Take ‘Transition’ Bus to Climate March in Dublin on Sunday

Join in Global Call for a Safe Climate for This & Future Generations


People in Co. Monaghan have the opportunity to support the call for action on climate change and climate justice by attending the Peoples Climate March in Dublin on this Sunday, 29 November. The march is one of 1500 marches taking place in 70 countries in advance of the crucial climate talks taking place in Paris in December.

A bus is being organised by the Transition Monaghan Group and it will call via Monaghan, Castleblayney and Carrickmacross to pick up anyone who wishes to go along. The times of departure are 11am from the Court House Car Park, Monaghan; 11:30am from the Old Coach Inn, Castleblayney; 12 noon from Carrickmacross Courthouse Square. To book tel 086 8130296 or email transitionmonaghan@gmail.com – preferably by tomorrow Friday at 6pm. Further details on Transition Monaghan Facebook page and at http://www.transitionmonaghan.org.

It is anticipated that hundreds of thousands of people will take to the streets, in buoyant mood, to demand strong action on climate change, in marches and gatherings across the globe. As well as the gathering in Dublin, there will be gatherings in Belfast and Cork and show that we demand action from politicians to secure a stable future for us all.

The marches happen the day before world leaders gather in Paris for hugely significant UN Climate Change talks (COP21), where it is hoped that they will agree a legally binding text which will set the world on a path to stabilise the climate this century. Based on pledges made by countries to date it is unlikely it will be enough to bring the world under the critical 2 degree warming threshold to avoid runaway climate change. Therefore civil society has an important role to play in calling on politicians to go further. Indeed COP21 is about much more than staying below 2 degrees of warming. Climate change is an economic, social and security issue. It is an opportunity for politicians and citizens to unite to create a more stable world of enough, where people are not driven to conflict to attain basic resources like water and food.

In the wake of recent atrocities, COP21 is an opportunity for leaders to show they are committed to peace and security by reaching a deal in Paris. The campaigning group AVAAZ has called on people to turn up in their hundreds of thousands around the world in solidarity with the people of Paris, who will not be allowed to march at this time. Indeed, thousands of activists who had planned to travel to Paris during COP21 will no longer be allowed to march peacefully in Paris during the conference. While security is undoubtedly on everyone’s minds, it is a sad reality that ordinary citizens will be prevented from voicing their concerns over the future of the planet, while large and powerful lobbyists, many from the fossil fuel industry, will have privileged, high – security access to the conference, where they will attempt to woo politicians against necessary emissions cuts. Let’s all do what we can, and turn up in strength and solidarity on this Sunday and show politicians that we stand with them in their attempts to secure a positive deal for us all.

More than Just a March

While the march will be a focal point of action in Ireland before COP21, there are other prominent events coming up. On Friday and Saturday the Pope’s recent encyclical, ‘Laudato Si’ will be the focus of a conference in Dalgan Park, Navan. Speakers including Eco–theologian Fr Sean McDonagh, climate scientist Professor John Sweeney and leader of the Green Party Eamon Ryan will address the links between theology and the climate. If you are unable to attend this event, but would still like to learn more about the encyclical and discuss how it is relevant to life in Co. Monaghan, there is a discussion group every Monday evening in the Pastoral Centre Monaghan at 7:30pm.

The climate marches remind us that we need to move to a low carbon economy.  On this theme a free ECOPRO seminar take place this Saturday in DCU, Dublin. It’s entitled ‘Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Jobs, Developing a Circular Economy’.  See Noticeboard below for contact details for all events mentioned above.

It’s worth bearing in mind, that the climate march and the energy generated around the Paris talks is only the start of a citizen–led movement which is gaining momentum around the world. Transition Monaghan have plans to organise a number of events promoting local action and resilience in Co. Monaghan, and we always welcome new members. Keep an eye on this column or http://www.transitionmonaghan.org to keep up to date with how you can get involved!

Paris Atrocities Won’t Stop Crucial Climate Talks Climate Marches Planned for Dublin and Worldwide

Last week’s atrocities in Paris shocked us and we sympathise with the families and friends of the dead and injured.  French authorities have confirmed that next month’s crucial climate talks in Paris will go ahead but amid tighter security. In advance of these talks, marches are being organised worldwide to remind the decision makers that they need to sign a climate agreement that will ensure a liveable world for our children and grandchildren. The Dublin march will take place on Sunday, 29 November at 2pm. A bus is being organised by Transition Monaghan to take people from Monaghan to the Dublin march – details at the end of this article.

Last year, all over the world, nearly half a million people took to the streets of their major cities (including over 300,000 in New York alone) to demand strong political action on the climate issue. Gradually it appears that many citizens and leaders are beginning to realise that we are the first generation to feel the effects of global warming and the last generation to be able to do anything about it – but many people including politicians remain to be convinced.

