World Wetlands Day – 2nd February 2023

County Monaghan is part of a large landscape of hills and wetlands extending into Northern Ireland.  The best known of these extend across the vast plateau of Sliabh Beagh, some smaller fens and transition mires to the north-east bordering Armagh and of course Kilroosky Lough Cluster outside Clones town.  But there are also small inter-drumlin degraded raised bogs and fens which if restored could contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation as well as our biodiversity.

World Wetlands Day

World Wetlands Day, celebrated annually on 2 February, aims to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and planet. The theme for 2023 is Wetlands Restoration and highlights the urgent need to prioritize wetland restoration. Wetlands are critically important ecosystems that contribute to biodiversity, climate mitigation and adaptation, freshwater availability, world economies, and more. It is urgent that we raise national and global awareness about wetlands in order to reverse their rapid loss and encourage actions to conserve and restore them. Types of wetlands include lakes, rivers, fens, bogs, marshes etc.

Why wetlands are important:

  • Wetlands support biodiversity.
  • Wetlands absorb & store water and provide protection from flooding.
  • Wetlands store carbon.
  • Wetlands naturally ‑ filter water, remove pollutants and boost the local water supply.
  • Wetlands boost eco – tourism.


This project is part of the shared island initiative and will support one of the stated objectives of the Shared Island funding: conservation projects to support biodiversity or cross-border peatland protection. The vision of the project is to develop a project plan setting out where and how to restore wetlands and peatlands in the east border region; to deliver quantifiable GHG emission reduction targets and improve the ecological condition of degraded peatlands. The east border region includes counties Monaghan, Louth, Meath, Armagh and Down. The plan will set out how best to work with local communities and farmers on a cross-community and cross-border basis to conserve and improve the quality of peatlands and associated habitats, and the ecosystem services they provide including carbon storage, clean water, flood control and biodiversity. The result will be prioritised sites for peatland/wetland restoration forming a final investment project delivering benefits for biodiversity, climate and people.


Who’s involved in this project:

  • Monaghan County Council (Heritage section)
  • Louth County Council (Heritage section)
  • Meath County Council (Heritage section)
  • Ulster Wildlife
  • East Border Region
  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
  • Newry Mourne and Down District Council
  • Ards and North Down Borough Council

Shirley Clerkin, Monaghan County Council Heritage Officer stated “For years now, Monaghan County Council has been conducting surveys on the extent and condition of our wetlands and peatlands.  We’ve also been able to access considerable EU funding to undertake important conservation activities in recent times.  The Shared Island initiative brings new energy to this work, with its focus on the island of Ireland as a single biogeographic unit, all of its environmental goods and services dependent on each other. World Wetlands Day is an important annual reminder of the significance of our wetland heritage, coming as it does at the start of the Irish spring and so close to St. Brigid’s day who’s crosses made from rushes present us with another wetland symbol.”


Slieve Beagh Special Area of Conservation

Episode 4 – A burning issue for climate on Sliabh Beagh.


Dermot Brannigan, Chief Fire Officer and others chat with Shirley Clerkin, Heritage Officer on the top of windy Sliabh Beagh to talk about the bog, damage caused by fire and how by working together to produce a wildfire management plan is creating benefits for biodiversity and climate.  Also features Paul Sherlock of the CANN project, and Paddy Sherry, local stakeholder.

Request for Tender for Research Services – Applications open now!

The Heritage section in MCC is looking for applicants to compile “A review of literature and case studies to identify best practices regarding peatland restoration”.

All tenders must be submitted by email, subject line ‘Request for Tender for Research Services’ and addressed to by closing date 23.01.2023 before 4pm.

See attached document for further information:

Request For Tender For Research Services

National Biodiversity Priorities – Opportunities for public submission of views

  1. National Biodiversity Plan

The draft NBAP sets out a vision for an Ireland in 2050 in which biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored, and sustainably used maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.

There are 3 ways to get involved: fill in the online survey.

Send any comments by email to: or send comments by post to:

4th National Biodiversity Action Plan Consultation, Biodiversity Policy, NPWS, 90 North King Street, Dublin 7, D07 N7CV.

The closing date for submissions is 9 November 2022.


  1. Citizens Assembly on Biodiversity Loss

A Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss, with a total of 100 members including an independent Chairperson and 99 randomly-selected members of the public, has been convened to examine how the State can improve its response to the issue of biodiversity loss, and to bring forward proposals in that regard. To make a submission to the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss, you can use one of these three options:

Upload your submission via our online submissions form.

Email your submission to or

Post your submission to: Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss, 16 Parnell Square, Dublin 1

Submissions can be made by the public until end of November.


  1. New strategy statement for National Parks and Wildlife Service

The first Strategy Statement for the National Parks and Wildlife Service will set out the core mission and values of the NPWS, together with key strategic priorities as an organisation for 2023-2025.

You can read the consultation document, and then complete a more detailed online questionnaire.

If you prefer to email or post your responses to the consultation document, you can send them by email to: or post to:

Strategy Consultation, NPWS, 90 North King Street, Dublin 7, D07 N7CV.

The closing date for submissions is 9 December 2022.

The puzzle of placenames

Shirley Clerkin is joined in Clones by heritage enthusiasts James Sheerin and Larry McDermott to tease out some placename meanings from Clones and elsewhere, and the heritage of the land that can be gleaned by diving into an exploration of what places are called.

Music – Landmark and The Seed in March by Michael Gallen

Recording and editing – Noel Murphy.

Funding – Podcast is funded by the Heritage Council and Monaghan County Council