GIY 2010 Conference Report by Michael Kelly

Report by Michael Kelly

“The genius of GIY has been to grow an old idea that had almost faded from memory, to bring back into our lives the homegrown spud, the freshly laid egg, the windfall apple from our own tree, to introduce us anew to these simple pleasures and treasures and to teach us how to create them on our own doorsteps.” President Mary McAleese at the GIY 2010 National Conference, Sept 2010. Read her full address here.

GIY 2010 Conference

What an incredible day we had at the GIY 2010 Conference.  Thanks to all the delegates for showing up and making it such a wonderful event.  A great honour for us to have President Mary McAleese at the event and she wowed us with tales of her own GIYing.  We also presented her with the very first ever “Friend of GIY” Card, so she is now officially GIYer number 0000 0001!  She has also promised us she will join a GIY group when she leaves office – bad news for Ireland, but great news for us!  Read an update on the event and view photos here.

As always, everyone involved in the conference gave their time to GIY free of charge.  As a result there are many thank-you’s to be done.  A huge thanks to all our speakers for making the event so informative, useful and entertaining: Diarmuid Gavin, Duncan Stewart, Klaus Laitenberger, Paddy Gleeson, Fionnuala Fallon, Victoria Mary Clarke, Nicky Kyle, Michael Fox, John Carney, Laurent Berthomier, Pat Whelan and PJ Crowe (check out Pat’s video of his pork butchering demo here). 

Special thanks to our volunteers who helped it all to run so smoothly: Collette, Eilish, Jamie, Aileen, Amanda, Jules, Sean, Tim, Sandrine, Nike.  Thanks to the GIY executive committee and board who put in such sterling work in the run up to the event and on the day itself: Feargal O’Neill, Ciaran Walsh, Sean Corrigan, Paul Sweetman, Niall McAllister, Aaron Jay, Nicky Fortune, Bryan Raleigh, Caoimhin Condren, Dave Curran.  

Thanks to our sponsors Woodies DIY (Ray Colman, Peter Dolan, Paddy Gleeson and Des at Aspects) who invested heavily and helped enormously with the event itself and with publicity before and after.  Thanks to the Arthur Guinness Fund and the events team at the Storehouse (especially Helen) who made things so easy for us.  Thank you to our partners Slow Food Ireland, Agriaware, Transition Town, Carraig Dulra and Good Food Ireland for adding an extra dimension to the day with their exhibition stalls.  

For the PODs session at the conference, we asked a simple question: “What can we do to improve GIY“.  We got some amazing ideas which we are in the process of putting in to a document to circulate to all delegates and post on the website.  If you have constructive ideas which you think would help us to improve GIY, please email them or visit the new discussion forum on this topic.  I should add that there is a rather scary momentum behind the Christmas Charity Single idea.

So that’s the GIY Conference behind us for another year.  What madness awaits us in 2011 I wonder?