Sustainable living festival to promote green jobs in Ireland

15 Jun 2011

Convergence, Ireland’s largest sustainable living festival, kicks off tomorrow and will run until 27 June, with more than 40 events being held across the country to promote green jobs and sustainable community projects.

The festival schedule, organised by, will include films, forums, workshops and local food events, many of which will be free and open to all. Events will be held in Dublin, Tipperary, Sligo, Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick and Westmeath.

Some of the headline events will include ‘Working The Green Economy’, a two-day green business forum that will be held 17-18 June in Dublin. Alan Quirke, co-author of the Forfas report of the High Level Group on Green Enterprise, will speak at the conference, along with other green leaders and entrepreneurs.

A Green Jobs & Sustainability event will take place in Sligo on 20 June. Eco architect and TV presenter Duncan Stewart and the Minister for Small Business John Perry, TD, will lead talks on how the green economy can create jobs and help northwest communities become more self-reliant.

Cloughjordan eco village

The village of Cloughjordan in Co Tipperary will also host a celebration of local food and culture on 25 June.

The event for food lovers will be held at Cloughjordan House and will feature chefs, including 10 French Michelin star chefs, who will engage people about how to use the best of local, seasonal, sustainable and fresh foods.

Cloughjordan itself is currently building a 67-acre eco village. The project was initially conceived in 2007 and is still in progress despite the recession. Just in May, the eco village launched the second phase of its development, including a solar park, an eco enterprise centre and an eco hostel.

“The aim of the festival,” says Convergence co-ordinator Davie Philip, “is to bring people together to cultivate green jobs and communities that can adapt and thrive – economically, ecologically and socially – in these uncertain times. We hope that people will really enjoy this year’s festival, as well as coming away from it with some of the tools and ideas needed to bring about a sustainable future.

Photo: Students from the Green Works education programme examine a curved house in the sustainable building development at Cloughjordan eco village in Co Tipperary

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic