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June 04, 2008

Bog Doctor Joins Peatland Conservation Team


The Irish Peatland Conservation Council are delighted to announce the appointment of our newest member of staff, Cillian Breathnach. Cillian is employed as our Conservation and Reserves Officer. This is a new post created in 2008, with the aim of conserving peatlands in Ireland and showing the public how to restore damage caused to peatlands in the past.

A native of Kerry, though brought up in Offaly, Cillian brings a wealth of experience and training to the IPCC. He has a 1st class honours degree in Environmental Science from UCD. He studied for a masters degree in Peatland Restoration at the Université Laval in Québec, Canada. Cillian has previously worked in archaeological excavations of toghers in the Bog of Allen, as an inspector with the Environmental Protection Agency and as an Information Officer with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Cillian will be drawing up biodiversity management plans for the Reserves owned by the IPCC at Lullymore West and Lodge Bog in Co. Kildare and Fenor Bog, in Co. Waterford. He will also be leading groups of volunteers in flora and drain surveys of Lodge Bog. Cillian also plans to carry out research regarding Sphagnum moss ­ the bog building plant - regeneration on peatlands damaged by turf cutting. While some of these projects are funded by the Heritage Council, Cillian will also be contacting local businesses inviting them to participate in the projects or provide raw materials and funding to facilitate this important work.

"I grew up surrounded by peatlands in Offaly and always found them to be fascinating places. I was amazed by the results they have achieved in peatland rehabilitation in Canada and I hope to use what I learned there to help protect what remains of our peatlands and push for ecological rather than amenity-based rehabilitation of cutaway bogs in Ireland."