Tuesday 23rd January was a sad day for the Water Forum as we had to say goodbye to some very valued members at their last plenary meeting.
All members of the Water Forum are nominated by their representative bodies and appointed to the Forum by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage for a specific term. This will mark a substantial change to the Forum as nearly 50% of our members are leaving.
The departing members have completed their term after making a significant contribution to the work of the Forum. Paul O’Brien, Derrie Dillon and Denis Drennan are leaving as representatives for the Agriculture sector and all made strong representations on behalf of farming and rural Ireland.
The Environmental sector is losing Bernie Connolly and Ollan Herr who were both very passionate advocates for the marine environment and the circular economy respectively and each can be proud that their positions have been well represented in Forum policies.
Issy Petrie from the Community & Voluntary sector, Gerald Quain from Irish Rural Link, Siobhan Ward from the Rivers Trusts, Brendan Fitzsimons from Forestry and Tim Butter from Recreation all made significant contributions on behalf of their representative sectors and organisations as well. Their knowledge and perspectives enriched the discussions on many occasions.
Tim Fenn from the Irish Hotel Federation and Liam Berney from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions were long standing members of the Forum and will be sadly missed for their insightful contributions.
The team have very much enjoyed working with and indeed sharing the odd social occasion with all of our departing members and as Denis said and everyone else agreed ‘We made friends where we never thought we would make friends’.
Slán agus go n-éirí an bóthar leat
Members missing from the picture include: Issy Petrie, Siobhan Ward, Tim Fenn, Elaine McGoff, Sinead O’Brien and Jean Rosney.