Well-known Laois man and wildlife conservationist Ricky Whelan has been appointed to the new role of Biodiversity Officer with Offaly County Council.
Ricky, who is a past student of The Rock National School and Ballyfin College, founded and chaired the Laois-Offaly branch of the Irish Wildlife Trust and went on to host Birdwatch Ireland’s In Your Nature podcast.
This is a new role being introduced to county councils around the country and will work closely alongside the Heritage Officer. As of yet, there is no similar role in Laois County Council. It is part-funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
Ricky was congratulated on his appointment by Minister of State Pippa Hackett.
“I am delighted to see that Ricky Whelan will be joining the team at Offaly County Council as Biodiversity Officer,” said Minister Hackett.
“Ricky will be familiar to many across Offaly and Laois, for his tireless work with BirdWatch Ireland, where he will be sorely missed,” said Minister Hackett.
“I first met Ricky at a nature talk he gave in Abbeyleix House some years ago. Anyone who has seen his talk ‘The Secret Life of Crows’ or has been on a dusk chorus walk with him will know only too well his passion for this subject, and for our natural environment.
“Offaly County Council are lucky to have an amazing Heritage Officer in Amanda Pedlow, and have struck gold again in Ricky Whelan.
“I look forward to working with them both in the months and years ahead. They will make a formidable team – our county’s heritage and biodiversity are in good hands,” she said.