Pro Silva Ireland members welcome New Chairperson
At this year’s Autumn Field Day and AGM held on the 7th October 2023 in Co. Leitrim, we saw a change in leadership in Pro Silva Ireland.
Our esteemed chairperson, Liam Byrne, stepped down and Manus Crowley was nominated as his replacement, with Janice Fuller nominated to replace Manus as vice-chair.
Liam has led Pro Silva Ireland over the last four years in what has been a challenging, exciting and extremely rewarding time for Pro Silva Ireland. He faced the challenges of the Covid pandemic head-on by developing new (remote) ways of engaging the committee, members and the public and has powered on from there.
Some of the many successful of Pro Silva Ireland under Liam’s tenure include:
- Development of field engagement workshops, where the concept of CCF and associated practices is introduced to targeted stakeholder groups.
- Availing of DAFM forestry support funding for the first time and delivering a comprehensive range of projects in 2021 and 2022
- Engagement of a part-time administrator in 2022 to help meet the growing demands on our organisation, sustain our fantastic voluntary committee and increase engagement with our valued members
- Developing and delivering training courses for foresters, in association with DAFM, aimed at assisting them to engage with the WIS CCF Scheme and provide a greater understanding of CCF
- Strengthening our finances
- Fostering real engagement with many other stakeholders, both nationally and internationally
- Hosting, for the first time, the foreign study tour of a sister Pro Silva organisation
- And probably the pinnacle of Liam’s ‘career’ as chair was hosting the Annual Meeting of Pro Silva organisations in June 2023, where we showcased CCF and Irish culture to an international audience
Reflecting on his time as Chairperson
Liam highlighted that “it is the great work of our dedicated committee members and others that has made it possible to achieve and deliver so much over the last four years. Despite being a group of volunteers, these people work tirelessly in a professional manner on behalf of the members.”
“It has been one of the great privileges of my life to serve as chairperson of Pro Silva Ireland at this exciting and transformative time. Welcoming esteemed colleagues and friends to Ireland this summer for the Pro Silva Annual Meeting, and hearing their views and impressions of our achievements, leaves me with nothing but pride in our group and all its dedicated members.”
Liam’s commitment and dedication to PSI has been unwavering. He has consistently gone above and beyond what is required. Never one to shy away from work he can be found with a chainsaw preparing demonstration sites, putting up signs, delivering workshops, sending emails at all hours, supporting and motivating the committee, and infecting us all with his passion for CCF.
Thank you Liam for all you have done as chairperson.
Thank also to Liam’s family – Sylvia, his children Jimmy and Clara, and his three brothers/business partners – for allowing Liam to dedicate so much time to a mission he is passionate and driven to pursue.
Liam is not going far and will continue as an active and hardworking member of the Pro Silva Ireland committee, leading CCF projects and training throughout Ireland.
Our new chairperson, Manus Crowley
Pro Silva Ireland remains in excellent hands. Our new chairperson, Manus, comes with a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion for CCF and Pro Silva. He joined Pro Silva Ireland in 2008 and has been on the committee for over a decade, where he has held the positions of treasurer and vice-chair.
Manus has a BSc in Environmental Biology (Ecology) from UCD and an MSc in Environmental Forestry from Bangor University, Wales, integrating ecology and forestry into his practice as a forester.
He has a wide experience in all aspects of forestry, particularly in CCF, afforestation and native woodlands, and has a strong reputation for working closely with forest owners.
Manus also works as a consultant to special projects, such as Coillte’s Bio-Forest project, and is a well-known musician, scout leader, husband to Jane, and father of three children.
With Janice Fuller as vice-chair, who also brings extensive knowledge and passion for forest ecology, public engagement and communication, the big (chainsaw) boots left by Liam will be comfortably filled!
Now Manus, over to you…
Check out the Chairperson’s report 2023, which was also presented at the AGM.