Speech at the Tellus Data Launch in IONAD CULTÚRTHA AN PHIARSAIGH, CONAMARA,
Fáiltim roimh an deis seo chun labhairt ag seoladh do na sonraí is déanaí a thaining amach ón gclár náisiúnta Tellus, anseo ag Ionad Cultúrtha an Phiarsaigh, agus ba mhaith liom mo bhuíochas a ghabháil le foireann an ionaid, Oifig na nOibreacha Poiblí agus Geolaíochta Suirbhé Éireann as ucht an ócáid seo a eagrú ar maidin.
Is léir nuair a bhreathnaíonn muid amach na fuinneoga, an fáth go raibh Padraic Pearse chomh togtha leis an radharc álainn faoi leith seo agus an geolaíocht áitiúil a chuidíonn linn an tírdhreach seo a thuiscint.
My Ministerial brief spans two very different Departments but both of which are aligned at this event today. Natural Resources is represented by the work of the Tellus Programme and the Geological Survey which provides greater detail and information on the rocks, soils and waters that make up the land around us and under Rural Affairs I am also delighted today to hear about the on-going geoheritage work being carried out by the Geological Survey in conjunction with the County councils heritage office to help protect and promote sites of geological importance which we are fortunate to have enriching our landscape. This work is not only scientifically important but can also assist the development of geo-tourism products for the local community.
Tellus Programme, run by the Geological Survey Ireland from my own department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, is a national programme putting Ireland at the forefront of geological mapping. The survey measures both the physics and chemistry of the land through its low flying aircraft which was a familiar site to many in the area and its teams of ground samplers.
Tá sé mar aidhm ag an suirbhé, dearcadh, nach raibh a leitheid ann cheana a thabhairt dúinn, ar ár dtír agus ar an geolaíocht a chruthaíonn ár dtírdhreach, ach freisin chun tacú le obair a chabhróidh le bainistiú ár n-acmhainní nádúrtha más uisce, mianraí nó ithir é sin.
Ní bhíonn geolaíocht le feiceáil i gconaí agus is cinnte ní bhíonn sé ar intinn ag go leor againn. Mar sin féin, tá sé freagrach as an ithir ina fhásann muid ár gcuid bia, cuid is mó don uisce a ólann muid, na carraigeacha agus na clocha a thógann ár dtithe agus na bóithre agus na mianraí agus na hacmhainní is gá dúinn chun feidhmiú mar shochaí. Dá bhrí sin, tá sé ríthábhachtach mapáil agus tuiscint má táimid chun ár n-acmhainní a bhainistiú ar bhealach inbhuanaithe.
The data released here today particularly the new airborne geophysical data collected over counties of Mayo and Donegal, reveal in great colour the complex structures of the local geology in the west of Ireland and serve to emphasise how we need modern, state-of-the-art surveying techniques to understand the ground beneath our feet.
During the survey in 2017, an area of over 2 Million acres was covered and since the beginning of the Tellus survey in Northern Ireland a staggering 14 Million acres of land have been mapped.
All published results are available free of charge without delay on tellus.ie so that the benefits of the work may be immediately realised by data users.
Along with the scientific data provided by the Tellus survey the Geological Survey Ireland also runs a number of other programmes, which aim to provide a wide range of information which allows for fact based decision making in terms of planning, development, agricultural management, human health, mineral exploration, environmental protection and Geoheritge.
In fact while the aircraft was flying in the skies above, geologist were on the ground mapping and recording a huge variety of sites for inclusion in the county development and herniate plans.
Tellus is also planning on developing new products and uses for the data by working with other agencies such as Teagasc, EPA, and researches to provide benefits to the agricultural, environmental, health and education sectors. In particular;
- helping farmers understand their soil chemistry to better manage their soil nutrient and fertility,
- identifying new radon gas risk areas
- leveraging significant 3rd level research funding to help Ireland become a world class research player in geosciences and the knowledge economy
The next piece of the jigsaw
Léiríonn an t-imeacht seo go bhfuil 50% den suirbhé comhlíonta, le mionsonraí den scoth déanta ar mapáil 50% do tuaisceart na tíre. Nuair a bhreathnaíonn muid siar ar na 6 bliana atá caite agus na mílte mílte km á d-eitilt an t-aerárthach suirbhé Tellus agus na mílte feirmeacha agus talún a thug cigirí talún cuairt orthu, caithfidh muid freisin breathnú ar aghaidh sna blianta atá amach romhainn agus an clúdach náisiúnta den Tellus a chríochnú.
The Tellus plane in 2018 will now turn southward with plans to survey parts of counties of Limerick, Tipperary and Cork. This has been co-funded by exploration companies who are eager to see the benefits of the Tellus survey brought to these areas.
Last week at PDAC in Toronto, Canada, the world’s largest mining conference, I saw first-hand how Irish and international companies are using the Tellus data and heard them acknowledge the value of the programme. I also heard the companies stress the importance of community engagement and effective communications and again this is an area where Tellus ae providing a lead in their approach to informing people of their activities.
Mar chríoch, ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil arís le gach duine a tháinig anseo inniu, foireann an tí seo agus foireann Tellus ag Suirbhéireacht Gheolaíochta agus guím gach ádh oraibh sa réimse séasúr atá le teacht.