The welcoming fire in the Strand Hotel, Omeath


One of the major events organised by the Cooley Environmental and Health Group is an annual winter workshop, usually in late January, on a selected theme. The first workshop was organised in 2001 as a Millennium event, and a Workshop been held each year subsequently. Each workshop has a number of guest speakers, but discussion is thrown open to the floor. The workshops are open to everyone, so please come along if you would like to contribute, or simply to learn.

Information will be provided below as it becomes known on the proposals for our next workshop to be held in January, 2019.

Please follow the links below to read reports on some of the previous workshops:
  • 2017 Workshop: Housing And Homelessness: Falling Through The Cracks
  • 2015 Workshop: Leadership and Participation: Community Development and the Demise of Local Government

The 2018 Winter Workshop was held on Saturday 27th January, 2018 at the Strand Hotel, Omeath. The topic for the 2018 Workshop was Mental Health Care in Louth 1918–2018 and Beyond.

The full list of speakers was as follows:

  • Lisa Butterly, historian
  • Dennis Pringle, geographer
  • Jim Walsh, Irish Advocacy Network
  • Sean Crudden, secretary IMPERO

Following the speakers, the Workshop broke up into three groups to discuss the following topics before reporting back to a concluding round table session:
  • Depression
  • Services
  • Suicide 

A more detailed report of the Workshop is provided here. Some photos from the Workshop may be viewed here.
The 2017 Workshop was held on Saturday 28th January, 2017 at 2pm in the Strand Hotel, Omeath on the theme Housing and Homelessness: Falling Through The Cracks. Three sub-themes were identified as focii for discussion. The keynote speakers on each of the themes were:
  • Sean Brosnan (money advisor, Money Advice and Budgeting Service) :  Insolvency, and the repossession of homes by banks, etc. in the private housing sector;
  • Niall Hayden; and
  • Michael Challoner.

A full report is presented here. Pictures of some of the participants at the 2017 Workshop may be viewed here.


The 2016 Workshop was on the theme Water: Guaranteeing A Safe Supply. We are fortunate in Ireland to be blessed with a plentiful supply, but that supply must be managed. We require an adequate infrastructure to guarantee that access to water will remain both clean and plentiful. Does the present infrastructure meet our current needs? What will be required to ensure that it will meet our future needs? What will be the cost of this infrastructure and how will it be paid for? Will this infrastructure be paid for from the public purse or will private capital be required? And if so, what would be the implications of private ownership?

These were some of the questions discussed at the 2016 Workshop 2016 where Ollan Herr was the guest speaker. A full report is presented here. Some photos from the Workshop may be viewed here.


The theme for the 2015 Workshop held on Saturday 24th January at 2pm in the Strand Hotel, Omeath was "Leadership and Participation: Community Development and the Demise of Local Government."

The 2015 workshop took place against a background of major ongoing reforms in Local Government. For some background information on these reforms please visit our Local Government page.

A full report of the meeting appears here.

Geraldine Kieran, Liam Kieran, Anne Muldowney and Dermot Mooney at the 2015 Workshop