Speakers on the day



Dr. Conor Murphy

Dr. Conor Murphy is Senior Lecturer with the Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units - ICARUS, at Maynooth University. He has been working on climate change related issues nationally and internationally for ten years and has published his research at the highest levels including in Science and Nature Climate Change. Conor sits on the National Adaptation Committee and is also a member of the Royal Irish Academy Committee on Climate and Environmental Change.

Dr. Conor Murphy's Presentation


Dr. Margaret Desmond

Dr. Margaret Desmond is a Senior Manager of Climate Services in the Environmental Protection Agency. She is currently managing a new and exciting portfolio of the Agency's climate activities, which includes the Secretariat's to the Climate Change Advisory Council and the National Dialogue on Climate Action. Margaret specializes in climate change impacts and adaptation research, policy analysis/advice and implementation. She has a long history of supporting the development of national and local level policy, research, and advocating for climate action.

She is the lead author of 'A Summary of the State of Knowledge on Climate Change Impacts for Ireland' (2017, 2009), National Preparedness to adapt to climate change: analysis of state of play and Ireland's National Adaptive Capacity Assessment (2011). She led on the Adaptation Chapter of Ireland's 5th Communication to the UNFCCC (2014) and has provided policy support for the National Adaptation Framework (2017).

 Dr. Margaret Desmond's Presentation




Chair – Niamh McKenna, Change X

Niamh is Head of Impact for Change X. Change X is a platform of proven ideas for anyone who wants to strengthen their community. ChangeX allows people to discover proven ideas and provides all the information and support they need to get these ideas up and running in the local community.


Dr. Tara Shine

Dr Tara Shine is director of the award-winning social enterprise Change by Degrees which aims to make sustainability convenient for businesses and communities. Change by Degrees aims to change the conversation on sustainability in Ireland by providing information and expert advice to empower everyone to make different choices. In 2018 Tara co-founded the community initiative Plastic Free Kinsale, to reduce single use plastics, increase recycling rates and raise awareness about plastic pollution. She is an environmental scientist with over 20 years' experience working at the international level on climate change and sustainable development. She works as an adviser to governments, world leaders, businesses and international organisations. Tara also presents wildlife and nature documentaries.


Martha Farrell

Martha Farrell is a founding member and director of Maharees Conservation Association CLG (Registered Charity and Winner of the national Clean Coasts an Taisce Ocean Hero 'Group of the Year' award 2017). Maharees Conservation Association CLG is a coastal community group which engages a wide-ranging network of volunteers. Working collaboratively with agencies and stakeholders such as Kerry County Council, NUI Galway, NPWS, Clean Coasts an Taisce and IT Tralee; its work is devoted to protecting the coastline and natural heritage of the Maharees, raising awareness of the cultural and ecological importance of the area and ensuring the viability of the Maharees community.


Martin Stapleton

Martin Stapleton is a dairy farmer from Oola Co. Limerick. He is national chairman of the IFA Farm Business Committee. As chairman of his 'Dairy Discussion Group' containing 15 farmers, he initiated their participation in the IFA Smart Farming initiative. This resulted in efficiency, cost and environmental improvements and he is a strong advocate of the programme and sustainable practices within the farming sector in Ireland.


Deirdre de Bhailís

Deirdre de Bhailís is Manager of the Dingle Creativity and Innovation Hub which was established in April 2017 with the aim of providing the infrastructure and ecosystem to enable high skilled employment and new enterprise generation on the Dingle Peninsula. The Dingle Hub is working towards this goal by initiating a range of sustainability projects with the support and participation of the local community.