Clare Environmental Network – Update and notes to meeting


24th February 2020

Present: James Giller, Aisling Wheeler, Anny Wise, Jakob Jakowski, Patrick Walsh (Ennis Tidy Towns), Theresa O’Donohue, Martin Vernon, Damon Matthew Wise Âû, Emma Karan, Sarah Clancy, Sarah Ferrigan

Introductions and opening

Sarah C. ran through the vacant representative and Secretariat positions currently up for election and how they work on various SPCs and committees.

There are currently four open positions and CEN and every group which is a member of the Environment College of Clare PPN can nominate people to these seats.

Details of these positions are at this link here- Closing date 27th Feb!:

Feedback from current reps:
  • Anny – we must build relationships. IEN National Mitigation & Biodiversity Strategy summary discussed.  Citizen Assembly actions recommended new committee on renewable energy.  Actions must be national, local and also community led.
  • Aisling – SPCs do not actually form policy.   Feels supported by the PPN pre-meeting.  There needs to be follow-through and to be able to ask for progress reports. We need to build pressure from all angles on issues such as ensuring that any data centres are energy self-sustainable and Shannon LNG is opposed.  A statement of outcomes after each meeting would be a positive step.
  • James Giller – Transportation Strategy an example of non-consultation. Clare PPN named as being consulted when in fact an email was sent to a private email address of a rep instead of to Clare PPN.  James also handed out leaflets at his SPC about the micro-transit systems that link people to larger transport hubs to Physical Dev. SPC. Response was that PPN should make submission to NTA.
  • Theresa – Notes that CLDC won tender to support sustainable energy communities and perhaps CEN can work with them/benefit from this. (Theresa has stepped down from LCDC due to running for election).  AOB at the end of LCDC meetings is being cut and it is difficult to get items on the agenda.
  • Emma – looked for items for Economic Development SPC. Data centre sustainability plans, Shannon LNG and how economic priorities were decided in the Corporate Plan (also a document that did not take on board the majority of submissions from PPN environment college/CEN).
Other commentary

Sarah C

  1. we should invite CARO (Climate Action Regional Office) officer to Clare to engage with and inform PPN members about role and invite councillors etc We belong to the south west CARO with head office in Cork and they are supposed to provide cross sectoral support (to councils and communities) regarding climate change/adaptation. Action Sarah C to follow up.
  2. the PPN user guide is being updated and will include the instruction that the statement of outcomes we have been looking for from SPCs / committee meetings should be used. We will also submit asking for a clear outline on how spc/committee members can get place items on the agenda for such meetings.
  3. the Climate Adaptation Strategy submission was not a waste of time even (though the Council did not take anything on board) as the information compiled for it has been used by PPN in various submissions since then
  4. When new representatives are appointed PPN will organise more reps training.


  1. Unelected civil servants are dictating to elected officials and community reps and this is replicated at a national level and perhaps CEN needs to take a wider approach to this issue itself.
What way might CEN work for the year ahead?

Theresa re-capped the priorities from the plenary meeting and most items being worked on.

  1. CEN needs to establish a committee as it is currently functioning mostly as a mailing list
  2. The newsletter needs to be taken on by the committee as a task
  3. Theresa discussed with IEN that CEN/PPN should put together a job spec for a trial environmental coordinator position to mobilise and network with a pilot of this in Clare. Funding is yet to be secured but Theresa suggests that CEN consider drawing up a job description/work plan for this so that they are ready should an opportunity occur
  4. Theresa noted that the younger people wanted to hold an environmental sustainability festival in Clare- all agreed to try to support them with this. Clare PPN can help with insurance promotion etc – for further discussion.
  5. Opportunity with new government (eventually) to re-establish climate justice/change/action as a priority.


  1. Communities need projects to get involved in. Young people especially like to do hands on work
  2. Community Task Forces for climate-related emergencies need to be set up in each area likely to be affected as suggested by Fridays for Future Clare – no action as yet.

26th February 11.00am  – Tree Planting, Kilrush Road Interchange with Ennis Tidy Towns

3rd March 6.30pm – Free Climate Action Workshop for Communities (see below)

9th March 3.00pm – John Sweeney presenting to Clare County Council – good to have people in the gallery for this to demonstrate community interest

9th March 7.00pm – Agriculture & Climate Change event with John Sweeney in the Old Ground Hotel – all welcome.  (See details below)

Are you a local farmer worried about the future?

On March 9th at 7.PM in the Old Ground Hotel, Climate Scientist John Sweeney and BASE Ireland farmer Michael Costello (Biology, Agriculture, Soil and Environment) will speak about Climate Change and the implications for Irish agriculture. This will be followed by small group discussions led by local regenerative farmers and others on topics including: Agroforestry, organic beef and dairy farming, free-range pig farming, direct sales, farmer co-ops, buffer zones & wetlands, Community Supported Agriculture, regenerative agriculture. This is an opportunity to talk to farmers who are involved in these different activities and explore agricultural solutions to the challenges posed by climate change.
Everybody welcome


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