It is widely recognised that we must act now to prevent the critical 2 degree plus rise in average global temperatures. Only last week, scientists revealed the average global temperatures for the first 9 months of the year were 1 degree above pre–industrial levels for the first time in history. This new data will inject urgency into the upcoming UN climate talks in Paris, where world political leaders aim to reach a deal that will keep global average temperature rises below the critical 2 degree mark.

Our politicians need both pressure and support from us to make a deal in Paris a reality. They are facing lobbyists and pressure groups from multinational industries (such as aviation, fracking, oil and gas). These lobbyists have had a lot influence on our politicians – ensuring that little has been done to tackle the high emissions that are causing climate problems. These problems will only worsen if a ‘business as usual’ approach continues.  Instead of a 2 degree increase, a very undesirable 4 degree increase is predicted by the end of this century if we continue the current trend in emissions.

Climate change has already affected millions of the world’s poorest people, inflicting drought, famine and severe flooding on those who have fewest resources to adapt to such changes. While the consequences of not acting are dire, the good news is that there is still a small amount time to affect change, and ordinary citizens can play a very powerful role in bringing about change. Naomi Klein in her book ‘This Changes Everything’ called for a coming together of people of all backgrounds to demand no new fossil fuel extraction and a more equitable world. Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si’ has also emphasised the important role we all can play in tacking the issue of climate change. People Power all over the world is now surging and it is succeeding. One encouraging example of this occurred last week in the US. After years of campaigning by local townspeople and indigenous populations all across the proposed route, Barack Obama announced that a major oil pipeline (KeystoneXL) between Canada and the USA is being halted.

This year, just a couple of days before the start of the all-important UN climate summit (COP21) in Paris, people all over the world will be part of the largest mobilisation for justice ever seen and once again stand up for their homes, for their neighbours, their families, their children and for their and everyone’s future. Organisations such as Trocaire, Stop Climate Chaos and Friends of the Earth are calling for people to turn up in their thousands and join them at The Custom House in Dublin for our contribution to the ‘global action’. The People’s Climate March will take place on the Sunday, 29 of November at 2pm.  We have organised a return bus from Monaghan to Dublin. To book your seat please email transitionmonaghan@gmail.com or book via the link on the website: transitionmonaghan.org or on our Faceboook page. The cost is €10 per person.


Re-imagine monaghan

Pictured above is Dara Mac Gabhann facilitating a workshop in the Market House, Monaghan on Saturday last. The workshop focused on the challenges and opportunities that participants felt that people of Co Monaghan will face in the coming 100 years. Creative ways to convey how these opportunities would be realised were explored with a view to holding an event on this theme as part of Monaghan County Councils 1916 – 2016 commemorations. Transition Monaghan will consider the output of the workshop and liaise with Monaghan County Council in relation to planning the 2016 event. There will be a further meeting in the near future to begin acting on the ideas suggested. If you weren’t able to make it on Saturday, but would still like to input, you are welcome to do so by contacting transitionmonaghan@gmail.com.


Maps of the Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs) for Monaghan Town, Carrickmacross and Clones are now available to download from the Monaghan Co Council website. Meanwhile the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ms Heather Humphreys, TD, has announced the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) 2016, a new investment scheme for the repair and conservation of protected structures.  The closing date for completed applications is on or before Monday, 7 December 2015. To download the maps of the Co Monaghan ACAs or the BHIS details / application form see http://www.monaghan.ie/en/newsevents.

More Focus Needed on the Sustainability Summit and Less on the ‘Controversy’ at the Web Summit

Two Transition Monaghan representatives, Jennifer McAree and Mícheál Callaghan, attended the National Sustainability Summit which was held in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin on Tuesday, 3 November. Jennifer now reflects on the conference, the theme of which was ‘securing Ireland’s Future’Jen McSree

While there was much media coverage on the controversial Web Summit in the RDS, the National Sustainability Summit, which was happening nearby, received virtually no attention. This lack of coverage was undeserved as the summit brought together a range of businesses and agencies from across Ireland to showcase and share new experiences and ideas in the sustainability field. They included innovative business leaders from Irish and international companies who have made impressive strides in making their businesses more eco-friendly and socially               Jennifer McAree                responsible. Others were representatives of                                                              forward-thinking governmental or semi-state agencies                                                     that have taken steps to improve their environmental practices.

Workshops at the conference covered the following topics: Food & Agriculture; Energy; IT; Construction; Water, Wastewater & Water Efficiency; Transport Supply Chain & Logistics; Corporate Social Responsibility & Stakeholder Engagement and Environmental Stewardship. Paul Price from An Taisce spoke about ‘Pathways to a Low Carbon Future’. He stressed how Ireland must go beyond the EU 2020 goals and start to take more stringent action right now if we are to have any impact on climate change. Our agriculture and energy emissions are especially high and must be addressed immediately. Jennifer Casey of Business in the Community (BITC) encouraged all enterprises to make changes that will improve their environmental and corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance. By doing so, it not only raises the positive profile of the company in question, but can elicit major financial savings.

