Collie continues to nurture, promote and preserve the local environment

By Mary Dennehy

THE importance of protecting Tallaght’s green spaces, parks and waterways was highlighted this week by conservationist Collie Ennis, as he awards a local environmentalist with a Certificate of Appreciation.

Living in Homelawns, Collie was last year’s winner of the Michael Dooley Environment Award at Tallaght Person of the Year 2019.

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Collie Ennis holding a Certificate of Appreciation, he is presenting one to John Kiberd of Litter Mugs

A year down the line, and Collie is continuing to nurture, promote and preserve his local environment, and has this week recognised the important work of others in the community.

Tallaght Community Council (TCC) has made a Certificate of Appreciation available for members of the community to present to someone who deserves a ‘thank you’.

TCC created the certificate after the cancellation of this year’s Tallaght Person of the Year, and to support the continuation of appreciating the area’s unsung heroes.

When asked who he is presenting a Certificate of Appreciation to, Collie chose volunteer John Kiberd of the Tallaght Litter Mugs.

“I’m giving a certificate to John Kiberd, he’s a bit of a hero and I can’t see anyone who does more for the local environment than him.

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Conservationist Collie Ennis

“I have a lot of admiration for people who take action instead of talking… and people who are out there doing active environmental work.

“John’s leading the way…and is doing fantastic work and thankless work.

“I’ve nothing but admiration for his stamina alone and it’s great to see the real difference he is making.”

In recent months, Collie has been working with the Herpetological Society of Ireland on a number of projects to establish wetlands across the capital.

He also engaged in a Trinity College biodiversity audit on the grounds of Áras an Uachtarain, where nearly 800 different species of plant, animal and fungi species were discovered.

The Tallaght conservationist also featured on RTE’s Claire Byrne Live last week, during which he introduced viewers to the simple steps we can all take to support bio-diversity within our own gardens.

Looking back over recent months, Collie said: “Covid put a severe damper on most field work and we couldn’t plan ahead. 

“A lot of projects were put on pause, but there’s plenty of planning for the future.

“It’s been a strange year but hopefully we’re coming towards the end of the tunnel.”

Shifting his focus locally, Collie spoke of how great it was to see people out and about, enjoying their environment in recent months.

“It’s been great to see people using local facilities like Dodder Valley Park and Sean Walsh Park, and, for the most part, using these facilities respectfully”, Collie said.

“There has been an increase in people’s appreciation for their green spaces, and we’re realising just how valuable they are to us.

“When you’re living within a 5km radius, it really brings home the importance of our patches of grass, our fields, lakes and rivers.

“And, in a built-up area like Tallaght we need these areas and we need to protect them.”

Do you know a person of group deserving of a Certificate of Appreciation?

TCC has encouraged members of the community to virtually present their Certificate of Appreciation by email or by tagging their unsung hero or group on social media using the hastag #OurHeroesYourChoice.

The certificate is available to download from The Echo website here; http://echo.ie/CertificateOfAppreciation.pdf.

It can also be printed off for those who would like to post their certificate or present it safely, adhering to guidelines.

Visit the Tallaght Community Council Facebook page or Twitter account for further details on its #OurHeroesYourChoice initiaitve.

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