Mícheál Callaghan of Transition Monaghan attended a meeting of Transition Ireland and Northern Ireland (TINI) in Dublin on Saturday last. Despite the Transition Town movement having started in Ireland there has been no formal Transition structure on a national level here for some time.
A selection of the attendees pictured after the meeting. L – R: Alistair Smith (Dublin), Theresa O’Donoghue (Clare), Mícheál Callaghan (Monaghan), Kevin Dennehy (Dublin), Elizabeth Creed (Kinsale).
The Transition Town movement was born in Kinsale, Co. Cork when founder Rob Hopkins and his students at Kinsale College came up with a plan (An Energy Descent Action Plan) to get the town to a low carbon future. They received support from the local town council for their plan, and their vision led to the birth of a worldwide movement. Hopkins later moved to Totnes in England, where the centre of the Transition Network now exists. At local level, transition towns are all about communities coming together and planning how they make this vital transition to a cleaner, more positive future with less fossil fuel use. Transition projects include education initiatives and training, community gardening and allotments, local currencies, energy co – operatives, as well as working with local authorities and elected officials. A large part of the work is building alliances with already existing community groups, and supporting each other in making the transition together.
On Saturday representatives from groups in Kerry, Kinsale, Clare, Galway and Dublin met to discuss a way forward for TINI as a formal entity. With a climate law in Ireland requiring a roadmap for adaptation and mitigation, there should be a strong role for TINI at local and national level in ensuring the transition is democratic, fair and speedy, with proper consultation taking place in communities around the country about their low carbon energy futures. It was also felt that a national structure for TINI would be important to ensure co – ordination and communication between existing Transition and like – minded groups in Ireland. An up to date national website, with a national coordinator could provide useful guidance to communities seeking to set up a group in their area.
Steps will be taken to formalise legal status for TINI and relaunch the website, with regular newsletters going to the almost 1,000 people subscribed to the mailing list. There has never been a more important time to be active and advance a better vision of the future that is more in line with the planet and human wellbeing.
Click here for February notices