The Great Island Circle Representative
Gerry was born in Drogheda Co. Louth and studied there at the Technical School. After spending a year as an apprentice Mechanic, he went onto serve with the Army on the Border 1971 to 1976. Next he worked with the Prison Service in Portlaoise, Dublin and finally Spike Island in 1985 when he moved to the Great Island.
Retired since 2004, Gerry enjoys gardening and historical research, having co-authored the historical guide to Spike Island. Currently Gerry is the Chairman of the Belvelly, Carrigaloe and District Community Association, Secretary of the The Great Island Historical Society and The Great Island Circle, a group set up to bring about more safe, off-road access to people living on our Island.
Gerry came on board with Cobh Zero Waste in 2020 after we completed the My Town My Plan, SECAD community development course to bring our plans to fruition.
“Cobh Zero Waste has a broad vision of a sustainable way of living including clean energy and seeks to promote it on this Island. I care about all life on this planet and see the ethos of the organisation as a way to protect it.”
Jacquie joined Cobh Zero Waste in 2018 with an interest in the natural world and protecting it. She says nothing brings her more pleasure than sitting beside water, watching the world do her thing. “Protecting that world from humans should be paramount in our decision making, both personal & collective.” She runs a small cafe in Cobh with her family, where compostable packaging, strict waste management and working with local producers are all part of our ethos. She loves a good forage, some of which finds its way onto our menu.
“I’m writing this in May, during lockdown, when the hedgerows are filled with activity & edible abundance. I get way too excited about the first elderberry flowers, making syrups & vinegars to add to just about everything. Food and nature are so interconnected in my mind, I admire its beauty but am always asking ‘what can I create with you’? I have taken a photo with my cherry tree. A tree which has the prettiest white blossoms in spring & juicy berries in summer. If I can get to the berries before the birds, I add them to dark chocolate mousse and all is well with the world.”
Melanie joined the group in 2018 with a keen interest in sustainable living and a Zoology Degree from UCC. Mel facilitates workshops on the Work that Reconnects, Zero Waste Living and foraging. She is particularly interested in supporting emotional well-being and community resilience as we face the future challenges of Climate Change. Presently she is working at developing The Green Step podcast and social enterprise to address these issues. This year she is working with the Development Perspectives Sustainable Development Goals Advocate training program to further ground the plans of Cobh Zero Waste and the Green Step in the United Nations led targets for global sustainability. She really enjoys foraging and singing among the trees and has a daily Nichiren Buddhism practice that she uses to drive her dream for our sustainable future into reality.
“As the reality of climate change becomes ever more apparent we are being forced to change how we are living. The beauty of that is we have the opportunity to transform our society into a sustainable, inclusive and resilient one. The power is in our hands to decide what the future holds and that’s an exciting way to look at it. Let’s dream big with compassion in our hearts!”