Caoimhes Mindful Pause

Caoimhes’ Mindful Pause emerged from my hearts longing to make a contribution to Ireland’s soil, soul, and society since I first heard that Ash Tree is a seriously endangered species globally, due to Ash die back disease.

The hurley is a symbol of Irelands’ culture. 

Ireland’s main cultural sporting games are called hurling, camogie and gaelic football. The stick we use to play hurling and camogie is called a hurley, and our hurleys are made from Ash. 

Ash Tree has been giving us her body to play our grass-root Irish gaelic cultural games throughout the generations – possibly since before Cú Chulainn’s time! 

Ash has been cherished in Ireland, for centuries. 

There was a time when Ash tree was so respected here that she was called a “Noble of the Wood”. This the highest classification of tree species under Brehon Law. It was deemed illegal at this time to cut down an Ash Tree without permission. 

Our people beheld the Ash Trees’ presence as being so inherently valuable that they protected the tree species. 

Three of the five great trees which guarded the provinces of Ireland were Ash Trees.  Today, Ash Tree is still found at almost every sacred site and holy well throughout Ireland.  

I’m a regenerative sustainability leadership consultant and a life member of Ireland’s Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).

I grew up in a passionate GAA family, and had the great privilege to represent Cork ladies football in my youth.

When I first heard of Ash Trees’ endangered situation, the countless times I played with my team-mates on emerald green fields holding Ash Tree hurley in our hands came flooding into my memory. I felt great appreciation for this Tree who has given so much to myself, my family, our ancestors, and our society in Ireland, and around the world. My heart was moved to make a contribution with my community. 

In May 2021, I wrote and shared this poem, along with a presentation slides strategy, with our leaders in the GAA headquarters in Dublin as a creative way to present my vision for a native tree planting initiative that would place a respect and appreciation of Ash Tree and the Earth at the centre – and offer our GAA leaders and invitation for us to collaborate on it together.

I’m very grateful and humbled to have been granted an opportunity to collaborate voluntarily with the GAA’s exemplary Green Clubs Programme, and that we successfully secured the greatly appreciated funding from the Irish Government Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine which I proposed from the outset we apply for to fund this initiative. 

This funding directly empowered our local GAA clubs nationwide to plant and grow 10,000 native trees into Ireland’s soil in March 2023.

These trees are a part of the Green Clubs Programmes larger pre-existing tree planting project which is planting and growing 100,000 native trees across the whole island of Ireland inclusive of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, across the 2022-2023 tree planting seasons.

Throughout this collaboration, I have been emphasising that we in the GAA have been cutting down circa 50,000 Ash Trees [1] every year to make our huleys in Ireland for quite some time, which means that we have a particular responsibility to the Ash Tree, and the Earth, on account of this.

We live in a time of climate emergency and significant species extinction, and organisations like ours all around the world are awakening together to an urgent call to honour our ecological responsibilities. 

In recent years our GAA organisation has been taking the lead and delivering brilliant world-class sustainability initiatives through the GAA’s Green Clubs Programme and the GAA’s Ash Tree Society.

A living relationship of respect, balance and reciprocity with Nature is a foundational principle for all real long-lasting sustainability initiatives. 

I put forward a vision for two peacemaking initiatives which are designed to systemically build on the Green Clubs Programmes wide-ranging sustainability initiatives, and further support us as a community to restore peace and reciprocity in our relationship with Nature. 

These initiatives are aligned with the United Nations Resolutions is “Harmony with Nature.”

At the heart of my vision is an invitation to us to bring forward our GAA values of respect forward in the context of the Earth by respecting the Ash Tree for her inherent value – rather than as a resource for our utility.

I’m delighted to share that after carrying this vision in my heart for a few years, I was given the opportunity to lead our Green Clubs community into initiating our first 1 minutes silence offered in thanksgiving to the Earth and Ash Tree in respect of Nature’s intrinsic value, and in appreciation for all the Earth gives us – the land for our GAA pitches, the hurleys and footballs we play with, the jerseys we wear, the food, water and nourishment to live and play. This community ceremony took place at Connaught GAA Centre For Excellence in March 2022. 

