This Wednesday past (8th May), a rainy gloomy day ended with a bright glow in Ashford, County Wicklow. A huge crowd gathered from far and wide to support the EWRT launch event in the stunning surroundings of Mount Usher Gardens. There was a warm welcome from Konrad Jay who had kindly offered his Robinsonian garden for the event and arranged equally stunning hospitality from the Avoca Cafe. After Konrad’s welcome address we heard wise words from Mark Horton of Ballinderry River Trust, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for all his support and work to help us set up the trust and indeed for making the long journey to attend the launch. Mark reminded us of an appropriate and timely quote from Margret Meade: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, indeed its the only thing that ever has”.
Luke Drea then outlined the Trust’s progress and plans for the future, before it was over to Professor Ken Whelan for a brief tour under the surface of the river Vartry. Guests in attendance followed Ken as if he were the pied piper, to the river’s edge and got an insight into the life beneath the surface of a Wicklow river. The board members of the trust were so heartened to see absolutely everybody enthralled in the sample of aquatic insects and fish on display, which Ken and Mark had carefully captured earlier in the evening. As the daylight faded it was lovely to see that one and all had to be coerced away from the insects at the rivers edge, bribed by the offer of Avoca’s tasty canopies and sweet treats, not to mention the lovely array of cupcakes from Poshcakes!
The board of the trust, and all involved would like to extend a massive thanks to all those who made the effort to come out and share the evening with us. It gave us all a hugely positive feeling to move forward with and we hope it was the first of many such events.
E W R T .