It is a long way from the Clew Bay island of Inishlyre to the corridors of power in Brussels, but for the secretary of the European Small Islands' Network (ESIN), the occasional trip there is vital.
The journey involves a half-hour on a boat to Rosmoney Pier, Co Mayo, by road to Westport, and then a further drive to Knock or Dublin to catch a flight to Belgium.
American-born Rhoda Twombly has been living on the island for 20 years, having previously run Joe Wattys pub on Inishmore, Co Galway.
Rhoda is now one of only three residents on Inishlyre, and this voluntary post keeps her very involved in the destiny of Irish and European islands.
ESIN was set up in 2001, with Ireland a leading advocate, along with Denmark, Finland, France, Sweden, and Scotland. The group represents 360,000 islanders on 1,640 small islands. To qualify for inclusion in its remit, an island must have fewer than 5,000 inhabitants. (Some Finnish islands have only one resident.)
While Comhdhil Oilein na hireann (Irish Islands Federation) is concerned with specifically Irish islands, ESINs bailiwick is the smaller islands of the continent.
It overlaps with Comhdhil, when bigger issues come to the fore, such as major infrastructural damage from the likes of Hurricane Ophelia in 2017.
For smaller issues, Irish islanders will go to Comhdhil for help in contacting the relevant people in government. If it is a big issue, we will pass it on to Comhdhil and get them to lobby as well, says Rhoda.
Comhdhil has been reaching out to Europe much more of late and supplements ESINs connections with the European Commission and the parliament.
ESIN is constantly networking to get funding, programming, and trying to get the small islands voices heard, says Rhoda. Her job is to persuade, solicit, and otherwise cajole help from the powers that be for European islanders. And her armoury in the digital age now includes Zoom meetings.
Irish islands are considered very small on the European scale, she says.
"We have defined 'small islands' as islands with populations of fewer than 5,000, with no permanent connection to the mainland so anywhere from one person up to several thousand. You get an awful lot of archipelagos, especially up in Scandinavia, she says.
A few years ago, Inishlyre hosted Comhdhils AGM, with 300 delegates a considerable achievement for an island. ESIN alternates the location for its AGM: one year it goes to Brussels and the next year it goes to one of ESINs islands, such as recently on Hven, in Sweden.
Its very good for networking, meeting with our MEPs. The Irish MEPs are very helpful to us and their European counterparts are as helpful as they can be, says Rhoda.
The group has taken part in several European initiatives, such as the energy project Smilegov, and is involved in the EUs Clean Energy for Islands project, working closely with Mirtn Malid, on Oilen Chlire, and Darragh Molloy, of the Aran Energy Co-op on Inishmore, Co Galway. (Those were the two Irish islands out of 26 selected for that project.)
"ESIN is working towards getting more clean energy on islands, more renewables," says Rhoda.
Since the onset of Covid-19, ESIN has been an invaluable source of information for islanders on how to cope with the disease. They also recently worked on the EUs Intangible Heritage Project and advocated for improved fisheries regulations.
Nobody is paid in the network and it is a group effort to get programmes developed to benefit islands, whether in France, Denmark, or Ireland.
And together with chairman John Walsh, from Bere Island, Co Cork, and Camille Dressler, on the Isle Of Eigg, Scotland, Rhoda is passionate about her calling.
We try to figure out what challenges we have in common, she says.
She also consults with other island support groups, such as the Sherkin Island Development Society. And she still finds the time to contribute to Tom McSweeneys radio programme, This Island Nation. An islanders islander.