In March 2023 I was also grateful to lead our Green Clubs Community at Kerry GAA Centre for Excellence into offering the 100,000 trees from the 2022 & 2023 planting seasons as an offering to the earth to repair our relationship with Nature for having come out of balance and reciprocity – given the amount of Ash trees we cut down throughout the years with little soil replenishment in return until very recently.

I continue to encourage our leaders to live true to our organisation’s ecological responsibility to the Earth and future generations of children and wildlife, inviting us to sufficiently replenish the soil this year, and every year going forward, in reciprocity for the trees we cut down annually to make our hurleys and create/extend our pitches.

I also encourage our leaders and community to live true to our Trust to the endangered Ash Tree, and ensure we continue to work with Nature to help to protect and regenerate Ash Tree in her time of need. 

Nelson Mandela said “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite.”

Sporting organisations have the power to mobilise our communities in service to large-scale climate action for the benefit of future generations and the planet. 

I give great kudos to our exemplary leaders in the GAA Green Clubs Programme for leading the way, and I hope many other sporting and non sporting communities may benefit from hearing about the regenerative sustainability initiatives our leaders and community are implementing.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine agus an domhain.  [2]

I’m a member of the GAA. The views I share in my poem, poet note, writings, interviews, and public talks are entirely my own. I do not speak on behalf of the GAA, or any other organisation. 


Caoimhes Mindful Pause

It’s camogie final day in County Mayo.
The sun is shining, the players are rearing to go.
In the dressing room the home team have let out an almighty cheer!
Their captains pep talk was riveting for all to hear. 

Caoimhe shares words of thanks from her heart,
to her managers and selectors – community volunteers who are a part
of the living legacy of Ireland’s cultural games.
Now passing on the torch to her generation, with flames of passion lighting ablaze! 

Caoimhe positions herself to ensure that she is last in line
to run out towards the pitch this time.
At the entrance gate, she takes a mindful pause
to honour ancient ways and natural laws.

Time stands still as she momentarily kneels down,
and places her right hand on hallowed ground.
Bowing her head to her heart she thanks Creator for loving her every day,
and for giving her the gifts and health to play.

Caoimhe invokes the courage to give her absolute best,
and promises to do her all for her village in the West,
to give glory and delight to the eternal One.
She’s determined to play today with fierce grit, and fun!

Caoimhe caresses the soil with her hand,
and gives thanks to Mother Earth for so generously giving her body for land,
To enable us to play Ireland’s cultural games all these years
Even while so many of us have been nescient to her sentience, her ecocide… her cries, her tears.

Ériu hears Caoimhe’s compassion,
and in return blesses her with the strength of her mountains,
yhe courage of her streams, and the wild freedom of her winds!  

With hurley in hand, Caoimhe imagines us sourcing camán wood
In ways harmonious with “original instructions” [3] that Earth Protectors have always understood.
She prays that all in our one human family
May unite to re-plant native trees and regenerate Nature’s biodiversity.

Caoimhe stands and runs to shake hands with the centre back – who now silently wishes she wasn’t assigned this marking role! 
For Caoimhe is filled with strength from the circle of life and the oneness of the whole!
The referee blows his whistle – it’s heard throughout North Mayos’ valleys and hills,
And so, the county camogie final game begins!

Our Irish ancestors referred to Ash Tree as a Noble of the Wood,
She’s part of Ireland’s culture – beautiful and good.
Now an endangered species, Ash is calling to our hearts to live our ancient role,
As guardians of the Earth, and lovers of Ireland’s cultural soul.

Poet Note

Thank you for reading Caoimhes’ Mindful Pause. In my poem note below I expand on the initiatives I introduced in the introduction to the poem. 

Ash Tree, Noble of the Wood:

Ash Tree is highly esteemed in Ireland’s culture, ecology, mythology, history, and spirituality. 

One of the ancient bardic names for Ireland was “Inis na bhfiodhadh” – Island of the Sacred Trees. 
Three of the five great trees that guarded the provinces of Ireland were Ash Trees: Bile Tortan near Tara, Craeb Daithi in Farbill, and Bile Uisneg in Uisneach. 

