Tree Seed Collecting and Sowing Afternoon.

John McKeown will present this Transition Monaghan workshop during which you will john mckeownlearn all about growing your own native trees from seed and setting up your own native tree nursery. It’s on this Sunday, 1 October at 2.30pm. Venue: off Carrick road Castleblayney. For details, tel John at 087 1462790. John is a trainer with the Hedge Laying Association of Ireland.

October noticeboard can be found here

Talking about the weather: rain, water and people

Reactions to the recent deluges in Donegal, Texas and South East Asia have highlighted how the human world is having an adverse effect on our climate. The quality of water in our rivers and lakes is also suffering because of certain human activities. Many scientists and others including the Christian churches have voiced their concerns about the destruction of our planet. Will we now have a policy change that will have a positive enduring impact? We feature just a selection of recent headlines and media extracts. Our Noticeboard contains many events and projects aimed at having a positive impact on our part of the planet.


“all impacts are unknown and beyond anything experienced”

Tweet from the US National Weather Service regarding Hurricane Harvey

 “Climate change is happening right here, right now – from Houston to Inishowen, we are

john gibbons

John Gibbons


feeling the effects of rising temperatures”.

(Article by John Gibbons in the Irish Times on Friday, 1 September)


“Who’ll stop the rain if we don’t face up to gathering storm on climate change targets?”

(Article by Co Monaghan born journalist Richard Curran in on Thursday, 31 August)

 The global focus on storm Harvey shows not all suffering is seen as equal. When water engulfed Texas and Louisiana, it made headlines worldwide. But what of the extreme flooding in south Asia – is there a hierarchy of suffering?

(Article by Simon Tisdall in the Guardian on Thursday, 31 August) In South East Asia over 1200 people died and 41 million people were affected by the floods. In the US about 50 people have died and 450,000 people affected by Hurricane Harvey.


“The assessment [by the EPA] concludes that while there has been little overall change in EPAwater quality in the six years up to the end of 2015, there has been:

  • a failure to meet the planned national target of 13 per cent improvement in water status for the six-year period;
  • a failure to prevent deterioration of water status at hundreds of water bodies around the country, which cancels out the improvements in water status at a similar number of water bodies in other parts of the country”

(Extract from EPA Press Release on 30 August regarding its latest national assessment of water quality in Ireland)



Bishop John McAreavey

“Our dependence on fossil fuels, our excessive consumption, our increasing pollution of land, sea and sky, and the continued extinction of species of plants and animals, are all in some senses acts of disbelief. We must be unequivocal: actions which contribute to the destruction of this world that we share with our sisters and brothers are profoundly immoral, precisely because such actions destroy what is common to all of us: this beautiful world. To protect the environment is to love my neighbour, at home but also in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and in the US.”

(Extract from a statement by Bishop John McAreavey, Chair of the Council for Justice and Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference welcoming the joint message from Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for the third World Day of Prayer for Creation. The day was celebrated across the world on Friday, 1 September at the start of the ‘Season of Creation’)

Noticeboard for September can be found here

Opportunities in energy for farmers / landowners

Speaking at the Energy in Agriculture 2018 conference held recently in Gurteen, Coenergy in ag.png Tipperary, Minister Denis Naughten said that there are huge opportunities out there in the energy sector for farmers and landowners. He said that proposals for a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme will be brought to government in September and that he was determined to make sure the RHI benefits farmers. The Minister expects to make a series of announcements in the coming weeks.


In a news report in the conference presentation by a Department official Frank Groome gave some information on the proposed RHI scheme. Participants will be required to submit meter readings to the SEAI and must be a non-domestic heat user. Buildings must adhere to energy efficiency criteria and projects must meet efficiency, air quality, and technology standards. The biomass used must also meet fuel quality standards and come from certified sustainable sources. There will be tiered payment support for biomass boilers, heat pumps, solar thermal, deep-geothermal, and anaerobic digestion.


Speaking at a panel discussion at the conference Barry Caslin, Teagasc Energy Specialist said; “Irish farms and rural communities will be making a significant contribution to a resilient, low-carbon energy system. Despite many pioneering efforts in the past the potential of agricultural energy systems really remains largely untapped. The income provided by energy production will increase the resilience of Irish farmers. It will also provide multiple co-benefits, from increasingly rare manufacturing jobs in Ireland to carbon savings and slurry management.”

County Kilkenny farmer, James Murphy from IFA, said; “Farm-based energy provides an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between farmers and their communities through mechanisms such as shared ownership and jointly-constructed community energy plans. We need to break down the barriers that are stifling investment in sustainable farm based energy and develop a supportive regulatory, planning and financial environment.” Paul Kenny, CEO of Tipperary Energy Agency said; “At individual farm level an investment in renewable energy will reduce the high cost of energy inputs and also provide an additional source of income for the farm business.”

The numerous renewable energy initiatives taken by Gurteen College were on display, including a wind turbine, a biomass boiler to generate heat and recently installed solar panels on the roof of the equine arena. These and other types of renewable energy initiatives will need become the norm on farms if Ireland is to meet its targets for reducing climate damaging emissions. The benefits of renewables have been confirmed in a recent study in the journal Nature Energy which showed that renewables, particularly solar and wind energy, have significantly improved air quality in the United States. It has resulted in thousands of lives saved and have had benefits for the economy and also for the global climate from the lower emissions.

Events in September can be found here