Happy New Year! I hope you all had a peaceful holiday time and are feeling rejuvenated for 2024. Welcome to the January edition of Connecting Nationwide, our monthly newsletter full of environmental news and events throughout Ireland.

We're starting off the year with the announcement of Ireland's first Deposit/Return Scheme for plastic bottles and cans, a new campaign from VOICE on textile waste, online training from Bat Conservation Ireland, workshops and events, and job opportunities at seven environmental groups! This and more below.

All the best,




  • See 'Quick Guide to Events'

News and Announcements

  • Ireland’s new Deposit Return Scheme
  • 'Ban on Dumping New Products' Bill
  • Threads of Transparency
  • Bat Conservation Ireland’s Online Training Platform
  • Food Surplus Cafe - Dublin
  • Public Participation Networks. Spotlight on Donegal, Longford, Sligo

Surveys & Petitions

  • Marine Protected Area Law
  • For the attention of Ireland's veterinary professionals

Job Opportunities

  • Birdwatch Ireland
  • Irish Whale and Dolphin Group
  • Irish Wildlife Trust
  • Irish Seed Savers
  • Vincent Wildlife Trust
  • An Taisce
  • Rivers Trust Ireland


  • Find out more about IEN member groups

Quick Guide to Events


  • 18th: Workshop: Building Personal, Community and National Resilience in the Face of Climate and Biodiversity Breakdown - Dublin
  • 27th: Workshop: Get to Know Your Sewing Machine - Dublin


  • 3rd: Workshop: Introduction to Kitchen Cabinet Upcycling - Dublin
  • 7th: ‘Fair Seas: The Atlantic Northwest’ Film Screening - Donegal
  • 10th: Workshop: Introduction to Furniture Upholstery - Dublin


Workshop: Building Personal, Community and National Resilience in the Face of Climate and Biodiversity Breakdown

January 18th

Dublin 3pm - 5pm

Green Foundation Ireland and Feasta invite you to an IN-PERSON WORKSHOP "Building Personal, Community and National Resilience in the Face of Climate and Biodiversity Breakdown" which takes place at Tailors' Hall in Dublin on THURSDAY 18 JANUARY 2024 from 15:00 to 17:00.

From climate breakdown and biodiversity extinction to resource scarcity and political/economic instability, humanity is facing a series of interrelated and worsening crises. In this Workshop, John Sharry will describe how we can understand and face up to these crises so as to build personal, community and national resilience. The Workshop will be interactive and supportive, allowing time for discussion and sharing of perspectives and ideas.

Book here

Workshop: Get to Know Your Sewing Machine

January 27th

Dublin 1.30pm - 4.30pm

Join the Rediscovery Centre for a hands-on sewing workshop, crafted for absolute beginners or those wanting to refresh their sewing skills.

Book here

Workshop: Introduction to Kitchen Cabinet Upcycling

February 3rd

Dublin 10am

Is it time to refresh and rejuvenate your kitchen cabinets? Join Dave Kavanagh from the Rediscovery Centre on the 3rd of February as he guides you through the art of upcycling using simple and creative techniques

Book here

‘Fair Seas: The Atlantic Northwest’ Film Screening

February 7th - 7pm



Join us for an in person screening of Fair Seas latest film ‘The Atlantic Northwest.’ The film recently won the award of Exceptional Merit at the Documentaries Without Borders Film International Festival and has been selected as a finalist for the Big Blue Film Festival in Oregon USA. The film spoke to different stakeholders including anglers, divers, tourism operators and seafood producers on what the ocean means to them and how they think Marine Protected Areas will affect their local area.

After the screening we will have a panel discussion focused around Marine Protected Areas in Ireland and the chance to discuss ideas with a number of experts from different fields.

Register here

Workshop: Introduction to Furniture Upholstery

February 10th

Dublin 10am

Discover the art of furniture upholstery with Nessa Doran O'Reilly, Programme Manager for Rediscover Furniture. Join us for a hands-on workshop where you'll learn to remove and reupholster a drop seat cover. The Rediscovery Centre will provide the demonstration drop seat and all materials will be provided on the day.

Book here

News and Announcements

Ireland’s new Deposit Return Scheme

Ireland will soon be introducing a Deposit Return Scheme. In February 2024, when you buy a drink in a plastic bottle, aluminium or steel can that features the Re-turn logo, you pay a small deposit in addition to the price of the drink. When you return your empty, undamaged container to any retail outlet, you get your deposit back in full.

Read more here

'Ban on Dumping New Products' Bill

VOICE is urging Minister Eamon Ryan to debate Senator Lynn Boylan's 'Ban on Dumping New Products' Bill as quickly as possible, so the bill can be progressed. It is VOICE's position that this practice is not only inherently harmful to the environment it is against the very fundamental concepts of a circular economy, i.e. – design out waste. We cannot live in a society that actively designs waste into its processes for the sake of either exclusivity or to save on storage space. VOICE's CEO Tad Kirakowski joined up with French Deputy Alma Dufour in Leinster House prior to a debate in the Seanad on this topic.