Today, Ash Tree is one of our few remaining native trees, and is a severely endangered species globally due to Ash Dieback Disease. 

Ash is also under further threat from the emerald ash borer beetle, and human-made climate change.  

There are almost 1,000 associated species nourished by Ash Tree, including 12 types of birds, 55 mammals, and 239 invertebrates. Ash Tree is the sole food plant for a number of species of insects, mosses and lichens.

The scientists and Ash Tree experts I’ve been consulting with over the last 7 years are predicting that millions of Ash Trees in Europe will need to be felled in the coming years, due to the disease. 

It has been illegal for many years to replant Ash trees, on account of the way ash die back disease spreads. 

This means that each one of the Ash trees we’ve been cutting down each year for our hurley and camogie sticks are sadly for the most part – gone, unless we as guardians work with Nature to regenerate her soil and help foster the conditions that can give this esteemed tree species every possible opportunity to make a recovery.

At this time of climate crisis and significant species extinction, organisations like ours all around the world are awakening together to an urgent call to transition away from just extracting the earths resources, towards being mindful of the resources we do choose to use, while also replenishing the soil annually in reciprocity.

Our recent collective awakening is in a great part thanks to youth climate strikers, climate scientists, UN Sustainability Development Goals, and all who inwardly and outwardly serve earth rights and climate action.

I’ve been highlighting to our leaders that we have a particular ecological responsibility to the Earth and to the Ash Tree on account of the circa 50,000+ Ash Trees [1] we’ve been cutting down annually to make our hurleys throughout the years.

We also have a Trust to the land, and to future generations of children and wildlife to replenish the soil sufficiently for the resources we utilise to plant seeds for a liveable future for them.

Responsibility to the Earth

As a sporting community we can further live true to our ecological responsibility to the Earth through replenishing the soil this year, and every year going forward, for the trees we cut down to make our hurleys, and extend our pitches. 

This action of reciprocity would maintain balance and harmony in our relationship with Nature.

In recent years our leaders in the GAA have been designing and delivering highly impactful initiatives for the good of Nature through the GAA’s Green Clubs Programme. Many of these initiatives are exemplary on a world class level. 

There are also some local clubs championing their own sustainability initiatives – the GAA Connacht Centre of Excellence in County Mayo is particularly outstanding in this regard. 

The GAA’s Ash Tree Society, made up of representatives from Coillte, the Department of Agriculture, the Irish Guild of Ash Hurley Makers, Limerick & Tipperary Ash Growers, and Teagasc, have also been doing vital work in partnership with experts on breeding resistance programs.

Over the last few years, I’ve been persuaded that we as a united gaelic games community could contribute more systemically to climate action, soil replenishment, and culture regeneration.

I’ve implemented a series of recommendations on how we can restore our living relationship with the Earth based on my FIVE ‘R’ Regenerative Sustainability Framework: Respect, Responsibility, Repair, Reciprocity, and Regeneration. 

Harmony with Nature

Given that we cut down 50,000+ trees every year to make our hurleys, we’d need to be replenishing the soil annually in a way that makes our soil regeneration initiatives equivalent to approximately 100,000-150,000 trees.

This figure is based on a right relationship of reciprocity with Nature. 

For ever 1 tree we cut down to make our hurleys, we’d need to be replenishing the soil with the equivalent of 2-3 trees – naturally leaving the soil a little healthier for the next generation.

Sufficient soil replenishment may be any blend of direct GAA led tree planting initiatives, biodiversity projects, along with the GAA’s Ash Tree Society’s vital work on Ash tree propagation.

This figure only factors into account our hurley making process. It doesn’t factor into account the replenishment we’d need to do to reciprocate for the trees we cut down to build or extend our GAA pitches annually. 

Our organisations existing sustainability initiatives through the Ash Tree Society and Green Clubs Programme have been going a very real way to restore some of the balance in recent years. 

Real long-lasting positive systemic change can and will only happen when we take full responsibility in this moment.  The first step is to own our ecological responsibility to Nature as one united GAA community.

