Ours to Protect

Ep 47 - ACT Waterford

Ep 47 - ACT Waterford

Orla hears from two southeast projects promoting climate action thanks to funding from ACT Waterford.

Did you know?

Did you know there are many different ways to promote climate action and awareness? In this week's episode, Orla chats to creatives with ACT Waterford about their projects designed to encourage action on climate change.

What is ACT Waterford?


ACT Waterford is an interdisciplinary project which brings together Waterford City and County Council (WCCC) and South East Technological University (SETU) in an exciting project funded by Creative Ireland Climate Action fund.

Orla took a trip to the heart of the Copper Coast, halfway between Tramore and Dungarven. An idyllic little spot where my family and Sean Corcoran lives. They’ve opened a little gallery here called the Art Hand.

“Well it's kind of like when the summertime comes we kind of, lots of visitors and tourists come and but for the winter and on the overcast days we have the place to ourselves which is also a glorious thing to behold”, Sean told Orla.

Sean is one of a number of South East artists working with ACT Waterford, a creative climate action project with Waterford City and County Council and South East Technological University. Sean is well known for his beach art.


“I'm an environmental artist, most people these days would know me for creating giant pictures on beaches with a garden rake. This is the second phase of the ACT Waterford project. ACT stands for Action Climate Target and I'm visiting Sean at his gallery and studio the Art Hand to find out what his plans are for a project that considers the creative arts and climate action.

“It's a huge dilemma, I mean it is a climate crisis, there is no doubt about that and there's no point in being in denial of that and that saddens me in many ways but sometimes you kind of have to overcome that sadness and kind of get on with it and try and do your own little bit and communicate your best kind of way in terms of simple little things mean a lot in terms of they really do add up.

“As an environmental artist it's not that I've dedicated my life to the environment, it's more that I work in the environment but at the same time a lot of my projects would be to do with how we can better serve the environment”

For his ACT Waterford project, Sean will create a community mosaic. It's a food sustainability environmental project and we'll be using plates and cups and you can see some of my collection down there on the shelves down below me and some of the bits stuck on the wall down there.


“Crockery, plates, cups, saucers and so on. So it's kind of highlighting the kind of reuse and recycling of materials that are used in food production and restaurants and in homes around the country.”

"It's a countywide project including Dungarven, Tramore and Waterford. So really really excited. It's called “Donate A Plate”. Even though it's going to be fairly large and epic in scale, the fact that it's made of crockery and donations of everyone will be sticking it together. I'll be just really facilitating it. My wife Miranda and I will be facilitating it. But in terms of the design it's more than likely going to be basically a giant jigsaw puzzle patchwork quilt of interesting items from your granny's teapot to your favorite mug. So it's not specifically about the food, it's about everything around the food and do restaurants every year, is there a new vogue where we have to get new plates and new cups and new sauces or something like that? I thought it's a project where we're going to be researching all this and looking at and highlighting, showcasing kind of like the benefits of how we use the stuff around the food."

From mosaics to transport and Wexford based artist, theatre director and set designer Joanne Donohue has buses on her mind.

“The bus, you have to wait for it. Why are we trying to use all of our time so well that we don't leave ourselves time to do nothing? So it brought me around to ‘do nothing for climate change."

This is the second that Joanne has worked on sustainable transport with ACT Waterford. This next phase is 'Everyday Superheroes Moving with Conscience' and Joanne is working towards an immersive performance for Spraoi 2025.

Joanne will be organising many free workshops over the coming months so residents of Waterford can co-create and contemplate how travelling in a sustainable way can contribute to positive climate action.

To find out more:




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Ours to Protect is funded by Coimisiún na Meán with the Television Licence Fee.

This project is a partnership between Beat 102 103 and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland.

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