Conamara Group receive award from Dutch Foundation

Conamara Environmental Education and Cultural Centre received a major international award from the Dutch Foundation for the Conservation of Irish Peatlands.

The award, a bronze sculpture piece, designed by eminent Dutch artist Moniek Nooren, was presented by professor Matthijs Schouten to Leo Hallessy co founder with Claire O Toole and Aingeal Ni Chonghaile of CEECC in 1984. The ceremony was held in Letterfrack lodge.

Professor Schouten, Dutch botanists and philosopher, complimented CEECC on more than 30 years of pioneering work in environmental education and awareness raising. Professor Schouten pointed out that this international award is given to individuals or organisation who make a major contribution to conservation. He expressed his delighted to be coming to the lovely quaker village of Letterfrack to present the award to a local environmental group.

Leo Hallissey said that CEECC were honoured and delighted to receive the award and he thanked all those individuals and organisations who helped to keep Connemara Bog Week/ Sea Week on the go since 1984. He also reminded the audience that Matt had been a young student studying Irish peatlands when he realised that they were in danger of being completely obliterated.  So he stopped his studies and raised monies in America and Europe, purchased a number of bogs with the money and presented the bogs to the Irish Government. He set up the Dutch Foundation for the Conservation of Irish Peatlands which also spawned the Irish Peatlands Conservation Council. These organisations continue to do great work for Ireland ensuring that the wonders of Irish Boglands will be available to another generation. 

The upcoming Conamara Sea Week will run from 22nd – 30th Oct.

Photography by Aoife Herriott

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