I venture forward to share my messages here, as someone who is tremendously supportive of all our GAA’s brilliant existing sustainability initiatives, because I believe this emphasis on right relationship, thanksgiving and soil reciprocity is needed for us to fully live our noble Trust and adventure as guardians of the land now, and long-term into the future. 

Respect for Earth

Throughout this initiative I’ve been offering an invitation to us to consider further bringing our GAA value of respect forward into action in the context of the Earth. 

In May 2021, I invited our GAA leaders to consider offering an annual 1 minute silence at the first or final games held in Croke Park every year – in appreciation for the Earth for her inherent value, and for all the resources she to us to live, work, and play our gaelic games. 

Following on from making this recommendation, I was delighted to be invited to lead participants and GAA partners into a 1 minutes silence in thanksgiving to the Earth at the launch of the first GAA Green Clubs Programme gathering in Connacht Centre for Excellence in March 2022. 

This was the first time a thanksgiving was offered to the Earth as a GAA community, and after carrying the vision for it in my heart for so many years it was a joy to participate with everyone. I also included an honouring of our past, present and future generations at home and abroad.   

In March 2023 I was grateful to lead us into our second community thanksgiving at Kerry Centre of Excellence. The Green Clubs Programme is now looking to roll out a thanksgiving ceremony with this focus annually in each of our local participating tree planting club communities as a way to bring forward our GAA value of respect for Nature. 

Right Relationship

As we open our hearts to feel our belonging to Ireland’s land, we instinctually feel moved to protect her species and steward her ecology.

Throughout this collaboration, I highlighted an awareness that there was an opportunity present for us to offer our wider tree planting projects in repair of our relationship with the Earth, so that we can return back into peace, balance and harmony with Nature.

Then, every subsequent year going forward, the annual soil replenishment and regeneration projects we offer in the spirit of reciprocity and appreciation for any resources we utilise, would serve us to maintain a right relationship with Ireland’s land.  

In March 2023, in Kerry GAA Centre for Excellence, I led our Green Clubs Programme community into offering the 100,000 native trees from last years and this years tree planting seasons as an offering to repair our relationship with Nature for having come out of balance, up until our recent native tree planting mobilisation projects.

This served us as a GAA community to further restore peace and harmony in our relationship with Nature this year.  It is my hope going forward that many other sporting organisations and non sporting communities will learn from, and follow these peacemaking initiatives that we introduced here. 


Responsibility to Ash Tree

In direct response to the Earth’s rights and needs, I invite us to conscientiously consider what is the most noble action we can take relative to the material that we use to make our hurleys, both in the short term and longer term? 

It is clear we need a solution for our hurleys that is sustainable for the needs of the whole circle of life at this time of ecological emergency – for the earth and all her diverse species – not only for us one human species. 

We also need to stand in solidarity and support of the livelihoods of our hurley craftspeople and farmers, especially if a transition to a new resource is needed.

The Future of the Hurley

My intention is not to sway one towards my personal view regarding what material to use for our hurleys going forward. I don’t pertain to have ‘the’ answer to the future of the hurley myself. Rather, I believe that we need unity and a platform for shared conversations to come up with a win-win solution.  

We in our GAA are a community of tremendous heart and good will, and my intention is to invite us to open up a conversation and discern right action together.

In addition to our GAA’s continued consultations with ecological experts regarding the best way forward for the hurley, I’d love to see our whole community organisation somehow unite and brainstorm a wider range of creative regenerative ideas, options, and possible solutions.

At this point in her uncertain future, my starting point as I pondered the question of the hurley and the Ash Tree in my heart over the last few years has been to first clarify where I stand inwardly at this critical moment in time in the midst of huge species extinction and species loss all around the planet.

I’m personally choosing to stand for and with the Earth, who is uncompromising, and for a sustainable future for the next 7 generations of children and wildlife into the future. 

One possibility I’ve presented back to the GAA is to consider utilising some of the millions of Ash Trees in Europe that are about to be felled on account of the Ash Die Back disease. 

I’ve been advised by scientists and ecology organisations that there is a possibility that we in the GAA community could be a real part of the solution for the Ash Tree situation, by serving the Earth to recycle wood through utilising this wood. If this wood is not utilised, it will sadly be burned. 

