15-16 October 2022

Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss

Meeting: 15-16 October 2022

Saturday 15 October

From 8 am    Registration, coffee

8:45 am       Members introduce themselves at their roundtables

9:00 am        Introduction by the Chairperson, Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin

The Biodiversity Crisis

9:05 am Brehon Law & Ireland’s traditions looking to/after the environment Dr Elva Johnston, School of History, University College Dublin [Presentation]


Agriculture & Biodiversity – Policies and Practices Past & Present


9:15 am        General Interactions between Agriculture and Biodiversity

Dr Helen Sheridan, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin [Presentation] 

9:30 am        Agricultural biodiversity: Current policies, programmes and practices

Dr Daire Ó hUallacháin, Senior Research Officer in Ecology & Water Quality, Teagasc [Presentation] 

9:45 am        Roundtable discussion (private session)

10:10 am      Q&A

10:25 am      Coffee


Hearing from Farmers


10:40 am      Voices of Farmers:

 – Biodiversity and the farm

 – Successes and challenges in managing biodiversity

Panel One

Macra na Feirme – Shane Fitzgerald – Dairy farmer from Waterford whose farm is a participant in the Teagasc Signpost Programme [Presentation]

IFA – Paul O’Brien (Environment Committee Chair) – Sheep and Tillage farmer in Graignamanagh Co, Kilkenny for 34 years [Presentation]


ICMSA – Pat McCormack (President) – County Tipperary dairy farmer who supplies Tipp Coop with spring calving herd


Irish Organic Association  – Stephen Meredith (Policy advisor) – Organic beef and tillage farmer, working with his father and brother near Ballylinan, Co. Laois [Presentation]

11:05 am      Roundtable discussion (private session)

11:30 am      Q&A

11:50 am      Voices of Farmers:

Panel Two

Talamh Beo – Maurice Deasy – Arable and Sheep farmer with his father in North Tipperary [Presentaion] 

INHFA – Aideen McGloin – Sheep and Beef Farmer, Ox Mountains, South Sligo [Presentation]

ICSA – Dan Lynam – Farmer for 55 years, farming 400 acres with his son in Westmeath [Presentation]

Irish Grain Growers – Pat Cleary – Farms 600 acres with his two sons – the family’s 6th farming generation – in Kildare [Presentation]

12:15 pm      Roundtable discussion (private session)

12:40 pm     Q&A

1:00 pm             Lunch


What can we learn from others?

2:00 pm             What can we learn from other countries?

Prof. Lynn Dicks, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge [Presentaion]

2:15 pm        Engaging and motivating farmers to reverse biodiversity loss

Dr Brendan Dunford, Manager, Burren Programme and founder of Burrenbeo Trust [Presentation]

2:30 pm        Roundtable discussion (private session)

2:55 pm        Q&A

3:10 pm        Coffee & interlude

Woodlands, Forestry and Biodiversity in Ireland


3:25 pm        Overview: Woodlands and Forests – Biodiversity Loss and Recovery

Richard Nairn, Director Natura Trees, member of the Steering Committee of Woodlands of Ireland [Presentation]

3:40 pm           Coillte Forestry and Biodiversity

Mark Carlin, Managing Director for Forestry, Coillte [Presention]

3:50 pm        Roundtable discussion (private session)

4:15 pm        Q&A

4:30 pm        Woodland and Forestry video

4:45 pm Roundtable discussion (private session)


5:00 pm   Q&A with people featured in Woodland and Forestry video

  • Eoghan Daltun – Beara Rainforest, Cork
  • Caroline Stanley – Friends of Merlin Wood, Galway
  • Andy Francis – Sitka spruce plantation farmer, Tipperary

5:20 pm        Session ends


Sunday 16 October 


9:00 am             Questions from Saturday’s sessions with the EAG

9:30 am        Environmental Rights and Rights of Nature

Prof. Áine Ryall, School of Law, University College Cork [Presentation]

9:45 am        Q&A


Peatlands and Biodiversity


10:00 am           Overview of Peatlands & Biodiversity

Dr Catherine Farrell, Ecologist, Coordinator Peatlands Gathering 2021 [Presentation]

10:15 am      Peatlands: Voices from the Community

Irish Rural Link – Seamus Boland, Chief Executive Officer [Presentation]

Community Wetlands Forum – Ciaran Duggan – Farmer, forester and bog man, connecting nature with community as a member of the Carbury bog committee [Presentation]

Irish Peatlands Conservation Council – Nuala Madigan, Chief Executive Officer [Presentation]

10:40 am      Roundtable discussion (private session)


11:05 am      Q&A


11:20 am      Coffee


11:35 am      Taking stock (1hr 10mins) (private session)


12:45 pm      Evaluation forms completion


12:55 pm      Wrap up by Chairperson

1:00 pm      Meeting ends