Thurles & Tipperary Pioneering Another Shade Of Green

Green Party Politics may have vanished from Irish life, well for the moment, but Thurles Town and Tipperary, as a county, are both fast emerging as Ireland’s leader, when it comes to ‘green‘ business and ecological initiatives.

Exploring the possibilities of Tipperary becoming an Eco County,” will headline an event to be hosted in Thurles, on Wednesday April 6th (from 5.30pm to 8.30pm) at the Tipperary Institute, by Coláiste Éile, in association with the Tipperary Institute and with Green Works Tipperary.

This workshop will launch a new ‘Tipperary Green Business Network,’ supported by the North Tipperary LEADER Partnership and Tipperary North County Enterprise Board.

Since it opened its doors to students in1996, the Tipperary Institute here in Thurles, has been to the fore in pioneering courses in renewable energy and sustainable rural development.

Over a decade ago, Eco-Tourism was introduced to Tipperary, with Ireland’s first eco-holiday cottage, the Ronga EcoBooley project near Clogheen, in Cahir.

Music courtesy of the late and great Johnny Cash

The Amergin Centre, which is a cross-departmental ‘Centre of excellence,’ bringing together expertise in the fields of environmental science, sustainable development, engineering, physics, electronics and administration for Sustainable Energy Development based at the Institute, is now leading in research on renewable energy with the Tipperary Energy Agency supporting the county in the reduction of CO2 emissions by stimulating and implementing best practice in the field of sustainable energy. The agency is assisting the development of Templederry Community Wind Farm and are also involved in the development of sustainable transport in the county, with projects in Personalised Travel Planning and Eco Driving in Local Authority Vehicles.

The Sustainable Energy in Rural Village Environments (SERVE) project is managed by the North Tipperary County Council and the Tipperary Energy Agency. This pioneering project has made a region in Tipperary a world leader in the implementation of sustainable energy actions and the reduction of energy consumption in rural areas, and could be widely replicable right across the EU.

The Village, a green neighbourhood in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary, which is about to launch its second phase development, we are reliably informed, is already attracting 100 visitors a week from all over the this country and much further afield. This innovative undertaking showcases Ecodesign and features Ireland’s first renewable energy district heating system and the largest  solar panel array in the country.  Over 40 energy-efficient homes have now been built using a variety of ecological materials, together with a 30-bed ecohostel which will be completed over the coming weeks. Here in Cloughjordan, Tipperary, we also find the North Tipperary Green Enterprise Park, which has now received funding and planning permission to provide workspace infrastructure, programmes and services to facilitate the growth of eco entrepreneurship and green business in the county.

Now with the shoreline of Lough Derg, the new loop walks in Upperchurch and the Nenagh Cycling Hub with its series of cycling routes, the area is already rich is sustainable tourism initiatives.

GIY (Grow It Yourself)  has now emerged here in Thurles and other areas of Tipperary, encouraging people to grow their own organic vegetables, while sharing the knowledge on required practical skills needed to ensure success.

Acorn Recycling, located close to the village of Littleton, near Thurles, in Co Tipperary, is presently considered one of the most advanced composting facilities of its kind in both Ireland or Britain, with regard to the treatment and recycling of Biological Waste.The company is now expected to expand its operations considerably further in the coming years, following the granting of a licence from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Environmental Protection Agency, to produce a nutrient-rich compost.

Local specialty organic and  artisan food in the county, is being promoted by the Tipperary Food Producers, through a network of over 60 members, whose objective is to showcase the best of Tipperary food.

Green Works a training programme for job-seekers has a centre in Tipperary, offering free courses on the skills needed for developing green jobs. These short courses on offer include Renewable Energy Systems Green Building, Sustainable Tourism, Green Business, Artisan Food Production and Sustainable Agriculture.

Don’t take my word for it folks, come to Tipperary and experience it yourself, at first hand.

With support Tipperary can and will become the first Eco County in Ireland, offering essential good business sense to the modern world and demonstrating that our survival and quality of life for the future depends on a healthy natural environment.



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