The first step would be to see if this makes a good hurley. It may, or may not – but it may be a good starting point to check. This is just one regenerative option to explore. I expect there are many other options available too. 

A hybrid hurley, using some plastic material washed up from the oceans for example, may be another possibility which holds potential for us to take another step forward.

Whichever option we choose, it’s vital we conscientiously source our wood/resources as close to home as possible to save on unnecessary carbon emissions from long distance international transportation, which is a significant polluter. 

While millions of Ash Trees are predicted to be felled in the coming years, scientific research also shows that a minority are showing signs of resistance. 

I hope the vital and beautiful work of the GAA’s Ash Tree Society is granted more support in the years ahead to collect Ash Tree populations that show resistance to ash dieback, and then plant these trees in Ireland and elsewhere. 

Scientists have advised me that we need to encourage the propagation and planting of these resistant trees, and crosses amoungst them, to play our part to serve the Ash Tree with a chance of survival. They say this work can be more efficient if we use genetic tests, which allows us to bring together trees with different sorts of resistance, to make more resistant trees. 

Respect for Trees

My invitation is that the trees we are cutting down to make our hurleys in the meantime can be approached with respect for their intrinsic value and presence. 

With the climate emergency and challenges present today, the solution lies in restoring and maintaining a respectful and caring relationship for Nature.

A friend of mine who manages an organic food growing garden in London, told me how they needed to cut down one of their oak trees. 

Before they did so, many of the workers and volunteers at the community garden gathered together to pay their respect to this Oak Tree, and to offer their appreciation 
for the the tree, and for the thousands of species that this tree had sustained throughout her life.  

This honouring of a relationship in my view is a good role model of the care that can be brought into this process. 

Many of our ancestors before us have known for millennia how to live in harmony with the Earth. They approached Nature with thanksgiving and reverence, and they replenished the soil annually for any resources they utilised.

“They lived in a world of kinship on many levels: not masters, not the dominant species, but part of a living tapestry – just one species amoung many – where the hunter asked the spirit of the animal for permission to hunt, and the gatherer for the plant’s blessing to harvest. Here there was no hierarchy but an interdependent world both physical and spirit, all part of one community that could communicate through dance and dream, song and prayer.” Llewellyn Vaughan Lee. [4] 

It’s only in very recent years – less than a blink of an eye, that a worldview of disconnection spread, and since then we collectively forgot these ways of being in right relationship with the land that nourished life for centuries. As this collective societal disconnection occurred just so recently – it can easily be restored on an individual and community level. 

ireland, forest, tree-2701536.jpg

Planting and Growing Trees

What’s most valuable in this project is not just the planting of trees into Ireland’s soil – it’s the love and care that goes into the planting and growing of the trees.

Just like children need support to nurture their growth, trees also need care during their early development to support them to survive and thrive.  A willingness to listen to what planting trees asks of us opens up a quality of humility that allows us to enter into a conscious relationship as we work with Nature in the process of planting and growing trees. 

Prior to the launch of the tree planting project, I invited the Green Clubs Programme to create an educational resource for clubs on Tree Health and Wellness at pre-planting, during planting, and post-planting stages, to ensure the long-term development of the trees. 

Every local community has knowledgeable organic horticulturists, garden centres, and tree planting experts. I encourage local GAA sporting communities to invite them to guide you in your tree planting initiatives if needed.


Invitation to Unite Ireland’s Culture for Earth Stewardship

As one Irish culture, there’s a beautiful opportunity for us to unite in support of the well-being of Ireland’s ecology, and in appreciation for a living symbol of Irish culture who has given so much to Irish people all around the world!  

On the tree planting day itself, some GAA communities may find it very meaningful to invite their local musicians, youth groups, tidy towns groups, councillors, community groups, schools, historians, climate action groups, myth and story-tellers, Irish dancers, elders, diverse local multicultural groups, and spiritual/faith groups to contribute to the tree planting day, either in person or on zoom, covid permitting.

