Growing up in the Glen of the Downs, and spending much of my childhood and later life outdoors in the incredible natural heritage of Wicklow, I have a deep sense of how unique this place is. I was brought up with the constant reminder from my Dad of the importance of the Bronze Age Hillforts of Coolagad and Downshill, the uniqueness of the land and 18th Century LaTouche buildings at our farm on the old Bellevue Estate, the Oak Forest of Bellevue Woods, and the local ancient sites such as the Royal Meeting Place in Glen of the Downs. I spent a vast amount of time staying deep in the Wicklow Mountains with my cousins and was lucky enough as a child to learn about natural heritage from my uncle who was wildlife manager at a number of the private estates in the area.
I studied Arts in UCD which developed my love for Ancient Literature and folk stories. Later a Masters in Anthropology at Queens University furthered my passion for culture and the preservation of heritage. My background is in community education, social and environmental activism, and equine interventions for personal growth. A Post-Graduate Certificate in Creative Thinking, Innovation and Entrepreneurship has given me the confidence to pursue what is most meaningful to me in life. The nature and scenery of the Glen of the Downs inspired me to research the ancient history of the area, resulting in my discovery of the Lost Kingdom of Fera Cuala.
For the past couple of years I have been endeavouring to raise awareness of, and to protect, the special heritage and biodiversity of this area, and to identify and record as much of its ancient heritage as possible before it disappears under concrete.
Having spent time in a number of countries I feel strongly that Heritage-Tourism is a far superior option than conventional development for the future growth of this area and the benefit of the local community. We have something really amazing here – and as yet it is largely an untapped resource. It is crucial that we invest energy into preserving and promoting our heritage rather than being the generation to watch it disappear forever.
Literateen - My Winning Teen Literacy Project 2010
on RTE Six One NEWS
My Augmented Reality Therapy Pony -
Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards 2018 - Short-Listed
My Old Irish Goat Petition mentioned in the media:
My Petition has been mentioned in the following newspaper articles:
My Petition to protect Old Irish Goats
You can sign the Petition here
My Petition to Ban the Hunting of the Critically Endangered 5000 year old Old Irish Goat Breed and Award them Rare Irish Native Breed Status has over 10.000 signatures and has been picked up by Local and National Media. The Department of Agriculture has responded to the petition and Minister Charlie McConalogue is in talks with the Old Irish Goat Society to ensure the breed's future.
How I came to write the Petition:
I had been researching Goats in Ancient Ireland as part of my work on the ancient placename 'Gabhar' in Glen of the Downs and had recently taken a video of a small herd of Goats in the Scalp - so goats, their value for food security, the recorded health benefits of their milk since ancient times and their presence in ancient Irish placenames was very much on my mind. I was lamenting the loss of the Glen of the Downs/ Bray Head herd of Old Irish Goats that I had grown up seeing when I came across a shocking article on trophy hunting in the Farmer's Journal by Barry Murphy. On visiting the Old Irish Goat Society website , and comparing their beautifully detailed descriptions of Old Irish Goats with the animals being hunted by Wicklow Trophy-Hunting Companies, I could ascertain that critically endangered Old Irish Goats were indeed amongst the animals being shot. I knew I had to act fast or very soon there would be no feral Old Irish Goats left in existence in Ireland and hence I wrote the petition and spent a number of weeks sharing it as much as I could. I am so grateful to everyone who supported the petition and I am delighted to have met the Old Irish Goat Society and learnt about the amazing work they have been doing as tireless volunteers over the past decade!
Without their work I would not have known how endangered the breed is!