New Chair and Deputy Chair Announced for Ring of Gullion AONB Partnership
The Ring of Gullion Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership has elected a new Chair and Deputy Chairperson to champion this valued landscape.
Chairperson, Colleen Savage from Oriel Planning Events, succeeds Des Murphy who has held the post for an amazing twelve years. Deputy Chairperson, Conor McCooey from Regen Waste, succeeds Cllr Declan Murphy, who held the post for two years.
Colleen and Conor joined the Ring of Gullion AONB Partnership in 2021. The Partnership is a group of organisations and individuals who provide a coordinated approach to facilitate the management of the Ring of Gullion AONB. Managed by the AONB and Geopark team in Newry Mourne and Down District Council, membership is open to any person or organisation with an interest in the AONB’s biodiversity, heritage, recreation and sustainable tourism.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Valerie Harte said, “I would like to welcome Colleen and Conor to their new roles. They are taking up these positions at a really exciting time for the Ring of Gullion AONB Partnership. The Council has successfully secured funding of over £1.1 million from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s (NIEA) Environment Fund. This financial package will be combined with funding from the Council to make up an overall budget of £2.3million, which will enable the Ring of Gullion and Strangford and Lecale Partnerships to continue to coordinate and facilitate the management of the Ring of Gullion and Strangford & Lecale AONBs and the Strangford Lough, Murlough and Carlingford Lough Marine Protected Areas (MPA) for the next five years.
“I look forward to working with them to ensure that the Ring of Gullion AONB is not only conserved and enhanced for future generations, but the importance of the designation is understood and supported by local people and visitors alike.”
At a recent meeting, Des Murphy was presented with a locally crafted, handmade, wood-turned bowl as a mark of appreciation for the dedication he has shown to the Ring of Gullion Partnership. Speaking about Des’ contribution, Chairperson, Cllr Valerie Harte said, “During Des’ time as Chairperson of the Ring of Gullion AONB Partnership, he has always carried out his role with enthusiasm, always supportive of local heritage campaigns and available with his local knowledge to assist where he could. Des has been a valuable part of many successful funded projects for the Ring of Gullion and on behalf of the staff in the AONB and Geopark Team would like to thank Des for his support and hard work over the last twelve years.”
Visit www.ringofgullion.org to learn more about the partnership and its work.