An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland, has a bright, sunny future ahead, electing as its new president the famous climate change scientist Professor John Sweeney. At their AGM, held on Saturday in an Taisce’s HQ, the beautiful Tailors’ Hall, Dublin, an enthusiastic gathering of members said goodbye to Eanna Ni Lamhna, who has served as president with great distinction for the last five years, and welcomed John Sweeney into the role.

“Eanna has been a stalwart spokesman for An Taisce in the last five years, raising the profile of the charity with great style , speaking up for biodiversity and the natural and built heritage of this island on countless occasions” said Charles Stanley- Smith, chairman of An Taisce. “Eanna has been an incredible supporter of all our work, becoming even more well known to a generation of children as she helped to raise hundreds of green flags round the nation’s schools” he continued. Eanna Ni Lamhna has held the post of president of An Taisce for five years, the maximum term allowed and will continue as an active member and supporter of the charity as it grows in strength.

Professor John Sweeney, a lecturer at NUI Maynooth, is a member of the intergovernmental panel on climate change and as such was one of the winners of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He has been a long term friend of An Taisce and in addition to his in-depth understanding of the physics of climate change he brings a deep appreciation of the human and social impact that the changes will bring and indeed introduced revolutionary concepts of integrated spatial planning as part of the response to climate change.

“Climate change will be the greatest challenge to both our natural and built heritage and to our future survival” said Charles, in his welcoming speech at the AGM. “Every issue that An Taisce will approach in future will have climate change at its core. John’s knowledge and high public profile will be invaluable to us and our partnership will grow in strength.” ENDS