Collectivising the abundance of energy in and around Lough Corrib

Corrib Beo – which is co-chaired by Denis Goggin of Waterways Foundation Galway and former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official, Micheál O’Cinneide – holds a “shared and sustainable vision” for Lough Corrib.

And, according to the head of the organisation, Denis Goggin, water quality is at the heart of the matter.

He also says that a collaborative and cooperative approach is what is needed to enhance and develop Lough Corrib so that people living in the catchment area can live in a more sustainable way.

The state agencies are very involved; the purification of the water is the primary aspect of all of this; if you don’t have pure water you have nothing.

He continued: “The lowest common denominator – in all of this – is the quality of the water and then managing the peripheral aspects of that – like biodiversity degeneration.”

Goggin says that one of those “peripheral considerations” is mink.

There is a very big mink problem at the moment; mink are a gratuitous killer – they kill whether they need to eat or not.

He added: “They are wonderful hunters, great swimmers but the corrib is very attractive for ground-nesting birds, and so, therefore, those birds and mink are irreconcilable together.

“There is a certain approach that can be adapted – experts have already looked at the possibility of managing the mink but at the moment that effort has been isolated and not one where there has been a collective approach.”

Generating the energy needed

Meanwhile, Goggin pointed to the “energy” around Lough Corrib.

There is so much energy around the corrib but unfortunately that is not collectivised nor is it focused towards a particular vision of what the corrib should be in the future.

He continued: “At the moment, people are commuting to their jobs and as a result of that they are losing connectivity with their neighbours.

“I appreciate that this is a social problem but we are hopeful that, perhaps, through the development of an economy along the lakeshore in a more collective environment and with connected communities, we will be able to redress that social problem and create community engagement again.

“The whole thing needs focus and leadership.”

Discussion and dialogue

Goggin says there is a lack of “open dialogue” on climate change in this country and he pointed to how the debate “is often distilled down to coffee cups”.

As a result of the lack of open dialogue we are missing out on the bigger picture.

He continued: “For example, in Galway at the moment, there is traffic chaos. This is because of the modern way of traveling, organising and transporting goods.

“Thousands of people leave this city every evening in tail-backs – can you imagine the amount of environmental damage that is being done because of that?

That is something that puts the focus where it should be…and not on coffee cups.

“There is Government policy on all this and while we will are trying to do as much as we can at local level we will also be linking into national policy as well.

“Broadband in rural towns and villages is a huge factor in all of this.

“If that was effective people could start working from home and a whole new movement would begin in the country as a result.”