You can read more about this bill here: https://bit.ly/3REANfr.

Threads of Transparency

VOICE launched a new campaign Threads of Transparency which looks to address the many issues around post-consumer textile waste.

At the heart of our campaign is a search for transparency and definitions surrounding textile waste in Ireland. Through our research, we have found that the lack of definitions and transparency, means we don't know what happens to all of Ireland's textile waste and/or where it ends up.


  • 93% of Ireland's used clothes and other textiles is dumped, incinerated or exported to an unknown fate.
  • 7% of Ireland's used clothing and other textiles are reused by Ireland's charity shop network.  


Our fantastic and hard-working charity shops are a best-case scenario, however many stakeholders (in this field) claim to be promoting recycling and reuse, but we don't know what happens to the textiles we discard (through 'recycling banks' for example). Because Ireland does not define post-consumer textiles as a 'waste' product. Therefore, these stakeholders are under no obligation to record quantity, whether it is reusable or unsellable, and where it is going. We at VOICE believe that all post-consumer textiles (anything discarded) should be considered waste unless proven otherwise. 


Check out our YouTube video, where we explain our campaign in greater detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6p8yYuzpfE.

Bat Conservation Ireland’s Online Training Platform

Bat Conservation Ireland have just launched our Online Training Platform, with our first course being provided free of charge. If you are interested in learning more about bats, their ecology and habitats, this is a great introduction.

Find out more here

Food Surplus Cafe

Dublin - Wednesday to Saturday

9am - 3.30pm

We are delighted to welcome our new Innovation Chef Barry to the Rediscovery Centre!

Barry is leading the Boiler House Café team to explore the powerful (and delicious) potential of surplus food. Similar to surplus food in our own homes, in larger settings like restaurants or supermarkets, if they have more food than they can sell or use before it goes bad, that's considered surplus food. We aim to make sure this delicious food is enjoyed and not binned!

Bary is leading the Café team as part of our Food Surplus Café research project funded by the EPA’s Green Enterprise Programme. The project will provide guidelines for bringing food surplus into a café menu, with the aim to help other cafes to replicate this model across the country. Pop into the Boiler House Café from Wednesday to Saturday 9am - 3.30pm!

Public Participation Networks

Local Change for Global Impact

Are you involved with a local group that focuses on issues of climate, environment, biodiversity or sustainability? Would you like to make change in your area, meet other local groups, and hear local news and funding opportunities?

Join your Public Participation Network for all this and more! The PPNs support local groups to shape better decision-making in communities by connecting them with their local authority. They are powerful change making tools, and need groups who can be a voice for the local environment.

If you're not part of an existing environmental group, check out the list of members on the PPN websites. Find an environmental group that interests you and join them in their work. This way you can also get involved in the PPN!

Find your local PPN here.

PPN Spotlight


Environmental groups include An Taisce, Birdwatch Ireland, Inishowen Basking Shark Study Group, Foraging and Nature Education, Fanad Coastal Group, The Mill River Conservation Group and more!

Add your group today!

Join Donegal PPN


Meet environmental groups such as Wetlands Heritage Ireland, Lough Ree Environmental Summer Festival, Longford Sustainable Energy Communities Network and more!

Join one of these groups as an individual to get involved in your PPN, or add you group to the Network below.

Join Longford PPN


Sligo PPN includes groups such as Lissadell Coastal Group, Sligo Community Gardens, Birdwatch Ireland, Sligo Cycling Campaign, Walking Matters, Moy River Catchment Trust and more!

Add your group to the PPN and join them in being a voice for the environment.

Join Sligo PPN

Petitions & Surveys

Marine Protected Area Law

Add your name to call on Minister Darragh O’Brien and the Irish government to enact a strong marine protected area law without delay. Life in Ireland’s ocean is at a crisis point. Marine biodiversity is rapidly declining and the numbers of Ireland’s iconic marine species are plummeting. The now critically endangered angel shark has suffered a staggering 90% population decline since the early 1900s, while Ireland's seabirds are more endangered than ever, with the puffin under serious threat of extinction.

Existing protected area designations are not working. Recent assessments indicate that 65% of Ireland’s coastal habitat types are ecologically unhealthy. Many Irish bays and estuaries have deteriorated significantly in recent years despite falling within protected areas. Failing to address marine biodiversity loss will guarantee long-term negative impacts on the health and sustainability of the ocean and the social and economic health of communities across Ireland. The Irish government needs to act with urgency and ambition by delivering a strong national marine protected area (MPA) law to properly protect, conserve, and restore its waters. The government has committed to protecting 30% of our seas by 2030, but with the new legislation delayed, there is now a serious risk that these targets will not be met.

Please sign our petition today and share. >>> https://only.one/act/30x30-ireland

For the attention of Ireland's veterinary professionals

Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland kindly ask for just a few minutes of your time to complete the Wildlife Health Survey, which covers topics such as diagnosis, treatment, and observations related to the health of wild animals. Your responses will remain confidential, no personal data is retained, and the data collected will be used for leveraging support for those who take care of wildlife, and ultimately for improvements in the provisions of care for the wild animals themselves.

