Anybody who lives in the River Lee catchment might be interested in an event taking place on Sunday 27th November in Creedon's Hotel, Inchigeelagh, Co Cork. 'Salmon Come Back!' is being organised by Bia Gleann na Laoi, a community group based in Ballingeary.
The event is intended to be a day of education and discussion that will bring stakeholders of the River Lee together, in an informal way, to find out more about their river and to think about safe-guarding its future. 'Salmon Come Back' will begin with lunch, followed by a series of talks with various personalities including Cork County Council's new Water and Community Officer, Kieran Murphy and bat expert Conor Kelleher. There will also be a general discussion in which audience members can partake and some short films will be shown.
Fred LaHaye is one of those organising the event: “A catchment is the geographical area of a river with all its tributaries so, to me, the natural boundary of the community is the catchment in which we live. This means that catchment management is the obvious model for community cohesion. Through education for children and adults on the subject of fresh water ecology, we want to raise awareness of our shared environment."
'Salmon Come Back' is intended to encourage public participation in catchment management through outreach and education. It is also hoped to raise awareness of the plight of the river Lee's salmon population which, despite a dedicated breeding program conducted by the ESB, has not successfully adapted to the presence of hydro-electric dams at Inniscarra and Carrigadrohid.
Julia Kemp is also a member of Bia Gleann na Laoi. She explains further: "Our rivers are a precious resource. With our Salmon Come Back initiative we aim to protect and enhance the Lee catchment both environmentally and socially. We are working towards the salmon once again being plentiful in the River Lee. For this to happen, the fish need to be able to return to their spawning grounds in the upper river. Salmon are often known as a marker of environmental health, so their absence is a serious matter for us. We aim to involve the wider community in our endeavour as the return of the salmon will benefit everyone."
Salmon Come Back Event Program:
1pm Lunch at Creedon's Hotel, Inchigeelagh
(optional - please phone Joe Creedon to book on 026-49012)
3pm Interviews with:
- Kieran Murphy, newly appointed Water and Community Officer with Cork County Council
- Conor Kelleher, naturalist and bat specialist
- Mark Boyden, Coomhola Salmon Trust
- Bernie Connolly, Cork Environmental Forum
Followed by Audience Discussion
5pm Short film: (10 mins)
“Gearagh Memories” by Rob Bradstock; Featuring Joanie O'Herlihy, one of the last surviving members of the original Gearagh community
Followed by: RTE Eco-Eye Episode: River Blackwater Catchment Management (25 mins)