C.A.L.L Invitation to Open Meeting-07 NOV 22
Louisburgh has been experiencing a quiet transformation towards more sustainable living over the past number of years but especially since 2021, after which the group which calls itself CALL (Climate Action Louisburgh Locality) came into being.
CALL has selected five Pillars under which they have developed their plan of action.
- Carbon sequestration through planting of native woodlands and biodiverse habitats
- Local Supply of Food
- Health and Wellbeing
These pillars will report on their actions and projects as the year unfolds, so keep your eyes open in the coming months for these topics. Some current developments are described below:
Louisburgh’s call to action in 2021 by Mayo County Council, under the Decarbonization Zone Challenge, brought together a group of like-minded individuals who have worked together to promote the reduction of CO2 emissions in the area by 50% before 2030.
- Under the Energy Plan the group has focused on the reduction of the need for fossil fuels in our homes through the many schemes that are already in existence through Mayo Co. Co and SEAI.
- Replacement of windows and doors where necessary, under the Mayo County Council Grants for older people and SEAI Warmer Homes Scheme.
- Improving the insulation of our homes through the grant available from SEAI
However, the most recent initiative towards the installation of Photovoltaic Panels (PV) panels has been taken up hugely in the area. C.A.L.L. organised a meeting to inform the community on solar panels in Killeen Community Centre on Monday 15th August. The meeting had the objective to explain the details involved in installing PV panels, the environmental and financial benefits of installing them and the approximate costs and Government grants available. The aim was to discover and organize a group of households interested in installing PV panels.
The meeting had a great turnout, with 65 attendees.
Following this meeting a group of 10 households have decided to go ahead and install PV arrays to supplement or replace their energy needs to a more sustainable source, before Christmas of 2022. Another group is being planned for Jan. 2023. Many other householders have expressed interest in participating in the initiative in the future.
Members of the CALL group who have installed PV Panels report an energy saving of approx. 70% over the year. Most of the power created during the months of March to October can supply most of the power required to run your home while the excess produced can be exported to the grid thereby building up credit against your winter energy use.
The model being used by the CALL group is called Meitheal, devised by the Clare Community Energy Agency where similar initiatives have taken place over the last two years. The plan is to organize a group of households interested in installing PV Panels, finding local contractors who will undertake the projects and keep the finances in the area, thus boosting the local economy.
The group are planning a similar presentation in Clare Island where locals will be invited to attend a meeting introducing the idea of installing PV panels for use throughout the Island.
A feasibility study is being undertaken to see if a hydro electric power unit could be installed to provide electricity for the Killeen Group Water Scheme Treatment Plant. This study is looking at the possibility of using wind or solar arrays also. It is hoped that this study will be finalized before Christmas when the results will be studied and a working plan put in place to be more energy efficient in supplying the area with its high standard, safe source of water.
While the group notes that many households may not be able to invest in the above such projects, they point out that the local Credit Union and the Government have low interest loans available for these projects. There are also several grants available to help reduce the cost to the installer.
Within the community, four Native Woodland projects have been undertaken to enhance biodiversity and as a means of mitigating climate changes. The planting of native Irish trees will soak up CO2 emissions from the atmosphere and will help restore typical flora and fauna found in our woodlands in the distant past. No tree felling is planned apart from necessary thinning and the plantings will develop into woodlands which will serve as carbon sinks for the area. As a result of such planting many species of flora and fauna will find homes in these new eco systems thus promoting biodiversity in and around the Louisburgh area. One plot of land has been chosen where rewilding is being promoted to see which plants will rejuvenate and thrive. This and two native woodland areas in Collacoon can be visited by appointment with the land-owners. Other native woodlands are to be found in Furmoyle, Mullagh and Clare Island.
Initiatives towards sustainability have been enjoying remarkable success within the community.
- Free Market WhatsApp group where members give their unwanted goods to others in the group without the exchange of money.
- Development of a Community Garden at the Old Convent site in Louisburgh, RSS and LCF
- Projects are being planned for Active Travel initiatives from Louisburgh to Carramore and Old Head by Mayo County Council and Louisburgh Community Futures
- Care of our rivers: A local group are applying for a study of our two local rivers, The Bunowen and Carrowniskey to help improve the quality of the water and introduce practices which may reduce flooding instances.
- A study of the Machair area from Emlagh to Thallabawn where certain rare birds are nesting is being undertaken and is actively involved with the farming community to include them in the project to protect the area.
- The local Tidy Town’s group together with the RSS Scheme are working to provide pollinator friendly flower and shrub planting throughout the Summer especially.
- A number of farmers have set aside areas of farmland and planted certain wild-flowers and nettles to provide suitable habitats for corncrakes.
C.A.L.L. will hold an open meeting in Louisburgh Parochial Hall on Nov 7th at 8.00pm, dealing with all areas of the group’s interest.
Members of the CALL team will talk about the subgroups and a Question and Answer segment will follow the presentations.
Paul Butler, Teagasc Forestry Liaison Officer. Presentation on Native woodlands and Tree Planting.
Jim Campbell electrical engineer will discuss methods of improving energy efficiency and Government Grants available to improve home energy efficiency.
Iliana Chollett, Ph.D Marine Analytics and Management Tools James Ryan, Richard Mannion, Ciara Cullen, Mary O’Malley and Rosarie Tiernan.
C.A.L.L. welcomes any member of the community who is interested in taking part and helping out in developing further projects or initiatives to help the reduction of CO2 emissions or furthering Sustainable practices within our community. Please contact CALL or LCF for details of the initiatives.
C.A.L.L. : 0872847695. LCF : 086 8795964.