Greetings to All, today is a very sad and poignant day for us at The Woodland League, as we pay tribute to one of our staunchest supporters and long time member, Saskia Byrne who passed away almost one month ago today. The community and family are remembering and celebrating Saskia today with a series of events in Mountshannon, our hearts are with them. Saskia contributed and supported immensely with modesty, behind the scenes, towards our aim to Restore the Relationship between People and their Native Woodlands and bring attention to the rich ancient Gaelic forestry culture, with it’s unique Ogham alphabet of the Trees and the Brehon Laws of Neighbourhood/Community, the Bretha Comaithchesa, with its Protections for Trees. Saskia, with her love and passion for Art, History and Nature, understood intrinsically, the connection between restoring our Native Forests and restoring our Communities, as well as the Healing potential this would bring on so many levels, to the land, the water, nature, and especially to the people. My first meeting with Saskia was in County Clare, when she had just moved into the area, this was in the East Clare Co-Operative garden where she sought help to protect some native woodland near her new home, that was back in 2009, from that time she immediately became involved with our campaign to stop the sale of Coillte, the Irish state forestry company and 1.2 million acres of Public forest lands. Four years on the campaign came to an end with the Government backing down from the proposed sale due to Public and Political pressure and a Petition with over 50,000 signatures. This was an exercise in People Power combined with Grassroots Activism, Artists contributions, and spadefuls of Soul, which truly gladdened Saskia’s heart. Today, we also remember that action and we associate Saskia with it as we remind ourselves that together we are stronger, Láidir faoi Meitheal. Saskia also through her creative venture with Jano her partner, launched the magazine, Otherwise, promoting the Woodland league via a series of articles that we shall be archiving and presenting on our website in the near future. Fly on home to the Stars and Shine on Saskia and Guide us in our ongoing work and campaigning to Conserve, Restore, and Expand our Ancient Rainforest Remnants, which were so dear to your Heart and Soul.
On behalf of the Woodland League,
Andrew St Ledger.
The Woodland League shall gather in an ancient wooded venue in due course to mark the passing over of Saskia and plant a native tree in her honour, for now we share this Poem which goes some way to reflecting and resonating Saskia’s vision of the Future. Please light a candle for Saskia on this day and be inspired by her generous Life.
” There will be a talking… ”
There will be a talking of lovely things,
There will be cognizance of the seasons,
There will be men who know the flights of birds.
In new days there will be love for women:
We will walk the balance of artistry,
And things will have a middle and an end
And be loved because they are beautiful.
Who in a walk will find a lasting vase
Depicting dance and hold it in his hands
And sell it then?
No man on the new earth
Will barter with malice nor make of stone
A hollowed riddle; for art will be art,
The freak, the rare no longer commonplace.
There will be a going back to the laws.
1941 – 1999