Climate Action local heroes in Abbeyleix feature in Midlands Science Week

Leinster Express Reporter

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Dr. Niamh Shaw Science Communicator in Residence will be working with the people of Abbeyleix on Climate Action until March 2021. Photo Steve Humphreys

Events focusing on climate action in Abbeyleix and the surrounding area is on the Midlands Science Week menu this November.

Science Communicator Dr Niamh Shaw has recently been appointed to work with the community in Abbeyleix in a project which is a partnership between Abbeyleix Tidy Towns, Laois County Council, Creative Ireland Laois and Midlands Science.

On Monday, Tuesday and Saturday, November 9, 10 and 14 at 7pm each day, Niamh will facilitate a discussion with people who are working in different ways in the local community to address issues of climate change and climate action.

Those taking part including Viscount Tom de Vesci, Fr Paddy Byrne, Professor Eric Morgan of Queens University Belfast and ecologist Dr Fiona McGowan as well as people involved in sustainable business and creative activities locally.

Dr Shaw commented said she is looking forward to the event.

“I was only recently appointed as science communicator in residence and I can already see that Laois has been busy tackling climate change at a local level for a number of years through a wide range of community activities. I’m delighted to be able to highlight the work of these local climate heroes – scientists, ecologists, beekeepers, gardeners, and community residents. Change and action involves everyone.

"Over three nights, we will hear from nine local people as they share their stories of engaging locally on climate change and climate action issues. Having strong local links to Laois in my own family, I’m delighted to be part of this project and to help profile all that is happening in Laois on this vital issue,” she said.

Laois' Heritage Officer with Laois County Council Catherine Casey said this year the theme for Science Week is Choosing our Future, focusing on how science can improve our lives now and in the future.

"The focus is on how science can positively impact our collective futures and help us shape the kind of places we want to live in. Community engagement with issues informed by science such as climate change and action are very important. We are delighted that the vital work happening in Laois will be profiled as part of the Midlands Science Festival and to be working with them again to promote the link between science and how it affects all of our lives and the choices we make,” she said.

The organisers say the people from Abbeyleix have also taken part in a series of short film clips introducing the topic of climate change and what action they are taking to address it – these will be released in the run-up to Science Week, on the Facebook pages of Laois Heritage Forum, Creative Laois and Midlands Science.

Why not tune in and see who you recognise?

The events will take place live on the Laois Heritage Forum Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ laois.heritage.forum starting at 7pm each evening.

It’s free to take part and no registration will be required – just tune in. Anyone who wants to know more about the project or to get involved can contact climateaction@laoiscoco.ie.

More information can be found at www.laois.ie/creative-ireland

A full listing of events for Science Week in the midlands, which runs from November 8-15, can be found on www.midlandsscience.ie

The Abbeyleix Climate Action Project is supported by Creative Ireland Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme (2017-2022) in partnership with Laois County Council and Midlands Science.

Pictured below are members of Abbeyleix Tidy Towns with Dr Niamh Shaw at the launch of the Abbeyleix Climate Action project in Abbeyleix Community Garden. Photo  Alf Harvey