See the original post here:
- Wish Upon a Food Truck Festival kicks off Saturday on City Island - ABC27 - September 18th, 2020
- A journalist's death stunned a small Island nation and ignited a fight for truth and justice - NBC News - September 18th, 2020
- Ice Age Cave Bear Found Preserved in Permafrost on Siberian Island - Smithsonian Magazine - September 18th, 2020
- Staten Island mom becomes a TikTok star with her videos about food, parenting advice - silive.com - September 18th, 2020
- Hunters fight off reported grizzly bear near Island Park - East Idaho News - September 18th, 2020
- Going green: Governors Island could soon house climate center - The Real Deal - September 18th, 2020
- Island Coast High School student arrested for texting threats to teacher - Wink News - September 18th, 2020
- Dream Honeymoons: Get Thee to an Island - My New Orleans - September 18th, 2020
- Jane Rogers position terminated -- for now -- by the Staten Island Yankees - SILive.com - September 18th, 2020
- David Robinson was left on an island during the 1995 Western Conference Finals - Pounding The Rock - September 18th, 2020
- Love Island USA: Season 2 Episode 22 TV Schedule, Streaming Options & Recap - Screen Rant - September 18th, 2020
- Staten Island Shakespearean Theatre embraces facial coverings in 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona production - SILive.com - September 18th, 2020
- Some Island kids return to in-person learning - Martha's Vineyard Times - September 18th, 2020
- BREAKING: Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay Theme Parks All Currently Closed at Capacity - wdwnt.com - September 8th, 2020
- OBITUARY: Janice Elaine Austin Lee, 85, of Merritt Island Passed Away on August 27 - SpaceCoastDaily.com - September 8th, 2020
- 'They're so vulnerable': Coronavirus hits tribes of isolated Andaman Islands - NBC News - September 8th, 2020
- Five forgotten Greek islands to visit right now - Telegraph.co.uk - September 8th, 2020
- Fixer uppers: Used bike project to benefit Caribbean island - GazetteNET - September 8th, 2020
- Staten Island Mall reopens Wednesday: What you need to know - SILive.com - September 8th, 2020
- South Padre Island businesses picking up over Labor Day weekend - KGBT-TV - September 8th, 2020
- Small Demonstration Against Temptation Island Filming Urges Government Leaders to Protect Hawaii - Maui Now - September 8th, 2020
- Love Has Won escorted to airport - Thegardenisland.com - September 8th, 2020
- Opinion: Want to Re-Think New York City? Start with Rikers Island. - City Limits - September 8th, 2020
- Guam records island's youngest coronavirus-related fatality over Labor Day weekend - Stars and Stripes - September 8th, 2020
- Amended orders: Inter-island travel restrictions eased among most islands - EyeWitness News - September 8th, 2020
- The best hotels on the British and Channel islands | Telegraph Travel - The Telegraph - September 8th, 2020
- Oak Island aimed for an 'impossibly fast' reopening. Was it too rushed? - Port City Daily - September 8th, 2020
- Chief Read: Island weathered the storm well with a good response in restoring power - Shelter Island - Shelter Island Reporter - August 10th, 2020
- Cameron: The City Island Monorail - CT Examiner - August 10th, 2020
- Full List of Big Island Primary Election Results - Big Island Now - August 10th, 2020
- This Day In History, August 10th, 2020 - "Last Island Hurricane" - Signals AZ - August 10th, 2020
- Mediapro Supplies OneSoccer With Broadcast Infrastructure of CPL The Island Games Tournament - Sports Video Group - August 10th, 2020
- Car crash on Block Island kills teen, seriously injures another - The Providence Journal - August 10th, 2020
- Eddie Hearn Has Boxing's Answer to the UFC's Fight Island - Sportscasting - August 10th, 2020
- Solid Waste Division OT over budget again | The Garden Island - Thegardenisland.com - August 10th, 2020
- Mercer Island Thrift Shop, recycling center renovations to take longer - Mercer Island Reporter - August 10th, 2020
- 8 outdoor workouts across the North Fork and Shelter Island to keep you happy and fit - Northforker - August 10th, 2020
- China Is Counting On Island Outposts To Project PowerBut U.S. Troops Could Capture Them - Forbes - August 10th, 2020
- TV tonight: A beautiful trip to the Galpagos Islands - The Guardian - August 10th, 2020
- Missing sailors stranded on Pacific island saved by giant SOS in the sand - The Guardian - August 10th, 2020
- 11 Things To Know Before Visiting Channel Islands National Park - TravelAwaits - August 10th, 2020
- Couple who live on old Ellis Island ferryboat launches S.I. tours - SILive.com - August 10th, 2020
- OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR News Release Governor Ige reinstating partial inter-island travel quarantine - David Y. Ige | Newsroom - August 10th, 2020
- 4 private islands for rent within driving distance from Atlanta - Atlanta Journal Constitution - August 10th, 2020
- No flight required: 10 island escapes in the US that you can drive to - USA TODAY - August 10th, 2020
- "Once On This Island" