at Committee Stage failed.
However Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said he has not ruled out amendments being added at the report stage. This will be last chance to improve the bill that many environmental groups have said is too weak. 
Stop Climate Chaos, a coalition of civil society and environmental groups, handed in a 5,000 strong petition to the minister on Tuesday calling for a stronger law to prompt Irish action. 
They are calling on the minister to: 
  • Include clear emission targets for 2050
  • Guarantee the independence of the Climate Change Advisory Council 
  • Include the concept of Climate Justice in the Bill
It's not too late to sign the petition which now has close to 6,500 signatures. Click here to add your name to the call.

Climate Change Advisory Council 

They want the independence of the advisory group enshrined in law. They also take issue with the make up of the council and want assurances that it will be properly resourced. 
Friends of the Earth have also taken issue with the Climate Change Advisory Council whose members were announced this week. 
Ois�n Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth Ireland said: 

"The independence of the Fiscal Advisory Council is underpinned by law. The same protection is essential for the Climate Advisory Council, especially with ex-officio members who might otherwise be looking over their shoulders to their Boards and stakeholders.

"The other necessity is proper resources. The Fiscal Advisory Council has four research analysts working for it. There has been no commitment to new staff for the Climate Council. Without adequate staff the Council will be hobbled from the start.

"There are A LOT of economists on the Council. Six of the seven independent members are economists. The decision not to include a natural scientist is odd. And the fact that 

only two of the 11 members are women is disappointing, there were excellent women candidates who could have been appointed.


European TV station are looking for Irish people to produce a short video on climate change to air in France and Germany
TV channel ARTE are looking for Irish people to take part in a programme which will air during the COP21 climate talks in Paris. 
Is there a place in Ireland that means the world to you? A place that if it was to disappear because of climate change you would be devastated? 
ARTE wants you to film this and to share your own experience of nature - be it a fishing trip, a birdsong or a walk in the woods.
As part of a pan-European documentary called Climate Ops, Irish people are being challenged to make a short video highlighting how climate change will impact the places they love. 
The aim of the documentary is to share these experiences with audiences in Europe and decision-makers at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, in Paris this December. 
The documentary is seeking input from 47 European countries to highlight the scale of the impact of climate change. 
Watch the video below to find out more and follow the links. 

The Environmental Pillar rejects eco-label given to an Irish salmon farm
The Environmental Pillar wishes to make clear to consumers and public that it rejects the awarding of an environmental certificate to Deenish Salmon farm by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).

The Environmental Pillar, which is a coalition of 28 national environmental NGOs, has serious concerns about the lack of sufficient consultation before certifying the site.

At present the organisation are unaware of any attempt to seek input from Irish environmental groups. A number of environmental groups have raised concerns about the impact of salmon farming at the site. 


Any eco-label which fails to take into account the input of communities and environmental groups on the ground does not carry the support of the Environmental Pillar, Ireland's coalition of environmental NGOs. 

Genuine stakeholder consultation - including communities, NGOs, and business - is the bedrock of sustainable development and without it these eco-labels are meaningless.

More worrying for the Environmental Pillar is the endorsement of this certification by an international environmental NGO the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The WWF does not have a presence in this country. Its endorsement of the ASC environment label without proper consultation could be seen as greenwashing.

The Environmental Pillar is calling on the WWF and ASC to withdraw the certification for Deenish Salmon Farm, which is owned by Marine Harvest Ireland, until these issues have been addressed.


Andrew St Ledger, a spokesperson for the Environmental Pillar said: 

"When a group like the ASC say that the fish you are eating is coming from a sustainable source they need to be damn sure they can stand over it. 

"What we are seeing here is a well-meaning but poorly managed auditing of this salmon farm. They have failed to consult all the stakeholders properly. 

"At best this is a case of incompetence but at worst it is a deliberate attempt to rubberstamp a business with environmental credentials and mislead the public. 

"Such valuable environmental awards should be granted to those proven to be genuinely sustainable, with equal inputs and participation from the social, environmental and economic stakeholders. 

"To do otherwise risks Ireland's international reputation as a sustainable food producer. Should this practice continue it could have long term negative impacts for our environment and economy." 

The Environmental Pillar is a national social partner that works to ensure sustainable development is incorporated into government policies and is made up of 28 national environment organisations.

Calls to shorten the hedge cutting and gorse burning ban has no basis in science, say An Taisce

The environmental and heritage group are rejecting calls from the Irish Farming Association to shorten the hedge cutting times. 

An Taisce said in a press release: "Once more An Taisce asks the IFA to release the scientific evidence that they are using to justify altering the current hedge cutting and gorse burning dates."

"Once more the IFA claim, that 'There is a real basis for a shorter closed period, as the nesting season now occurs earlier'. 


