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Paul Clerkin

My sister got rang at home to fire her. They didnt have the balls or the courtesy to invite her into the office but I wouldnt have expected anything less

An Taisce forced to cut senior staff due to financial problems
Iva Pocock

An Taisce, the country’s largest environmental organisation, has told two
of its key staff members of its inability to continue their employment due
to financial difficulties.

The Irish Times has also learned that Earthwatch Ltd, the Irish branch of
the international organisation Friends of the Earth, has ceased trading
after 18 years of existence.

Mr John Bowler, who was employed as An Taisce’s head of public affairs just
four months ago, confirmed last night that he had received a letter from the
organisation yesterday morning saying his employment would end at the end of
the month.

“It’s a sorry state of affairs that there isn’t more funding going to
environmental organisations,” he said.

Ms Shirley Clerkin, the An Taisce natural environment officer since 2000,
also confirmed last night that she has been told of the “inability” of the
organisation to employ her as of the end of the month due to “serious
financial difficulties”.

An Taisce has a core staff of seven. The chairwoman of An Taisce, Ms
Stephanie Bourke, could not be contacted for comment last night. An Taisce’s
funding comes from membership fees, fundraising, and occasional research

According to a spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Heritage and
Local Government, An Taisce also received ? 63,000 per annum for three years
from 2001 to help fulfil its role as a “prescribed body” under planning

However that funding ended last year, the spokesperson confirmed last night.
But she said future funding was “under consideration.”

Meanwhile Mr Malcolm Noonan, a former board member of Earthwatch, confirmed
it has ceased trading.

Until last April it had one full-time employee as a supervisor of a
Community Employment scheme overseeing 11 part-time workers, but the
organisation then lost this scheme.

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