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If you were to go down to the woods in Jenkinstown on Sunday (Jun 9) you would sure have a big surprise!! The serene calm of the woods was stirred by the arrival of several hundred concerned citizens who came to protest against the proposed sale of Coillte forests. Over 20 such walks took place in forests throughout the country on Sunday, all with a view to putting pressure on the Government to abandon their plans to sell the harvesting right of the state owned forests.

The Kilkenny walk was organised by the local community activist, Mick Greene and Paul Brennan from Future Proof Kilkenny. The attendance reflected the level of concern locally about the possible loss of public access to forests such as Jenkinstown Woods which are utilised heavily by dog walkers, joggers and families.

Liam Lysaght, the Director of the National Biodiversity Data Centre in Waterford, provided a very informative ecological tour through the woods and outlined how our state forests are a critically important refuge for our flora and fauna.

Cathy FItzgerald, local forest owner and Green Party Forest spokesperson (also standing in for Cllr Malcolm Noonan who couldn’t attend) praised people for engaging in this issue and highlighted that this was also an opportunity to think of the forests we want for the future. Cathy and the Greens are trying to promote that we need to urgently move away from monoculture, clearfell forestry toward European continuous cover forestry, for critical ecological benefits as well as economic reasons.

Young forest enthusiasts were not disappointed on the day with plenty of art activities and story telling for children and a surprise visit by the famous “Jenkinstown Fox”.

Several local musicians from bands, Boom Bust & Bailout, Whiskers of Lichen, Redneck Classics, The Men Who Play with Fog along with some great fiddle playing from Kate Powell provided the entertainment while the crowd enjoyed a picnic under a beautiful blue sky. Along with this a Poem composed by Kilkenny Poet Eoghan O’Drisceoil was read out by Mick Greene. (published below)

“This event was really a celebration of what we have and a showcase of what we could loose if the Government proceeds with the privatisation of the state forests. The forests were planted by past generations and have been maintained by public money over the years. They are here for our enjoyment and for the enjoyment of future generations to come. These forest belong to the people and they are not for sale.”

“The collective agreement on the day, is that this should be an annual event. I sincerely hope that the forests will be still open for us to enjoy and celebrate this time next year.”

We’re very thankful to Darragh Byrne for making this great video of the event. (Keep him in mind for your next big day out!)


MY HUNDRED TREES – Eoghan O’Drisceoil

I am the dreamer of dreams the weaver of spells
A hundred doves rise from my heart
carrying with them every prayer from every tree in this, my forest of a hundred trees,
they are simple things that the trees want to be left alone to grow and to give,
I lived on the forest floor and sung to the trees in the dusk
When I was a child it was my song the trees listened to
they were curious as to the world of man as was I,
when did I stop singing to the trees?
I like that his my forest of a hundred trees will go on long after me,
I did not plant them for me but for them who are to come
seasons came and went
the changes in the trees asking, asking me with promises to keep


For more information about the campaign to prevent the sale of almost 1.2 million acres of Irish Woodland to private investors, please email or contact Mick Greene on 085-1668149


As of June 19th the government has stated it will not go ahead with the sale of Coillte harvesting rights as part of its plan to sell State assets. Our campaign has been a success, Power to the People!!!

Read News Articles, Irish Times or RTE News

FPK would like to thank the following for the help and support of the Woodland Walk; Liam Lysaght of NBDC, Cathy Fitzgerald, Vered & Boaz Zur, Nicola O’ Reilly, Dorota Angowska, Monica Fleming, Mick Power and Coillte, Darragh Byrne, Eoghan O’Drisceoil, Tommy Downey and Dom Brennan of Jenkinstown, James Savage and all those musicians, performers and helpers who made great this special event.

The Irish Government is currently considering the sale of our public forests to private investors. The harvesting rights of more than 1 million acres will be lost for several generations and access to our forests could be severely limited. Our forests are a refuge for flora, fauna and humans alike. They belong to the citizens of Ireland and the future generations of this state.

Join us in a Woodland celebration walk in Jenkinstown Woods on June 9th to let our Government know that our natural heritage is not for sale. Our walk will be in solidarity with several other similar walks in forests throughout Ireland on the same day.

We will have a guided nature walk on the day lead by Wildlife Ranger Jimmy Conroy, some live music, face painting and art activities for the kids and end the day with a big picnic under the trees (please bring your own picnic)!!