"Further, their argument that changing the hedge cutting season will improve road safety is false. "Under the current legislation hedges can already be cut if there is a potential health and safety issue. For instance, enlightened Local Authorities ensure that only a short distance either side of junctions is cut for road safety and the rest is left.

"Given the dramatic decline in farm biodiversity since the 1970's this is an extremely negative stance for the IFA to take and it is completely against the Green image that the Department of Agriculture and Bord Bia are trying to portray."



Irish Conservation Officer wins international award for Bog Restoration Work 


Tadhg � Corcora, Conservation Officer with the Irish Peatland Conservation Council scooped an award for Ireland. Tadhg is a native of Kildare and has a background in peatland management for conservation. He has been working with the IPCC for six years now in the Bog of Allen Nature Centre and is skilled in peatland restoration work. 


The awards are given by the International Peat Society under the Allan Robertson Grant Scheme. This is the inaugural year of the award which encourages excellence in the field of peatland management. The International Peat Society is a group whose members have environmental and economic interests in peat and peatlands worldwide. They held their annual field meeting in Tullamore this week with the theme of 'Peatlands - A new Conversation'.


The grant is valued at €500 and can be used by the winner to further their work. 

"I am delighted to receive this international endorsement for my work and I will be putting the funds towards a project  to undertake Sphagnum moss restoration on Girley Bog in Co. Meath" says Mr � Corcora. "This site is an exceptionally good example of a raised bog which is a priority for conservation in Ireland and this award will allow me to further the on-going work of the IPCC on the Natural Heritage Area", he added. As part of the meeting in Tullamore, Mr � Corcora presented a poster paper on his work entitled "Sphagnum moss cultivation as a means of restoring Irish raised bog habitat" which generated considerable interest from those attending. His attendance at the conference was supported by the Irish Environmental Network.  


Events IEN members



Dry Stone-Wall Building
This workshop will be led by Richard O'Gorman. After an introduction to principles and techniques in the classroom, participants will build a dry stone wall from foundation to the capping stage. The course includes traditional dry-stone methods of building garden features such as garden seats or raised beds. Suitable for beginners and improvers alike. Booking required. 

Bent Willow Furniture

This early American craft was a familiar sight on the porches of America until the 1930's, when modern factory-built furniture took over.

On this course participants 

will learn all the skills necessary to construct their own chair and how to adapt the skills to other furniture projects.This workshop will 

be led by Tom O'Brien.

Date: 13th & 14th June
Location: The Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim
Price:  €130 per course
Contact: [email protected]
 071 985 4338

Guided Dodder River Walk


Dublin City Council invite you to join experts from BirdWatch Ireland to look for sightings of river birds on the Dodder.  At this time of the year the Dodder is a vibrant place for river birds flying up and down to their nests and feeding sites. It is also a home to an array of wild flowers, the Otter and  Atlantic Salmon. Learn to identify with confidence birds like the Heron, Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher, Dipper, Cormorant and Sand Martin. 




The Dublin City Council Biodiversity team will also help you to understand the wonders of the  

river bank wetland habitat and the invasive species, like the Himalayan Balsam that threaten it.  



Date13th June, 2pm
Location: Dropping Well Pub, Carpark, Miltown Road, Dublin 6.
Price:  Free

Laragh Hike



As the Native Woodland Trust has developed a great community of volunteers at our Laragh site, we have decided to have a group hike together to our Laragh site. On the site we will fix the tree guards on all of our newly planted trees and have our lunch together before walking back down to the car park. 

Our Laragh reserve is in a beautiful location with great views, however this walk will involve a short, steep slope and uneven terrain and so is not suitable for everyone. This event is weather dependent. 




Date: Saturday 13th June, 11am-3pm
Location: Laragh, Co. Wicklow

(Meeting Point: Trooperstown Forest Car Park - Located on R765 between Annamoe and Laragh)


[email protected]

Phone: 087 961 9083 


Big Workshop Weekend



The Irish Seed Savers Association is hosting the Big Workshop Weekend (20th-21st June). There are a variety of workshops to choose from.It is also an opportunity to meet like-minded people and to spend some time in the gardens, orchards and woodlands in beautiful East Clare. 


All workshops take place from 10am to 4.30pm.


Workshops on Saturday 20th:

-Willow Basket-Making

-Wild Food Foraging

-Creating an Orchard

-Making Herbal Remedies


Workshops on Sunday 21st:

-Beekeeping in the Summertime

-Making the Most of your Polytunnel



Date: Sat 20th & Sun 21st June
Location: Capparoe, Scarriff, Co. Clare.
Phone:  061 921866 / 061 921856.
Price: €70 per workshop
Herbs for Life Workshop

The main focus in this course is on medicinal herbs, cultivated & wild; some culinary herbs will be included. Many herbs will be covered in detail throughout the day and shown in the herb garden and grounds of the centre. Practical sessions include making tinctures, oils and ointments, with samples to take home. Herbal teas, infusions & juices will be tasted. Led by Gaby Wieland and Liz Longworth

Date: Saturday 20th June
Location: The Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim
(plus small charge for materials)
Phone: 071 9854338
Price: €65  

Guided Walk - Sheskinmore


This is a leisurely guided walk through the network of wetland, reedbed, machair and dunes. 

