(Dingle, Monday 24th May 2021) leagan Gaeilge thíos

The Dingle Hub is delighted to announce the appointment of Tom Fitzgerald to the recently advertised role of Community Engagement Coordinator for the Corca Dhuibhne 2030 Initiative. There was strong competition for the role with applications received from over 50 candidates and the Dingle Hub greatly appreciates the time given by all to the application process. Tom’s role will help to drive, support and enable local participation in activities which foster a more environmentally and economically sustainable future on the Dingle Peninsula.  The position is being funded by the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Discover Programme and the EU Horizon 2020 Ploutos project. 

A native of Dingle, Tom brings considerable experience to the new role having worked in both the non-governmental organisation (NGO) and private sector. Tom (known more locally as Tommy Fitz) has a BA in Development Studies, Diploma in Quality Management and is currently completing a Diploma in Retrofit, Conservation and Sustainability.

Tom spent several years working in both South Africa and Namibia in the Social Housing Delivery sector. A key element of his role was developing partnerships with community groups, schools, civic organizations, Governments and other stakeholders. Tom fostered relationships through facilitating capacity building and supporting community groups to advocate on their own behalf, raising awareness of the many challenges faced by communities such as housing, health, education.

In Namibia, in partnership with the local municipality Tom coordinated a baseline study in informal settlements to establish housing needs, gathering data and listening to the community provided a clear understanding of the communities wants and needs rather than making assumptions. He also established links with the national training authority to pursue training opportunities for employees. 

Tom joined the Medical Humanitarian NGO, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), as a supply chain manager, where he spent over a year in Bangladesh as part of the organization’s response to the Rohingya crisis. Through his work in the humanitarian sector Tom has seen first-hand the need to focus on developing long term sustainable approaches when working closely with communities. Tom says “Communities are central to creating sustainable environments, I’m so excited to be able to take the learnings and experiences gained during my career and use those skills to help create a positive impact on my community, my home place. I’m passionate about our language and our local culture and I’m so grateful and excited to be in this position, it’s a dream come true for me.”

Tom has developed a passion for exploring alternatives that are both environmentally friendly and sustainable, through adopting innovative retrofit techniques, not only focusing on making homes more energy efficient but also considering sustainability in its broadest sense.

Over the next 2 years, Tom and the Corca Dhuibhne 2030 team will engage with local communities and groups supporting community-led sustainable development activities and fostering sustainable practices. 

BACKROUND NOTES:

About Corca Dhuibhne 2030

Established in early 2018, Corca Dhuibhne 2030 is a multi-partner initiative on the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry. It involves the Dingle Creativity and Innovation HubESB Networks, North East & West Kerry Development (NEWKD)) and the SFI MaREI Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine, at UCC. Partners actively collaborate with each other and with the local community, schools, business, transport and farming sectors to support and enable the broader societal changes required for the sustainable transition. 

To date, activities have included home energy trials, community planning, anaerobic digestion, smart farming trial, community energy mentor training, Climate Hacks in schools, and a sustainable transport initiative. A West Kerry Dairy Farmers’ Sustainable Energy Community has recently been established, as has a new community energy group. In early February, ESB Networks launched its electric car trial with 17 EV’s being driven by trial participants across the Dingle Peninsula for a year. 

About EU Ploutos project

The Dingle Peninsula has been chosen as a Sustainable Innovation Pilot for the EU Ploutos project over the next two and a half years. As part of this, the Dingle Hub will work with partners TeagascIFA and Net Feasa (a technology company dealing with Internet of Things and located in the Dingle Hub) to roll-out carbon emission sensor technologies to 30 farms on the Peninsula. This  will encourage new collaborations between farmers, technology providers, data analysts, food/service entrepreneurs and consumers to unlock opportunities for new businesses and new revenue streams from higher value products.

About Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Discover Programme and the SFI MaREI Centre

The SFI Discover Programme contributes to growing opportunities for dialogue between science and the public it serves and to improving diversity and inclusion, through its aims to broaden participation both geographically and amongst less represented voices in science.

The Corca Dhuibhne 2030 group were successful in securing SFI Discover Funding in

2020, and again for the 2021-2022 period. This second round of funding has supported the

hiring of a Community Engagement Coordinator for the initiative over a 2-year period, and it has also enabled MaREI to continue its engaged research and evaluation of the work, as well as the sharing of learning nationally. 