This walk is being organised by Future Proof Kilkenny. If you want to get involved or would like further information, please email or contact Mick Greene on 085-1668149 / Paul Brennan on 087-7682912

Where: Jenkinstown Wood, Co. Kilkenny
When: Sun Jun 9, 12-2pm

A way to unleash people’s potential and creativity



In 1795 Thomas Paine wrote a pamphlet entitled “Agrarian Justice” wherein he argued that every citizen should be given a basic annual income on the sole basis that he or she is a citizen. The justification for this “gift” was that before humans ever populated the earth, land didn’t belong to anyone and it was only much later that individuals acquired land for themselves. With this, the landless were prevented from growing their own food and, in compensation, landowners should be obliged to pay a tax which would then be distributed to all.

Today this idea is witnessing a comeback in the face of massive unemployment and unequal distribution of wealth. It is no more just a question of land ownership but having access to a job or having the basic means to pursue a living. The present system accepts a certain percentage of unemployment and the welfare system tries to make it possible for people to survive. However, in order to do this we have created a huge administration where people have to prove that they are in need, or unable to work, or unable to get work – any work – to be entitled to hand outs. But will we ever be without the unemployed or, what is called, unemployables? Highly unlikely.

Any company is trying to cut costs. Labour costs occupy the highest position in any annual account. Science and modern technology are continually researching for ever better ways to replace the worker with machines. There will be fewer jobs for non-skilled workers and in addition, there will be fewer skilled workers necessary to do the work. It is intrinsic to the system that the unemployment rate will grow. The situation is such that fewer people will have jobs and those who do have jobs will earn very good salaries whereas the rest will be looking for ways to get one of those well paid jobs.

The idea of a basic income means that we accept the fact that there will be ever fewer jobs but that we do not demand that people look for jobs when there are none: instead they are free to do what they really want to do. If they can find a job that is fine; if they prefer to grow their own food; look after a sick person; paint, start their own business; play music, whatever – they receive a basic income to do this. Because they do not need to prove anything, they are free to prove that they are creative, have initiative and want to do something rather than stand in a line to sign on and be humiliated.

The initiative “Basic Income Ireland” will present the idea and the way forward on
Thursday, March 7th, 7-9 pm, Auxilia 1, North Campus, NUI, Maynooth.
For more info email:
Attendance is free and everyone is welcome.

Further Reading:

A group meeting will be held next Wednesday evening, December 5th here in Kilkenny.

We will be discussing the ongoing projects as well as some fresh ideas for 2013 in keeping a positive vision for Kilkenny.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in the events /activities of FPK
then please email us

Oct – Dec 2012

Join us again at the Hole in the Wall, High Street, Kilkenny, for Future Proof Kilkenny’s 6th season of films exploring the global issues of sustainability, justice, equality and the environment.
Films start at 8pm.  Admission is free of charge but a contribution of €5 is appreciated to cover our costs.


“Raised in the Trash trade”

A film by Mai Iskander – 2009

8pm Thursday 18th October

Garbage Dreams follows three teenage boys born into the trash trade and growing up in the world’s largest garbage village on the outskirts of Cairo. It is home to 60,000 Zaballeen. Arabic for “garbage people”. Far ahead of any modern “Green” initiatives, the Zaballeen survive by recycling 80 percent of the garbage they collect. When their community is suddenly faced with the globalisation of its trade, each of the teenage boys is forced to make choices that will impact his future and the survival of his community.


“A tale of modern-day outlaws”

A documentary film by Emily James – 2011
8pm Thursday 8th November
Just Do It lifts the lid on climate activism and the daring troublemakers who have crossed the line to become modern day outlaws. Documented over a year, Emily James’ film follows these activists as they blockade factories, attack coal power stations and glue themselves to the trading floors of international banks despite the very threat of arrest.
Just Do It is an independently produced film made possible by over 100 volunteers and 447 crowd funders.


“This hiding place should never be disturbed”

A film for the future by Michael Madsen – 2010

8pm Thursday 29th November
In Finland the world’s first permanent repository for high-level radioactive waste is being hewn out of solid rock. A huge system of underground tunnels is being constructed, tunnels which must last though natural disasters, man-made disasters, and societal changes for 100,000 years. Captivating, wondrous and extremely frightening, Into Eternity takes viewers on a journey never seen before into the underworld and into the future.


“can you save the planet without driving your family crazy?”

A Film by Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein – 201

8pm Thursday 13th December

Colin Beaver decides to completely eliminate his personal impact on the environment for a whole year. It means eating vegetarian, buying only local food, and turning off the refrigerator. It also means no elevators, no television, no cars, buses, or airplanes, no toxic cleaning products, no electricity, no material consumption, and no garbage. No problem – at least for Colin – but he and his family live in Manhattan. So when his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two-year-old daughter are dragged into the fray, the No Impact Project has an unforeseen impact of its own.

Supported by Kilkenny County Council Local Agenda 21

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