Corrib Beo and its first event to Inchagoill island

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Corrib Beo would like to give a sincere thanks to everyone who joined us on our heritage trip out to Inchagoill Island on Lough Corrib, August 25th, 2019. On this day Corrib Beo hosted 180 participants on board with Corrib cruises as we enjoyed a warm summers afternoon with a peaceful and tranquil setting. This will be a day to remember for the participants, sponsors and members of Corrib Beo. The day marked heritage week, water Heritage Day and Corrib Beo`s first event to Inchagoill Island known as “the jewel in the crown for the islands of Lough Corrib”. The key themes of the day were Water, Heritage and Communities. In the weeks leading up to the end of August members of Corrib Beo`s steering committee worked together to organise this day out. We would like to give a special thanks to our sponsors, Glenlo Abbey Galway, LAWPRO (Local authorities water programme) and Galway County Council, Heritage officer, Marie Mannion. We would like to express our thanks also to Coillte, Inland fisheries Ireland and the OPW for their groundwork and clean up on Inchagoill making the island a lot more visitor friendly. The combination of all these great resources allowed us to execute the perfect day out on the Lough Corrib.

The Corrib Beo partnership was launched in May of 2019. Within no time the committee began to start preparation for heritage week. The idea of the day was to highlight the rich heritage we have on Lough Corrib. Heritage is a fundamental pillar of Corrib Beo. The aim was also to illuminate our connection with heritage as it is then you will begin to appreciate nature for what it is. Inchagoill is the biggest island on Lough Corrib and is steeped with both natural and built heritage.
The island has a historic timeline first dating back as far as the 5th century. The stone of Lugueaedon dates to the 5thcentury which carries the oldest Irish inscriptions written in Latin characters. This stone is the burial place of Lugueaedon who is believed to be a nephew of St. Patrick himself. To highlight this rich heritage, we had some traditional music with some local musicians followed by guest speakers Paul Naessens to talk about the history and archaeological findings on the Corrib. He also showcased a replica 5th century iron age logboat at Oughterard pier due to recent findings on the lake. Anthony Previte who is renowned for his historic and heritage knowledge gave a very inspiring talk outside the 12th century, Teampeall na Naomh church notable for its ornate Romanesque doorway. We also had readings of Corrib literature from young students from the local catchment schools as well as kick sampling of water quality on Lough Corrib for the young citizens of the Corrib, carried out by Petersburg adventure centre.

We hope that bringing everyone together on the island will increase community engagement on the lake, which is essential to develop the Corrib economically, socially and environmentally. There is a wealth of quiet, localised community action all around the Lake, between Heritage groups, Tidy Towns and environmental groups, water protection groups and leisure users of the Lake, but we have heard it said many times in the past years that the combined influence of these efforts is not visible in County circles. The aim of Corrib Beo is to build a stronger identity for the Lake communities, so that the sum is greater than the parts.
Our group currently has a great mix of the fishing, community, environmentalists, state agencies, institutions and local community. With this diversity of opinions and experience, we have a great stepping stone towards developing the lake sustainably to its full potential. Other than heritage issues, like water quality, biodiversity, fishing and health and well-being are just some of the challengesissues involved. The aim of this group is to share a single vision of where the Lough Corrib will be in 15- 20 years from now, from an economic, social and environmental point of view. There has been a quite significant drop in fish stocks, biodiversity regeneration, pollution and invasive species and these issues will be at the forefront of Corrib Beo`s objectives.

We hope we have expressed our goal of protection and the sustainable development of the Lough Corrib which is required with the contemporary challenges of the 21st century facing the waterbody. The abundance of passion we have through all the groups already mentioned carries a great momentum to help protect the lake. We hope that our heritage trip to Inchagoill will help guide people to be conscious of the lake with all its aspects. If you were inspired by the trip and are passionate about the Corrib’s natural environment;

· Send your name and contact details, with the word “Support” and your comments, to Corrib Beo Partnership at corribbeo@gmail.ie
· Link up with our Facebook page.

Thanks for your time and we hope you will become part of this coalition.