(Duration: Approx 4 hours)

Participants are advised to bring a packed lunch and beverage.
Led by Ralph Sheppard.


[Directions: Follow the "Rosbeg" sign off the R261 Ardara-Portnoo-road. Drive for about 4km and pass Kiltooris Lough, take the next left signed Campbells Caravan Park.]

Saturday 20th June, 11am 
Location: Sheskinmore, Rosbeg, Co. Donegal
Contact: [email protected]


Summer Camp


The Eco-Unesco ECO Teen Summer Camp (12-16 year olds) will take place from the 22nd-26th June. 


This action packed week for green teens has activities focused on learning about the natural heritage of various habitats close to Dublin's city centre. Day-trips to the Grand Canal, the River Liffey and Urban Parklands will be included in the camp, along with interactive workshops and creative activities on biodiversity. Also: Early drop off and late collection available at no extra cost! 

Further details: http://www.ecounesco.ie/eco-unesco-kids-article



Date: 22nd-26th June 
Location: C2 The Complex in Benburn Street, Dublin 7.
Contact: Jenna - [email protected]
Price: €100 
Renewable Energies - Prosperous Communities

This event, hosted by GEAI and Love Leitrim, is unique, combining presentations, workshops and discussions, taking place in Manorhamilton. The day-long 

gathering will raise awareness 

of the opportunities open to local communities to benefit from 

renewable energies, look at the potential of wind energy and biomass 

to generate income and jobs for the community and identify local 

champions of renewable  energy sources and uses.

Speakers will include Eamon Ryan (Green Party Leader), and Pauline Gallacher (Neilston Trust -Scotland), but includes opportunities for all attending to speak and be heard. For more details and to register for the event go to: goodenergiesalliance.com/


Date: Wednesday 24th June
Location: Bee Park, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim.
Price: Free

Hay Festival Walk



This event is part of the Hay

Festival in Kells. Led by Kate 

Flood, the walk will begin at the trailhead/car park area (TBC) and 

will involve talks from various organisations including the Native Woodland Trust and the Irish 

Peatland Conservation Council. Maurice Eakin (NPWS) will give a brief explanation of and recital of Seamus Heaney's Bogland poem 

at the poetry stone. 


This is a great opportunity to hear about the conservation work being carried out around Girley Bog. Event times and meeting places will be confirmed closer to the date.



Date: Friday 26th June
Location: Girley Bog, Co. Meath.
(Meeting Point: TBC)
Phone: 087 961 9083
Price: €4


Natural Cosmetic Making


This workshop with Steffen Jorgensen will show participants how to make their own skincare products such as lip balm, moisturizer, bath bombs and face scrubs. Please bring along a large mixing bowl, a bucket/basin (to use as a foot bath) and a towel as you will be trying out the products. 


Come along, pamper yourself and you will take samples home! Cosmetic-making ingredients will be for sale on the day.


Date: Saturday 27th June

Location: The Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim

Contact: [email protected]

Phone: (0)71-98-54338  

Price: €65 (plus additional charge for materials)

Weeds, Weeding and Eating 


Led by Hans Wieland, this workshop is an exploration of the mystery and beauty of plants 

called weeds. Find and identify

20 common and not so common weeds and learn how to deal with them from "old-fashioned" weeding to more "modern" drinking and eating. 


Your garden world will never be 

the same! Includes an open air culinary experience.


Date: Sunday 28th June 
Location: The Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim.
 Phone: (0) 71-98-54338
Price:  €65 

Cookery Demonstration with Darina Allen 


Chef and founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School, Darina Allen will give a cookery demonstration as part of the 20th Anniversary programme of the Organic Centre to raise funds for its refurbishment. 


The event will include a cookery demonstration with vegetables from the organic gardens and polytunnels. A 'Questions & Answers' session will follow the demonstration.



Date: Sunday 28th June 
Location: The Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim.
Phone: (0)71-98-54338
Events non IEN members 

Irish Forum on Natural Capital  


The Irish Forum on Natural Capital is hosting a one-day launch event in the Trinity Enterprise Centre.  

Those who have registered as members of the forum are invited along, where they will be asked to decide the key objectives of the Forum and to join one of the Working groups to realise these objectives.

The day will be broken into three sessions: the morning session (the concept of natural capital and  international, business, policy and research contexts); the midday session (key objectives in the Terms of Reference); and the afternoon session (establishing Working Groups).

To register for the event, registration as a member is required.