I’m also envisioning, with others, that some of us may unite together to co-create a bi-lingual Irish and English teachers resource for primary and secondary schools, gael scoils, and special needs schools on earth stewardship for youth leaders, while particularly highlighting an appreciation for our inter-belonging with the Earth, and an awareness of Ash Trees’ very unique place in Ireland’s rich heritage.   


My Story

“Real change will only happen when we fall in love with the planet.”  Thich Naht Hanh, a pioneer of mindfulness in the West, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee [5.]

In my youth 
GAA was my passion. I was either training or playing a match most nights of the week. I played hurling and football in Aghada with the boys as there were no girls team in our GAA club at that time. I later went on to play camogie for Killeagh when I could arrange lifts to the nearest girls team which was located 25kms away from my home – each way!

When I first heard of Ash Trees endangered species condition, my heart filled with love and grief for Ash Tree – a natural response when one has made a heart connection.

Many people, especially our young people, feel grief as they become aware of the reality of the climate emergency and species loss taking place on our planet. It is natural to feel heart-break as we bear witness to the ecological devastation and species extinction that we see taking place on our beautiful planet, our home.

As I nurtured the seeds of care for Ash Tree in my heart over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have shared many conversations with some world renowned peace activists, spiritual and faith leaders, indigenous elders, scientists, eco-lawyers, eco-psychologists, ecological conservation charity ceo’s, ash tree specialists, environment protectors, social change-makers, wildlife experts, life coaches, and sustainability experts, which continue to inspire my work.

My message to young people today is that eco-grief can be transformed into a deep trust, active hope, and compassionate community action for climate regeneration.  Feel welcome to access my blog post here if you or a loved one are looking for resources to support with eco-grief:

Inter-Being with Earth

An essential awareness of our inter-being and belonging with the Earth rests at the core of my vision for this project.

“The Earth is everywhere. You may be used to thinking about the Earth as only the ground beneath your feet. But the water, the sea, the sky, and everything around us, comes from the Earth. Everything outside us and everything inside us comes from the Earth….” “…The Earth is not just the environment we live in. We are the Earth and we are always carrying her within us.” [5.]

Recent emerges in science affirm that we are part of Nature. The core of our existence is inter-related with every other living being and species around the world.  As a contemplative I know that when we can learn how to attune ourselves to the underlying harmony principle of relatedness that exists at the heart of life which allows the living world to unfold in the best possible way.

The views I share are my own. I’m a member of the GAA, I don’t speak on behalf of the GAA, or any other organisation.

I personally present an inclusive inter-spiritual vision here in my personal blog because I’m persuaded that remembering the sacredness of ourselves, each other, and the landscape, is the foundation for real ecological sustainability and regeneration. 

Our hearts are instinctually moved to respect, appreciate and protect what we love and what we behold as sacred.

Underneath all of the outer crises present in our society – climate emergency, extinction of species, war, extraction of the Earth’s resources, soaring rates of depression and suicide, social crises and political unrest, is an inner spiritual crisis. 

We have collectively turned our hearts away from the Source of real nourishment, meaning and belonging. We have forgotten that we are one human family, that we are a part of Nature – at one with the wider earth community. 

Denying the sacred dimension of life might be normalised in our collective society today, but doing so still comes at a huge cost. 

It has real destructive personal, health and societal consequences which we can see playing out all around us in our world community today. 

Given that we are still living in a moment in time when our societal worldview is still awakening from false ideas of separation and disconnection, towards a reverence for life’s living unity and inter-dependance, I appreciate the real fruits of my vision may be ready to emerge more fully into our mainstream culture in many of our childrens or grandchildrens lifetime, rather than today.

I’ve still decided to venture forward to share my vision as a form of seed planting, in the trust that one day when the timing is right, my little seed vision may unite with many other seed visions, and be implemented by future generations of Earth stewards in our cultural games community. 

As for today, I’m persuaded that if we may be willing to unite our love and passion for our games, for Nature, and for a healthy future for our children… and place that love into our tree planting initiatives, then we as a united GAA community will be making a very real and valuable contribution.

As a collective human society, we cannot stop all of the challenging consequences that are coming our way according to the science on the climate emergency.  We have a brief window of opportunity now to unite together at a grass root level, decide the values we are going to live by in the challenging times ahead, and help to build resiliency in our local communities and ecologies. 

