Members of The Killyconny bog project team at Mullagh: Sean Whelan, Jonathan  Shackleton,  Jim Smith, Daphne Shackleton, John Lynch, Jane Shackleton, Sinead Fox, Aine Farrelly, Shauna & Sophie Whelan at front.

Top three finish for Mullagh bog in European awards

Thomas Lyons

It was a close run thing but the efforts of The Killyconny bog project team at Mullagh came up just short of winning out in their bid to receive a top European environmental prize. Killyconny Bog was one of 12 Irish bogs that made up Ireland’s entry in The Natura 2000 Award.

The Irish entry came in third in the ‘Community’ category of the awards.

Jim Smith is a trust member of St Killian’s Heritage Centre in Mullagh and has been involved in the project promoting the potential of Killyconny since 1997. Jim said the efforts of the local groups were instrumental in the project doing as well as it did: “There were three groups very active in trying to get people to support our efforts and I believe that the Killyconny group was the most active.”

“We did our best to get people to back us in the online poll. The team secured 3,500 votes and reach the finals in the conservation category and 3rd in the citizens award, a wonderful achievement,” Jim told the Celt.

Killyconny Bog SAC (also known as Cloghbally Bog and Mullagh Bog) is a 191ha raised bog just outside Mullagh.

Carnivorous plant

The bog is home to a unique specimen of the carnivorous Sundew plant. This is a colourful plant with fluid-filled leaves, pungent scents, glistening glue and grasping tentacles that lures their victims to a nasty end.

Jim says all involved worked very hard to promote the project: “The Killyconny bog project team at Mullagh would like to thank to everyone at home and abroad who supported them in their efforts to win an European Environmental award. It was brilliant to achieve what we did. There are 27,000 sites across Europe submitted entries. That was whittled down to 27, and then we came in the top three, so it is quite an accomplishment.”