Your participation will significantly contribute to our ongoing efforts to improve the health and welfare of wildlife. By sharing your expertise and experiences, you will play a vital role in advancing our knowledge of wildlife health and conservation.

Please email [email protected] for further information.

Find the survey here

Job Opportunities

Birdwatch Ireland

Retail and Administration Assistant

BirdWatch Ireland is seeking to recruit a Retail and Administration Assistant to assist with the smooth running of its shop, membership and administration operations. The ideal candidate will be someone who has excellent proven retail experience and enjoys working as part of a team. Knowledge of birds and of conservation is not essential, but is desirable.

The closing date for applications is 17:00 on Monday 15th January 2024.

More info here

Irish Whale and Dolphin Group


The IWDG is looking to recruit two new officers.


Education and Outreach Officer 


The initial focus of the IWDG Education and Outreach Officer role will be to work with existing officers to develop the Education and Outreach Program, prioritising Local Group coordination.


For more information please see IWDG Education & Outreach Officer Job Description

Please put IWDG Education and Outreach Officer in the email subject line.

Closing date: 30th January 2024


Project Scientist – Whale Deal


We wish to recruit a full-time scientist to contribute to a new EU project funded through INTEReg Atlantic called Whale Deal.


For more information please see IWDG Project Officer and Data Scientist Job Description

Please put IWDG Whale Deal in the email subject line.

Closing date: 30th January 2024


Further details at: https://iwdg.ie/iwdg-is-recruiting/

Irish Wildlife Trust 

Finance and Compliance Officer

This important role will strengthen our internal financial processes, improving our capacity to run the organisation and deliver on our mission.


The Finance and Compliance Officer will be responsible for managing the financial data and payments process across the organisation, including supporting our local branches with financial record keeping. The Finance and Compliance Officer will be responsible for improving our financial reporting and will support the compliance with the Charities Regulator and Companies Registration Office.


This role can be part time or full time depending on the candidates requirements, with a minimum of 3 days per week.


Applications for this position are open until Monday 22nd January 2024. For details of the job and how to apply see the job notice on our website: https://iwt.ie/finance-compliance-officer/

Irish Seed Savers


We have two exciting opportunities with our expanding organisation! ISSA is currently recruiting for a new role, the Head of the Heritage Seed Bank and we are readvertising the Head Gardener position.


The Head of the Heritage Seed Bank will be at the forefront of this conservation effort, leading a dedicated team and contributing to the legacy of conserving Ireland’s food crop heritage.


The Head Gardener will play a crucial role in the maintenance and development of our Heritage Seed Gardens, including the management of garden staff and resources.


For further information and job specifications please click on the link below:



Vincent Wildlife Trust (VWT)

Species Conservation Officer


VWT is seeking a suitable person to become its Species Conservation Officer in Ireland.


You will be working with VWT colleagues, specialist providers and project partners on the ground to build on existing connections, develop new connections and increase awareness, advocacy, education and training to facilitate the conservation of threatened mammals in Ireland.


VWT is looking for someone with the ability to inspire a cross-section of people including volunteers, land managers and community groups in a range of activities, including fieldwork, surveys and monitoring activities. You will need to have experience and knowledge of wildlife conservation, practical fieldwork and monitoring experience, excellent interpersonal skills and communication skills, along with experience of working with partners, landowners and other stakeholders.


The Trust offers a quality employment package, the chance for Continued Professional Development, and the learning of new skills and experiences.


For a Job Application Pack, please visit: www.vincentwildlife.ie

Closing date for applications: 17:00 on Friday 2 February 2024

An Taisce


An Taisce has a number of vacancies being advertised at present.


·   Development Director

·   Communications Coordinator

·   Planning Officer

·   Infrastructure Officer at Safe Routes to School


Details on the vacancies can be accessed at: Vacancies | An Taisce - The National Trust For Ireland

The Rivers Trust in Ireland

Finance Officer


The island of Ireland is the fastest-growing area of the rivers trust movement, and as part of what will be a major team expansion across the island of Ireland, Rivers Trust in Ireland is seeking a finance professional to deliver all day-to-day financial processes of The Rivers Trust’s subsidiary in Ireland.


The successful candidate will have proven experience in a book-keeping and accounting role in Ireland and be able to demonstrate proficiency in processing transactions in an efficient and timely manner, have experience in management accounting and be pro-active, showing confidence and initiative, enabling them to ensure that accounting records are accurate and up to date.


They will also be able to demonstrate proven experience in a project finance role and be able to demonstrate proficiency in reporting transactions and forecasting future cost and revenue streams to ensure that project reports are accurate and up to date.


Apply for this job https://careers.theriverstrust.org/jobs/2864291-finance-officer-republic-of-ireland

Closing date: Sunday 14th January 2024.

Find out more about the work of IEN members

The Irish Environmental Network has 34 nationally active members, who work on a wide variety of environmental, biodiversity and sustainability issues.

You can read more about their work, get involved, or sign up to their newsletters to hear directly from them on their websites.

See all members here