Meet the Team: Deirdre Joyce

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Deirdre Joyce is our Community Liaison Officer. Originally from Arklow, she has a huge amount of local knowledge, and brings to the project a wealth of experience in environment and climate policy research, and stakeholder engagement. A keen sea swimmer and photographer, Deirdre has captured some of her favourite spots along the coastline in our latest blog.

Deirdre Joyce

What attracted you to the job at Codling Wind Park?

The climate transition is all about changing how we live, changing our energy system, changing how we move about and what we eat. Codling Wind Park has a big part to play: bringing renewables to the people so that they can make the transition more easily.

What did you know about the project before you joined?

I had heard there was a plan to develop offshore wind off the east coast. I also knew about the government’s plan for 80% renewables on the electricity grid by 2030 under the Climate Action Plan. I am originally from Arklow and I could see the offshore turbines for Arklow Bank off the coast there, so I was familiar with how majestic they look on the horizon.

A view from Newcastle down to Kilcoole beach

Where are some of your favourite walks?

I love the coastline of Dublin and Wicklow. I absolutely love photography too – I studied it for three years in college as part of my course .And I have captured many of my favourite views and spots along the east coast over the years.

Have you always been interested in renewable energy?

I have always had an interest in looking at solutions to environmental problems. Renewables are a key part of the suite of solutions necessary for Ireland to establish itself as the clean energy beacon of Europe and leader in climate action.

View towards Wicklow coast from a Redcross field
Ennereilly beach view down towards Arklow Head

What’s been your career path to Codling Wind Park?

I’ve worked in environment and climate policy research and stakeholder engagement for more than 25 years. I’ve held various roles with the main environmental organisations in Ireland including: An Taisce, Ireland’s Energy Agency – SEAI, the Green Party, the Irish Green Building Council, and UCD’s school of planning and environmental policy.

Originally, I completed a degree in Environmental Resources Management in the Dublin Institute of Technology and did my thesis on Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). I then went on to do a Masters in Rural Planning in Scotland.

More recently, I completed a second Masters to develop a new form of stakeholder engagement that captures the social values people attach to the coastline with a view to incorporating this into EIA processes. This is a branch of environmental economics know as Ecosystem Services Valuation. It aims to recognise human values alongside the economic value of nature’s contribution to human wellbeing.

In the past few years, I’ve trained as a Mediator. This has taught me new ways to foster dialogue between developers/stakeholders and the communities based around local and national climate transition projects.

Are you from the local area?

I grew up in Arklow, a coastal maritime town with a strong heritage of fishing, sailing, shipping and ship building. I am not a sailor myself, but I took up sea swimming in 2019, taking my first winter plunge with the Happy Pear gang in Greystones on a December dawn.

The iconic Poolbeg towers, captured at sunset
Deirdre Joyce
Deirdre – second from right – with her fellow sea swimmers, post dip at an area looking over to Poolbeg, where the onshore substation for Codling Wind Park will be based.

Where do you like to sea swim?

I swim regularly along the Dublin coast from Malahide to Seapoint. I have also taken a dip in Bray and Greystones, and swim at the cove in Arklow.

What are you most proud of achieving in your life so far?

My proudest achievement is being the mother of three boys (now grown men!) who are living in Paris and Toronto as happy, independent people interested in all that life has to offer.

Read more about the benefits of Codling Wind Park for local communities. If you’re interested in working on the project, take a look at our available jobs.

The Cove, Arklow – a great swimming spot in the summer and winter!

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