Full details can be found on the Forum website.   


Date: 18th June - 9am - 4pm

Location: Trinity Enterprise Centre, Dublin

Contact: [email protected]  

Price: €50 (€30 Students /Unwaged)  



Environmental Courts, Enforcement, Judicial Review & Appeals Conference 


This conference will examine the potential for a specialist environmental court in Ireland and will explore different models of environmental courts. The overall goal is to consider appropriate institutional mechanisms to provide effective oversight and to improve the quality of environmental decision-making. The conference aims to explore the various issues and challenges arising in the Irish context and to provide a forum for exchange of knowledge and informed discussion among interested parties. 


The event is free but registration is essential as places are limited.


Date: Friday 19th June, 2pm-6pm

Location: Lecture Theatre G02, Brookfield Health Science Complex, UCC.

Contact: Noreen Delea, School of Law, UCC -  [email protected]

Phone: 021 490 3220

Price: Free

Biodiversity and Upland Farming

This event is organised in association with the Wicklow Uplands Council and the European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism. 

It aims to bring together upland farmers, ecologists and policy makers to consider the scope and objectives of locally-led agri-environmental schemes (which currently being developed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine) for uplands. 


To attend, email name and location or affiliation to  [email protected] by June 16th. Booking advised as places limited. More information can be found at 

Date: Wed 8th July

Location: Glencree Reconciliation Centre, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow.


[email protected]

Price: Free


Agriculture for Climate Change: Part Time Studentship in Land Rehabilitation and Small-scale Fruit and Nut Growing


The course will be based at Fruit and Nut Nurseries, Westport, County

Mayo. It will begin in September 2015 and will comprise ninety days spread

over thirteen months. For 2015/16, the course will be limited to a maximum

of six places. Priority will be given to students under 30 years of age.


The curriculum is very broad in scope and covers topics such as land

improvement, micro-climate enhancement, shelter, human resources, tools,

food security, permaculture and sustainability, global warming, economics and trade as well as the basic skills of propagating and growing fruit and nut trees. Within the horticultural aspect of the course, the emphasis is organic, sustainable techniques with minimal use polythene and other non-renewable materials.


The course fee has deliberately been set as low as possible (€500 for the year: less than €6 per day attended) in order to make the studentship more accessible. To balance this, some of the student work will be directed

towards helping with research projects at the nursery. Further details of the studentship can be found here: http://www.fruitandnut.ie/studentship.html

Consultations and Submissions
EU Consultations on International Governance of Oceans
The European Commission has launched a public consultation to collect 
views on how the EU could contribute to achieving better international 
governance of oceans and seas to the benefit of sustainable blue growth. 
Target groups
All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation. Contributions 

are particularly sought from stakeholders, private and public, as well as international governmental 

and non-governmental organisations.


Period of the Consultation

From 4th June 2015 to 15th September 2015


Objective of the Consultation 

The aim of this consultation is to gather input on how the EU could contribute to achieving 

better international governance of oceans and seas to the benefit of sustainable blue growth. 

On the basis of the results and other sources of data and information, the European Commission 

will consider how best to develop a more coherent, comprehensive and effective EU policy on

improving the international ocean governance framework.

For more information and to submit a consultation click here.

Public Consultation by Coillte on behalf of FSC� Forest Management Certificate Holders in Ireland 
Coillte (the Irish Forestry Board) is facilitating a consultation on behalf of FSC� forest management certificate holders in Ireland, for a period of 45 days starting on Wednesday 20th May 2015 and ending on Saturday 4th July 2015.  

The consultation concerns proposals for renewing a derogation from the Forest Stewardship Council�(FSC) so as to permit the use of a pesticide (cypermethrin) which is legal to use in Ireland and registered for use in forestry by the Pesticide Registration and Control Division of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine but is classed as 'highly hazardous' by FSC and so can only be used in FSC-certified woodlands if there are no practicable alternatives.

Certificate holders consider the continued use of cypermethrin to be necessary for the control of large pine weevil which has a major impact on the re-establishment of forests in Ireland and are submitting a derogation application to FSC as set out below:


Active Ingredient                Product Name                      Purpose

Cypermethrin                       Forester                               Weevil control agent

Current status: derogated for use in Ireland by FSC until October 2015


How to find out more


Coillte's application for derogation, including a demonstrated need for the product, specific controls to prevent and minimise use, non-pesticide management options and other control options may be found at the following link:http://www.coillte.ie/aboutcoillte/about_coillte/fsc_pefc/application_for_cypermethrin_derogation/ 


Invitation to comment 

It is important to receive feedback from a full range of economic, environmental and social stakeholders.

Your input will ensure that full account is taken of all the important issues. The consultation period starts on Wednesday 20th May 2015.  

Please send your consultation response to [email protected] on or before 4th July 2015.