Schools Making a Difference on Climate Action: Cleggan.

The children and teens of Galway city and county responded magnificently to the challenge of Climate Action with the result that we had the biggest number of schools ever exhibiting at the Galway Science Fair.
One of these schools was Scoil Náisiúnta na Naomh Uile, in the small sea village of Cleggan in north Connemara. 
Their project highlighted the volume of plastics in our oceans and the damage that it was doing to marine life
About 8 million metric tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year. Plastic is found in the deepest parts of the Altlantic Ocean. By 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish

After the Euphoria came a Desolation!

What a wonderful finale yesterday's Science Fair was to a fun-packed but meaningful two weeks of the Galway Science and Technology Festival, the largest series of events ever held in Ireland on the theme of Climate Action.
This theme was there for all of the 20,000+ visitors to witness yesterday in the lectures, workshops, debates and exhibits available across the wide expanse of the university campus.
The corporations, small companies, innovators, science communicators, educators, third level researchers, secondary schools, primary schools and youth clubs were joined this year for the first time by Community NGOs who are advocates of Citizen Science.
The enthusiasm for making a contribution in the battle against Climate Chaos was so evident, from the large corporate displays from the likes of Medtronic to the nine year old budding scientists demoing their classroom's renewable energy or biodiversity projects at a small rural school stand.
There are so many people to thank which I will endeavour to do so in series of postings over the next number of weeks.
I will start though with the hardworking on-the-ground behind-the-scenes team of committee members, staff and volunteers led by Simon Lenehan,Anne Murray (Festival manager) and Liam Brennan supported by Brid Seoige, Gavin Collins, Muriel Grenon, Donal Leech, Tracey Ferguson, Paul Mee, Colette Lavin and Lorraine Tansey who were involved in preparing the campus in advance for the huge volume of visitors expected, and finally in the dismantling of the exhibition spaces after the crowds had departed. It was like a scene after a tornado. But for all of us still working there last night, it was so satisfying. For it was a 'good day'

'Baile Todhchaíoch' (Futuristic Living)- Gaelscoil de Íde ag Aonach Eolaíochta Dé Domhnaigh (Sunday's Science Fair).

Is é an téama atá againn i mbliana ná Baile Todhchaíoch. Chruthaigh na páistí tionscnaimh bunaithe ar Fhuinneamh na Gaoithe, Grianchumhacht, Aerchumhacht, Ainmhithe i mBaol agus an éifeacht atá ag an athrú aeráide ar an fharraige, chruthaigh siad Carr Leictreach agus bhailaigh siad eolas bunaithe ar Bháisteach Aigéadach.
The school theme this year is Future Town. The children created projects on Wind Energy, Solar Power, Air Power, Endangered Animals and the effects of Climate Change on the sea, created an Electric Car and collected information based on Acid Rain

Children Making a Difference on 'Climate Action': Milltown school.

At Sunday's Science Fair in NUI Galway, the children of Milltown national school will be exhibiting an array of eco-projects including some with an interesting Outer Space dimension.
Well done principal Neala No Uaitear, teachers and pupils!

The Citizen Science pioneers of Galway to exhibit at Science Fair

This year's Science Fair, that is the finale of the Galway Science & Technology Festival, is a game changer at so many different levels.
It will be the largest one day themed Climate Action event ever held in Ireland; will host on the same platform key guest speakers from the European Commission (Kathryn Tierney -Directorate-General Environment), an influential national environmentalist (Duncan Stewart) and an internationally renowned children's eco author (Andri Snær Magnason); will host the largest number of schools/youth groups ever to exhibit science projects in Galway; and will introduce the public to the country's first national sustainability course for Transition Year students.
But it will also be the first time that we will give due recognition to the great pioneering and ongoing Citizen Science work being undertaken by the community/environmental NGOs of Galway. Included amongst these groups is 'Friends of Merlin Woods' who will showcase their scientific/art (STEAM) projects done in collaboration over the years with schools and the general public including wildlife photography, biodiversity surveys and protecting/developing natural habitats

Planting a Forest, March 2000

In 2000 over three thousand people turned up one Sunday in March to plant the first trees in Terryland Forest Park.
Today there are over 90,000 trees in Ireland's largest community-initiated urban woodland.
One photo shows the O'Brolchain family taking part in that first Plantathon, (the then new estate of Dún na Coiribe is being built in the background) and the second photo shows the same spot as it looked a few months ago. What a beautiful transformation!
So the power of collective volunteerism to make a positive change cannot be overestimated.
To take part on next Sunday's tree planting in Terryland (Dyke Road zone) which is being held as part of the Galway Science and Technology Festival's Climate Action programme, register at
Rendevzous: Dyke Road carpark in front of the Black Box. Conservation Galway members and supporters will escort volunteers to the planting.
Please bring along a spade and wear suitable footwear.

