Theresa O’Donohue

Theresa O’Donohue


I’ve been involved in environmental activism and policy making since 2007. I began to work collaboratively on sustainable community development when I discovered the Transition Network in 2007. I joined a local transition group and we basically went from turning sustainable development ideas into community projects. Some projects succeeded while others did not. I learned a LOT about community development and participation through training and experience. I noticed that many attempts to bring projects to life are blocked by bureaucracy resulting in fatigue and withdrawal by people from participating. Creative, insightful, brilliant people with amazing ideas are beaten down by the system. I’ve done the courses and it’s really the government that gets in the way.

I progressed from projects to analysing and attempting to shape the policy to support the projects. In 2009 I got involved with Laois County Development Board trying to reshape policy to appreciate public participation especially in the transition context. I realised that representative democracy is a joke and that elected officials dependent upon votes are also dependent upon council staff to deliver on their pot hole promises! Therefore they do not rock the boat if they wish to get the jobs done that support their reelection! It’s a vicious cycle.

Turns out changing local policy isn’t enough anyway. Very often the council staff will sit back and refuse to change until they get direction from central government. Effectively – even if they have all these insightful progressive policies that you worked for hours on submissions to infiltrate they will not act upon them unless they are forced to. Of course they need the resources too.

This left me with no choice but to infiltrate national policy. So I became involved with more and more national bodies in order to influence national policy so that local policy can be changed and resourced to accommodate the publics participation in our transition to a resilient, more sustainable society. Also nationally I have been on the steering group of the Environmental Pillar, the environmental social partner made up of Non-Governmental Organisations. I am involved with Transition Ireland and Northern Ireland where I coordinated the People’s Energy Charter. I’m a member of Feasta, Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability and An Taisce’s Climate Change Committee. These have given me an amazing insight into national policy making and governance first hand. I was also a member of the National Economic and Social Council and the National Advisory Groups on PPNs. I am currently a member of Extinction Rebellion and still involved with Transition Ireland and Northern Ireland.

As well as catalysing Laois and Clare Environmental Networks I was a founding Secretariat member of Clare PPN and a cofounder of Futureproof Clare.

Padraic Hayes

Padraic Hayes


As a young man growing up with a physical disability I became accustomed to the words “you can’t do this, you won’t be able to do that”. When you hear those words often enough you begin to question your own ability. However as I matured, I gained resilience and have worked over the last ten years to prove my own ability and the ability of all people with disabilities. I graduated with a Masters in Marketing from Limerick Institute of Technology and have worked since then in the area of administration and finance.  I am currently living and working in Shannon Town.

My real passion however lies in advocacy.  I am a member of Clare Leader Forum, which is an independent group of people with disabilities who work to create a voice on disability issues in Clare. I have helped the Forum grow from strength to strength and with this support the Clare Leader Forum has now become one of the key cross-disability representative groups in Clare. I am a Secretariat member of Clare Public Participation Network representing social inclusion on the Physical Development Strategic Policy Committee for Clare County Council.

At a national level I have also continued to promote the rights of people with disabilities through my work with the Center for Independent Living and more specifically through my role on the Value for Money (Transforming Lives) committee. I am on the national board of the Irish Wheelchair Association

I am passionate about ensuring that the voices of all people who need support to participate fully in society are heard and are part of policy and decision-making at local, national and European level. I look forward to the continuing growth of the Clare Public Participation Network as an organisation truly representative of the people of County Clare.

Damon Matthew Wise Âû

Damon Matthew Wise Âû


Damon Matthew Wise Âû is committee member of over a dozen groups in the Clare PPN – a small sample of the over 70 organisations he helped establish between the three colleges, some of which are based in Shannon, but all have members around Clare and some all around Ireland.

Is a member of the Community and Voluntary college nominated by Trustees of Federation Trust – Charity Incorporation Agents,. of which he is founder and Chair, on the basis of a draw after final result was a draw.

On the Environment and Transportation SPC :

Represents the Social Inclusion College, nominated as National Secretary/CEO of NCPD – The National Council for (the status of) People with Disabilities Limited – known as NCPD charitable company, also serves same with members company and sits on several autism and disability self and peer advocacy and representative bodies in Shannon, Clare, Nationally, Europe and Internationally. He has representative of bodies since 7 years old, but first launching in Stamp Aid Ireland in 1986 in Limerick (aged almost 17), and was deemed elected unopposed.

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