Every community in Ireland, and around the world, needs to have community soil regeneration, agroecology, and Earth care biodiversity initiatives if we are to truly adapt and make our soil as resilient as possible for the benefit of all species, including us humans.  Resource distribution and climate justice needs to be central to this work. 

The many GAA Green Clubs Programme sustainability initiatives are already uniting and mobilising communities together to take local action when it is needed – role modelling what is needed for the present moment, and the times ahead.  

I give great kudos to our leaders in the GAA Green Clubs Programme, and the GAA Ash Tree Society for pioneering so many brilliant sustainability and climate action initiatives. I feel so grateful for everyone who are uniting together and participating in the tree planting and growing initiatives in our communities.

Final Reflection

Love takes us into the unknown, and opens us up to many possibilities to serve it’s life giving impulse.

“Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into a sacred bond.” Robin Wall Kimmerer [6].

It is my hope that we may continue to unite together as a community and live our most noble task and adventure as guardians of the Earth. 

I thank you for your kind attention. I also welcome and invite your support. Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine agus an domhain.

Is mise le meas
Lynda Ní Mhuirgheasa

I’m Lynda Morrissey, a senior consultant, transformational coach, and regenerative sustainability consultant who lives in County Mayo, Ireland. 

I’m passionate about bringing forward creative ways to re-imagine our culture and society while deepening a reciprocal relationship with the natural world.

The African proverb rightly says “It takes a village…”  

Many individuals have directly or indirectly played role in my journey as an advocate for Ash Tree and for systemic sustainability. 

I feel very grateful to have had the privilege to learn directly from a diverse range of spiritual, faith and indigenous wisdom leaders over the years, whose work continues to inspire my heart.

Particularly the ‘Soil, Soul, Society’ philosophy of Gandhian activist Satish Kumar; ‘The Work That Reconnects founded by the Buddhist environmental activist by Joanna Macy; ‘A 4 Point Plan’ written by the Sufi teacher Llewelyn Vaughan-Lee, PhD; along with conversations I shared with a Native American Elder, Tiokasin Ghosthorse of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota; and Michael Meade, Founder of Mosaic Voices and an early pioneering voice in the Mens Movement.

An additional heartfelt gratitude to all of the Ash Tree specialists, eco-lawyers, scientists, politicians, evolutionary biologists, mythologists, story-tellers, musicians, sportspeople, environmental activists, artists, and friends who listened to my heart’s longings, especially: Johnny Broderick, MEP Seán Kelly, Vincent Morrissey, Julia Butterfly-Hill, Jenny Cox,  Dr. Mark McMullan, Professor Chris Baker,  Polly Higgins (peace be with her), Professor Richard Buggs, Clare Martin, Matt Smith, and all my family and friends.  My heartfelt thanks to Ash Tree.

End Notes:

[1] Quoted from the GAA’s website on 3rd March 2016:

[2] “Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine” is an ancient Irish saying that means: we are stronger together; we live in each others shadow; we are interdependent and interconnected with each other. I have personally added “agus an domhain” to this beautiful Irish phrase, to include an awareness of our interbeing with the living Earth. We are bonded together in kinship and love.

[3] “Original Instructions’ of First Nation indigenous people is a term that points to orally transmitted guiding instructions that orientate our heart towards inwardly and outwardly living in harmony, peace and a reciprocal right relationship with Creator, Earth, each other, all our seen and unseen relatives, past and future generations in our daily lives. There are naturally very real consequences when we individually and collectively ignore guidelines for peaceful, harmonious and respectful relations, as we see so evidently now in the climate emergency.

[4] Quoted with permission,  Emergence Magazine, May 20th 2021 edition. Quote by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, PhD, Where the Horses Sing. Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee is the author of many books, including on the theme of Spiritual Ecology. 

[5] Quoted from Thich Naht Hahn’s website:

[6] Robin Wall Kimmerer is the author of the New York Times Bestseller, Braiding Sweetgrass. 


‘Caoimhe’s Mindful Pause’ Poem and Poem Note © by Lynda Morrissey, 2023. All rights reserved.