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Second Weekend Meeting: 15th-16th October 2022

Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss

15th & 16th October 2022


Saturday 15th


From 8 a.m.    Registration, coffee

8.45 a.m.        Members introduce themselves at their roundtables

9.00 a.m.        Introduction by the Chairperson, Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin

9.05 a.m.        Brehon Law & Ireland’s traditions looking to/after the environment Dr Elva Johnston, School of History, University College Dublin


Agriculture & Biodiversity – Policies and Practices Past & Present


9.15 a.m.        General interactions between Agriculture and Biodiversity

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

9.30 a.m.        Agricultural biodiversity: Current policies, programmes and practices

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

9.45 a.m.        Roundtable discussion (private session)

10.10 a.m.      Q&A

10.25 a.m.      Coffee



Hearing from Farmers


10.40 a.m.      Voices of Farmers:

 - Biodiversity and the farm

 - Successes and challenges in managing biodiversity

Panel 1

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

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

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

11.05 a.m.      Roundtable discussion (private session)

11.30 a.m.      Q&A

11.50 a.m.      Voices of Farmers:

Panel 2

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

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

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

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

12.15 p.m.      Roundtable discussion (private session)

12.40 p.m.      Q&A

1 p.m.             Lunch


What can we learn from others?


2 p.m.             What can we learn from other countries?

Prof. Lynn Dicks, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge

2.15 p.m.        Engaging and motivating farmers to reverse biodiversity loss

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

2.30 p.m.        Roundtable discussion (private session)

2.55 p.m.        Q&A

3.10 p.m.        Coffee & interlude


Woodlands, Forestry and Biodiversity in Ireland


3.25 p.m.        Overview: Woodlands and Forests – Biodiversity Loss and Recovery

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

3.40pm           Coillte Forestry and Biodiversity

Mark Carlin, Managing Director for Forestry, Coillte

3.50 p.m.        Roundtable discussion (private session)

4.15 p.m.        Q&A

4.30 p.m.        Woodland and Forestry video

4.45 p.m.        Roundtable discussion (private session)

5 p.m.             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 p.m.        Session ends


Sunday 16th


9 a.m.             Questions from Saturday’s sessions with the EAG

9.30 a.m.        Environmental Rights and Rights of Nature

Prof. Áine Ryall, School of Law, University College Cork

9.45 a.m.        Q&A


Peatlands and Biodiversity


10 a.m.           Overview of Peatlands & Biodiversity

Dr Catherine Farrell, Ecologist, Coordinator Peatlands Gathering 2021

10.15 a.m.      Peatlands: Voices from the Community

Irish Rural Link Seamus Boland, Chief Executive Officer

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

Irish Peatlands Conservation Council – Nuala Madigan, Chief Executive Officer

10.40 a.m.      Roundtable discussion (private session)

11.05 a.m.      Q&A

11.20 a.m.      Coffee

11.35 a.m.      Taking stock (1hr 10mins) (private session)

12.45 p.m.      Evaluation forms completion

12.55 p.m.      Wrap up by Chairperson

1.00 p.m.        Meeting ends