Youth Making a Difference on 'Climate Action': Recycling project from Foróige-Tusla at Science Fair.

It is great to see the young people from the Galway STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) initiative exhibiting their projects including those with environmental themes at the Galway Science Fair on Sunday November 24th in NUI Galway!
STEAM is a joint initiative with Tusla (Child and Family Agency) and Foróige, (Youth Development) supported by Camara Ireland’s TechSpace programme. The aim is to promote STEAM based activities in youth and Tusla services in Galway; to give young people the opportunity to try activities such as film making, coding, engineering etc; meet like minded people; build on life skills such as team work, communication, problem solving; build confidence and presentation skills; showcase their work at local, regional and national events / competitions; and to meet and be inspired by people working in different industries. Young people from the youth projects and groups in Galway will be displaying their stop motion animations, props from their Reel Life Science film project on how recycling can be fun using Make Do sets and how to create solutions with LEGO.

'Walk of the Boreens’ – After the Planting comes the Rambling!

After the completion of the tree planting on Sunday next, starting from the Dyke Road there will be a lovely guided ramble through Galway city’s Hidden Rural Trails and Landscapes.
Register at
'Walk of the Boreens’ is an opportunity to discover some of Galway City’s best kept secrets in a delightful leisurely ramble along a network of river walks and country lanes (‘boreens’) embracing Terryland, Coolough, Ballinfoile and Menlo through a rich diverse rural landscape of wetlands, rivers, woods, hedgerows, farmland, castles, ancient villages and karst limestone hills. These ancient trails, primarily characterised by biodiversity-rich hedgerows that once served as the transport arteries for a farming population, could become a vibrant health and ecological resource for present/future generations and form part of a green infrastructure for the development of Galway as a National Park City.
Rendezvous: ‘The Plots’ (old sportsfield), Dyke Road (Woodquay end).
1pm, Sunday November 17th
Participants should wear suitable weather attire/footwear. Children to be accompanied by parents or guardians.

People of Galway: Plant Trees next Sunday & Help in the war against Climate Change

As part of the Galway Science and Technology Festival, people of all ages are invited to plant thousands of native Irish trees next Sunday (Nov 17th) morning (9.30am-12.30pm), on the Dyke Road side of the Terryland Forest Park, which will be undertaken under the auspices of Conservation Volunteers Galway.
Rendezvous: at Dyke Road car park in front of Black Box.
This ‘Plantathon’ will help ensure Galway is at the forefront of the Irish government’s key commitment, as presented in its recent Climate Action Strategy, to plant 22 million trees every year for the next twenty years.
To take part you can register at Please bring along a spade and wear suitable footwear.

So why are trees being planted in such large numbers not just in Ireland but all across the world? As well as providing homes and food to a unprecedented amount of flora and fauna species, protecting human health by filtering out toxic car emissions, beautifying our rural landscapes and cities, trees are the most natural, economical and sustainable way in sequestering the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that is the primary cause of man-made Climate Chaos.
Many of the trees planted on Sunday will hopefully still there for decades even centuries to into the future, still helping to regulate the climate, still giving life to humanity and to so many other species.

This month’s Galway Science and Technology Festival, with its theme of Climate Action, has secured funding from Galway medical company Aerogen to offer every one of Galway’s city and county three hundred schools a bundle of four different species of native trees for planting in their school grounds or locality.
Has your school applied for these trees. If not, get your school to register at

The Festival was also granted 2000 trees (willow, birch, oak etc) from Science Foundation Ireland/SFI (donated by Coillte) to allow the people of Galway to create a new woodland along the Dyke Road in Terryland Forest Park.
Terryland was Ireland’s largest urban forest project when it was initiated twenty years ago. Over three thousand people turned on a glorious Sunday in March 2000 to take part in Galway’s first ever mass plantathon. Today there are c90,000 trees in this natural heritage zone (‘Lungs of the City’) that stretches from Terryland Castle to the farmlands of Castlegar. So will you, your family and friends join us on Sunday to ensure that our city is once again at the forefront in the battle to tackle Climate Change, protect our previous biodiversity and save so many lifeforms on planet Earth?

Please note that next Sunday, volunteers can park their cars in the Dyke Road car park (free parking until 12.50pm) or even better walk or cycle to the rendezvous point in front of the Black Box.

p.s. Photo is from a Terryland Plantation from 2012 adjacent to the area being planted on next Sunday