Michael Kelly gave an inspiring talk about setting up ‘Grow it Yourself’ (GIY), an organisation he founded which has seen huge success around the country and beyond since its inception. Michael experienced a ‘light-bulb moment’ during a trip to his local supermarket when he realised he was buying garlic from China, when it could easily be grown in his back yard. With no previous experience he began growing his own vegetables and now believes that everybody should give it a try. GIY received a €100,000 grant from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland which has helped to build upon its success.

A really inspiring presentation was given by Niamh Kirwan from ‘FoodCloud’. Set up in 2012 by two young Irish Trinity graduates, the business links retailers with charities that need a constant supply of food. This is done through the ‘FoodCloud App’ or by text message. Produce that would otherwise end up in landfill is sent to feed those in need. Most Tesco stores in Ireland are now signed up to the scheme, and FoodCloud will soon expand into the UK market. Other interesting talks included the problem of invasive species in Ireland and what is being done by Inland Fisheries Ireland to fight it; Cork University Hospital’s impressive journey to achieve An Taisce’s Green Flag status; the plight of Ireland’s biodiversity, and the opportunities that exist for a more circular economy, i.e. thinking about the design of products from the very beginning in order to reduce carbon emissions and reliance on raw materials and energy throughout their manufacture.

This was a really worthwhile summit and I left with much to think about. While such conferences have a role in promoting sustainability, there is still a long way to go – and very little time left – for the business and farming sectors in Ireland to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to acceptable levels. This is the level required to ensure that we in Ireland play our part in the global effort to avoid catastrophic climate change. The ‘Web Summit’ is moving, somewhat controversially, to Lisbon next year. Perhaps this means the national media will be less distracted and pay a little more attention to the National Sustainability Summit 2016 happening here in Ireland.

Gatherings in Monaghan, Dublin & Paris to Focus on a Sustainable Future for All

A gathering in the Market House, Monaghan this Saturday morning will consider plans for an event in 2016 to re-imagine Co Monaghan in 100 years time. The Transition Monaghan event which commences at 11am is open to all. In December, world leaders will meet in Paris for the crucial UN Climate Talks (COP21. A ‘People’s Climate March’ will take place in Dublin in advance of the Paris Summit to highlight the need for the summit to agree a legally binding agreement to avert climate chaos.  While different in scale to our gathering in Monaghan, the Paris gathering will be one that will also look to a sustainable and resilient future – where the needs of people will be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  This week we take a closer look at the Monaghan and Dublin events – there are other events related to climate change and sustainability that are listed in the Noticeboard below.  


 Climate Change will be one of the biggest issues in the next hundred years. It is important that we, as a community, respond by taking actions that will reduce our environmental impact while also preparing for the changes that lie ahead in all sector of life. We would like to invite all members of the public, to share their ideas on how we can re – imagine Monaghan’s future for the next 100 years, to ensure our continued prosperity and well – being in challenging times. It seems that the main challenge will be how to live in  a zero-carbon society and ensure that as individuals and communities we are resilient and that human rights and justice prevail. Increasing numbers of refugees arriving in our communities,  resulting from conflict and climate change, is an example of how the world is likely to be different in the coming years.

As part of Monaghan County Councils 1916 – 2016 commemorations, Transition Monaghan has been invited to prepare an event entitled ‘Re – Imagining Monaghan’s Future’, which will run next year. This will be an interactive, engaging and fun day of workshops which will present the various challenges and opportunities facing our county in a creative way. In particular we would like to invite local artists, actors, poets, writers, film – makers, singers and all creative types to consider how we can present these challenges in more engaging and appealing ways.

If you have any ideas for short plays, songs, poems, films, talks, workshops, or if you are simply curious about what other people think, then come along to our brainstorming workshop this Saturday in The Market House, from 11am to 1pm. Participation is free of charge and everyone is welcome. If you would like more details please contact Mícheál on 086 865 2724 or e-mail transitionmonaghan@gmail.com.


On the 29th of November, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of cities across the world, to demand action on climate change, on the eve of the Paris Climate summit. Dublin will host its own climate march on Sunday 29th November, and the organisers are calling on people of all ages, from every background to come out paris marchand show their ‘Earth Pride’. The march will leave from Custom House Quay, in the city centre, at 2pm. While the issue is of huge importance, the day itself will be light – hearted and will provide an opportunity to show solidarity with those who are worst affected by climate change. Transition Monaghan will be organising transport at a reasonable rate for anyone who wishes to join us on the day. More details will be released in next week’s Sustainability Matters column. If you are interested, or would like to receive an e-mail update, please email transitionmonaghan@gmail.com