About Dingle Hub

Established in April 2017, the Dingle Hub’s mission is to build a creative, livable, sustainable community, fostering a vibrant and diverse ecosystem of stakeholders to facilitate the creation and maintenance of well-paid, year-round incomes on the Dingle Peninsula. We work to create strategic antecedents for new employment within four thematic pillars; 

  1. Sustainability and Green Agenda,
  2. Digital Transformation, 
  3. Creative Industries and 
  4. Community-Authored Vision and Strategy

Comhordaitheoir nua Caidreamh Pobail ag Corca Dhuibhne 2030

(An Daingean, Luan 24 Bealtaine 2021)

Is mór ag Mol an Daingin a thabhairt le fios go bhfuil Tom Fitzgerald ceapaithe acu sa phost mar Chomhordaitheoir Caidreamh Pobail ag Tionscadal Chorca Dhuibhne 2030 a fhógraíodh le déanaí. Bhí dianchomórtas ann don ról seo, le hiarratais faighte ó bhreis agus 50 iarrathóir, agus tá Mol an Daingin fíorbhuíoch do gach duine a thóg an t-am chun cur isteach ar an bpost. Cabhróidh ról Tom chun rannpháirtíocht áitiúil in imeachtaí a thiomáint, ag tacú le baill an phobail ar mhaith leo a bheith ina gcuid de thodhchaí a bheidh níos inmharthana ó thaobh cúrsaí eacnaimíocha, agus níos báúil don gcomhshaol, ar Chorca Dhuibhne. Tá maoiniú á dheanamh ar an bpost seo ag Fondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann trína clár ‘Discover’, i gcomhpháirt le tionscadal Ploutos de chuid Horizon 2020 an Aontais Eorpaigh.

Is ó bhaile an Daingin ó dhúchas do Tom, a thabharfaidh an-chuid taithí chun an róil nua seo, agus é tar éis tréimhsí a chaitheamh ag obair in earnáil na n-eagraíocht neamhrialtasach (ENR) agus san earnáil phríobháideach araon. Tá BA i Staidéar Forbartha agus Dioplóma i mBainistíocht Cháilíochta ag Tom (go bhfuil aithne níos fearr air go háitiúil mar Tommy Fitz), is tá sé ag críochnú Dioplóma in Iarfheistiú, Caomhnú agus Inmharthanacht i láthair na huaire.

Chaith Tom roinnt bhlianta ag obair san Afraic Theas agus an Namaib in earnáil Soláthair na Tithíochta Sóisialta. Ba chuid lárnach dá ról pairtnéireachtaí a fhorbairt le grúpaí pobail, scoileanna, eagrais shibhialta, rialtais agus páirtithe leasmhara eile. Chothaigh Tom caidreamh trí éascú a dhéanamh ar acmhainn an phobail a fhorbairt agus trí thacú le grúpaí pobail agus iad ag cur a gcás féin in iúl, trí thógáil ar fheasacht maidir leis na dúshláin iomadúla a bhíonn ar phobail aghaidh a thabhairt orthu, leithéidí tithíochta, sláinte agus oideachais.

Sa Namaib, agus é ag comhoibriú leis an mbardasacht áitiúil, dhein Tom comhordú ar staidéar bunlíne ar lonnaíochtaí neamhoifigiúla chun fáil amach cad ab iad na riachtanais tithíochta, ag bailiú eolais agus ag éisteacht leis an bpobal, rud a thug tuiscint soiléir dó ar mhianta agus riachtanais an phobail, seachas díreach talamh slán a dhéanamh de thuiscintí oifigiúla. Anuas air sin, bhunaigh sé nascanna leis an údarás náisiúnta traenála chun deiseanna traenála a chur ar fáil d’fhostaithe.

Chuaigh Tom ag obair leis an ENR leighis Médicins sans Frontières mar bhainisteoir slabhra soláthair, ag caitheamh breis agus bliain sa Bhainglaidéis mar chuid de fhreagra an eagrais ar ghéarchéim an chine Rohingya. Trína chuid oibre san earnáil dhaonnúil, tá Tom tar éis a fheiscint lena shúile féin an gá atá ann chun cur chuige inmharthana fad-téarmach a fhorbairt nuair atáthar ag comhoibriú go dlúth le pobail. Deireann Tom “Bíonn pobail lárnach i gcruthú timpeallachtaí inmharthana. Tá súil mhór agam a bheith in ann na rudaí a d’fhoghlaimíos agus an taithí atá agam ó mo shaol gairmiúil a thógaint agus iad a chur i mbun tionchar dearfach a imirt ar mo phobal féin, mo cheantar dúchais. Táim paiseanta faoinár dteanga agus ár gcultúr áitiúil agus táim fíorbhuíoch as an bpost seo, is fíorú aislinge dom é.”

Tá Tom paiseanta faoi fhiosrú a dhéanamh timpeall ar mhalairt roghanna atá báúil don timpeallacht agus inmharthana araon, trí fheidhm a bhaint as teicnící iarfhesitithe nuálaíocha, ní hamháin chun tithe a dhéanamh níos éifeachtaí ó thaobh fuinnimh de, ach ag féachaint ar inmharthanacht sa chiall is leithne den fhocal.

I rith an dá bhliana amach romhainn beidh Tom agus foireann Chorca Dhuibhne 2030 ag cothú caidrimh le pobail agus grúpaí áitiúla a thacaíonn le forbairt inmharthana agus a chothaíonn cleachtais inmharthana.

