Profiles of Candidates for Election to An Taisce's Council

7th September 2016
News Item

The following are the candidates for election to the Council of An Taisce at the AGM on Saturday 10th of September 2016 in Tailors' Hall. There are six places for election.

Registration is at 11:30. Please bring your membership card to help speed up registration.

Kind Regards James Leahy Honorary Secretary

Valerie Bond

Honorary Life Member with a long history of involvement in An Taisce’s many and varied environmental campaigns, sometimes as a volunteer and at other times as a member of staff. Committee member and co-founder of a former rural Local Association and later an active member of the South County Dublin Association committee. Employed as Associations Officer and subsequently appointed national Administrator, a position held for fifteen years which latterly included responsibility for financial control. After retiring compiled and published An Taisce: The First Fifty Years, an illustrated record of An Taisce’s progress since its foundation, Currently a member of the Education Committee, recognising the value of the Education Unit’s work through the national education system and involvement of the wider community through its other environmental programmes.

Justin Byrne

I have been a member of An Taisce for several years and active as an environmentalist all of my life. I work for the Irish Environmental Network (and the Environmental Pillar).

I am involved in the national and Local Public Participation Networks and am active in planning issues in my local area. I‘m also the alternate Irish representative for the Environment on the European Economic and Social Committee.

On Council, I have always acted in the best interests of An Taisce and its roles as a voice for the environment and heritage of Ireland. I worked to protect the role of Council as the conscience and protector of the spirit of An Taisce.

It is important that Council has a strong and active membership given the challenges that we face in the coming years. I will do my best to provide the support and energy that we need.

Thank you.

Mark Clinton

When Robert Lloyd Praeger, Professor Frank Mitchell, Helen Roe, and other kindred spirits founded An Taisce back in 1948 one of their primary motivations was to protect the ancient monuments and landscape of this island. My work as Chair of the Monuments & Antiquities sub-committee of An Taisce over the past 10 years has been motivated by that objective. This has led to written and oral submissions to Government Ministers, An Bord Pleanála, County Councils, An Garda Síochána, The National Monuments Service, The National Museum, and the various elements of the media.

Background: Degrees in Early & Medieval History and Archaeology (U.C.D.) and a Ph.D in Archaeology (U.C.G.). Senior site positions at Wood Quay, Rathgall Hillfort, etc. Director of Excavations Carrickmines Castle, Linn Duachaill Viking settlement, etc. Author of over 2 dozen papers in leading academic journals and the standard university text-book titled ‘The Souterrains of Ireland’.

Jeanne Meldon

Eamonn Moore

Pat Oliver

Patricia Oliver is a former journalist, book editor and publisher. She was European Editor of The Macmillan Company of New York and founder, with her brother Jim Joyce, of The Hannon Press.

She Edited Life & Environment and Taisce Journal as a volunteer and chaired fund raising committees as well as designing and launching a legacy programme.

She served as Honorary Secretary, Vice Chairperson, then as National Chairwoman, setting up An Taisce’s Environmental Education Unit, becoming its full-time Director in 2000.

A founder member of the Irish Woodland Trust, she served on the boards of the National College of Art and Design; Marino Institute of Education; National Roads Authority; Irish representative of FEE e;ected Treasurer on its Executive Board. She retired as Director of the Education Unit in May 2015 and was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by Maynooth University for her work in environmental education.

Dr Ronald Russell

Dr Ronnie Russell is Adjunct Associate Professor of Applied Microbiology at The Moyne Institute of Preventive Medicine in Trinity College Dublin. In addition to his scientific and technical activities he has had a longstanding interest in the natural environment and has been involved in many aspects of research, conservation, regulation and education. This dates back to the early days of Coastwatch Ireland in the late 1970s and the early days of the Blue Flag in the late 1980s. He advised the Department of the Marine (1978 -2009) on projects ranging from shellfish waters designation, depuration schemes and wastewater treatment. He co-founded environmental consultancies including EMA International and its offshoot, Certification Ireland, participated in developing EMAS and ISO 14000 and was founding editor of EcoManagement and Auditing (Wiley). A wide range of practical projects included desert remediation for the Navajo in Arizona, and forensics of illegal dumping in Wicklow.

Bernard Ryan

Although An Taisce's motivation and aims are highly admirable , Ireland being what it is, many hands have been and presumably, always will be ,against it. I don't know exactly how long I have been a member ,but, thanks to Valerie Bond's indispensable 'First Fifty Years',I find I was on the National Executive Comm. in 1971.Of the 45 years since then ,I have been a member of Council for much of that period and have seen the Organisation weather the many storms that have beset it.Indeed ,'All hands on deck' has been the norm,rather than the exception- An Taisce needs ALL the help it can get ,ALWAYS. I possess long and intimate experience ,across a very wide range of private and public bodies in Ireland (and England), of their aims(asserted and actual) ,and, in a word, what 'makes them tick'.

Attracta Uí Bhroin

What’s key about an An Taisce Council candidate in 150 words apart from “Relentless Environmental commitment” ? Compared to other candidates I’m a new-comer, with roughly 5 years across Council/ Board and Vice Chair. However I have evidenced extensive voluntary commitment to An Taisce, our mission and of course our people. Leveraging my extensive management experience I led the fundraising in the crisis of 2012, addressed the awful redundancies and supported the rebuild. I’ve been key to several important legal cases following on from the settlement of the Corrib cases which I opposed. Protecting all the people and aspects of an organisation like An Taisce while dealing with internal and external challenges isn’t easy. Reaching out and calling for breathing space and delaying the AGM to allow us work through internal difficulties has perhaps been my most important contribution. Supporting Council in holding the Board to account is my commitment.