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Clonmel TT - 2008 News

A steering group of five people got together to begin the awareness raising process in May. We started with the screening of  'The End of Suburbia' and 'The Power of Community' and followed up with a series of lunch-time workshop dialogues/presentations on related issues over June and early July: Climate Change Café; Peak Oil Peak Everything; Change Thinking; and Transition Towns. A workshop with 30 teenagers on the Story of Stuff was held in July. One of the steering group attended Transition Training in May. Autumn events were screenings of 'What a Way to Go -Life at the End of the Empire' and ‘Crude Awakening’; with lunchbox events on The Story of Stuff; Becoming Resilient; Local Food Security; and Urban Biodiversity. Concurrently, Newcastle village near Clonmel held some initial awareness-raising events. Coming into the winter we designed an information pamphlet to distribute at events etc. In October one of the group attended the Community Powerdown course in Cultivate.

In mid-November some of the steering group joined up with the Carnegie Convention visit to Michael Hickey's farm. Three more main events were held towards the end of 2008. A Food Focus evening, with a screening of ‘Back to the Land’, followed by mini World-Café about food resilience was held in early November. The Clonmel Allotment Association launched on the night. In late November we held a business focus presentation with David Korowicz and Simon Snowdon in tandem with Tipperary Micro-Skillnet. South East Micro Skillsnet are very keen to connect up with Simon Snowdon and do more indepth training for their network members. In early December we held a World Café focusing on the big question "how can we create resilience in our communities?” with food contributed by participants. On Saturday 6th December we rang bells in the town centre at 2pm to ‘Stop Climate Chaos’.

One of the group is travelling to Wales to participate in a Transition Training weekend in January. We are exploring the possibility of an Interreg link between Wales and south-east Ireland. A loosely-formed ‘food network’ of interested individuals in each of the main towns is coming together for Tipperary, pooling resources for a co-ordinated approach to local food security, arising out of the work of some people in Cashel who are interested in Transition.

 We have noticed that numbers at events have fluctuated and some events have been poorly attended; it will be interesting to see how other Transition initiatives are getting on. The end-of-year World Café was probably one of the more successful events in terms of the response and positive energy on the night. We now have a good number of suggestions and ideas for events in the spring. The challenge will be getting new people to engage so that the process takes off and the steering group can plan its demise, with a ‘great unleashing’ somewhere along the way. We have been lucky to have been supported by Tipperary Institute and Clonmel library for most of our events, and by South East Micro-Skillnet for the business event. These have allowed us to progress with very limited funds.