NÓTAÍ CÚLRA:

Faoi Chorca Dhuibhne 2030

Bunaithe go luath i 2018, is tionscnamh ilpháirtí é Corca Dhuibhne 2030 atá bunaithe ar leithinis Chorca Dhuibhne, Co. Chiarraí. Páirteach sa tionscnamh tá Mol Cruthaitheachta agus Nuálaíochta Chorca Dhuibhne, Líonraí BSL, Forbairt Chiarraí Thuaidh, Thoir agus Thiar (FCTTT) agus an t-Ionad Fuinnimh, Aeráide agus Mara ag UCC, ionad de chuid MaREIagus Fondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann. Bíonn na pairtnéirí seo ag comhoibriú go gníomhach lena chéile agus le pobail, scoileanna, gnólachtaí, an córas iompair agus an earnáil feirmeoireachta go háitiúil, chun tacú leis an gclaochlú níos leithne atá ag teastáil sa sochaí chun an aistriú go saol níos inmharthana a dhéanamh.

Suas go dtí seo, i measc gníomhachtaí an tionscnaimh bhí trialacha fuinnimh baile, pleanáil pobail, díleá anaeróbach, triail ferimeoireachta cliste, traenáil ar mheantóirí fuinnimh, Haiceanna Aeráide do scoileanna, agus tionscnamh iompair inmharthana. Bunaíodh Pobal Fuinnimh Inmharthana Fheirmeoirí Chorca Dhuibhne le déanaí, chomh maith le grúpa nua fuinnimh pobail. Go luath i Mí Feabhra, sheol Líonraí BSL a thriail ar fheithiclí leictreacha, le 17 feithicil leictreach á dtiomáint ag rannpháirtithe trialacha ar fud na leithinse ar feadh tréimhse bliana.

Faoi Thionscadal Ploutos de chuid an AE

Roghnaíodh leithinis Chorca Dhuibhne mar ionad do Scéim Phíolótach Inmharthana Nuálaíoch mar chuid de Thionscadal Ploutos leis an Aontas Eorpach thar an dá bhliain go leith amach romhainn. Mar chuid de seo, beidh Mol an Daingin ag obair lena phairtnéirí Teagasc, Cumann Feirmeoirí Éireann, agus Net Feasa (comhlacht teicneolaíochta a bhíonn ag plé le hIdirlíon na nEarraí, is atá lonnaithe i Mol an Daingin) chun teicneolaíocht bhraiteoirí astaíocht carbóin a shuiteáil ar 30 feirm ar fud Chorca Dhuibhne. Spreagfaidh seo tuilleadh comhoibriú idir feirmeoirí, soláthraithe teicneolaíochta, lucht anailís bunachair, fiontraithe bia/seirbhíse agus tomhaltóirí chun deiseanna a chruthú timpeall ar ghnólachtaí nua agus sruthanna ioncaim nua ó thairgí ar luach níos airde.

Faoin gclár ‘Discover’ de chuid Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann (FEE) agus Ionad MaREI an FEE.  

Cuireann clár ‘Discover’ de chuid FEE leis na deiseanna atá ann chun caidreamh a chruthú idir eolaíocht agus an pobail ar a fhreastalaíonn sí, ag feabhsú éagsúlacht agus cuimsiú, trína spriocanna páirtíocht a leathnú sa chiall tíreolaíochta, agus i measc guthanna nach gcloiseadh san eolaíocht go tí seo, araon. D’éirigh le grúpa Chorca Dhuibhne 2030 maoiniú a fháil ó ‘Discover’ sa bhliain 2020, agus arís don tréimhse 2021-2022. Tá an tarna bhabhta maoinithe seo ag tacú le fostú Chomhordaitheoir Caidreamh Pobail don tionscnamh thar thréimhse 2 bhliana, agus anuas ar sin, chiallaíonn sé go bhfuil MaREI in ann leanúint lena chuid taighde agus measúnú ar an obair, chomh maith leis an eolas agus gach ar fhoghlaimíodh uaidh a roinnt go náisiúnta.

Faoi Mhol an Daingin

Bunaithe in Aibreán 2017, is é misean Mhol an Daingin ná pobal inmharthana cruthaitheach a thógáil, ag tacú le héiceachóras éagsúil de pháirtithe leasmhara chun éascú a dhéanamh ar chruthú agus cothabháil  ioncaim agus postanna ar phá maith atá ann i rith na bliana ar fad ar leithinis Chorca Dhuibhne. Bímid ag obair chun bunriachtanais straitéiseacha d’fhostaíocht nua a chruthú faoi cheithre phríomhthéama:

  1. Clár na hinmharthanachta agus an ghlaise,
  2. Claochlú Digiteach,
  3.  Tionscadail Chruthaitheacha,    agus
  4. Fís agus Straitéis cumtha ag an bPobal féin.