My colleague and Green Party leader Minister Eamon Ryan addressed a public event in the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, on “Greening our Communities“ this week. The event, which I hosted, showcased some Laois based community responses to the climate and biodiversity crises.
During his address, Minister Ryan referred to the need for the Green Party to give up exclusive ownership of the message and the action ‘because it is too important’. Referring to the argument that Ireland is too small to make a difference he said “What we do here matters to us, and we will have played our part.”
Rosie Palmer, who is the Green Party candidate for Portlaoise Municipal District in the 2024 local elections said “Minister Ryan’s message was clear - we need to be better listeners and start asking for help from others. We will not address climate change through polarised politics.
She continued "This event was a pulling together of many Laois communities and agencies who are already addressing the issues locally. That is how we will succeed, lear
ning from each other, and taking one local action at a time, supported by policy.”
I am immensely grateful to Michelle de Forge of Dunamaise Art’s Centre, Andrea Deering of Bloom HQ, Sean Conroy of Pedal Vintage, Durrow, Mark Clancy of Abbeyleix Tidy Towns and Caroline Hoffman of The Cube for sharing their stories. Also, thank you to the agencies who gave up their time on a beautiful sunny evening to be present – I was struck by the level of productive conversations in the expo area.
Agencies present for the expo area included Clann Credo, LOETB, National Federation of Group Water Schemes, SEAI/ORS, The Cube, Laois Tourism and Laois Volunteer Centre.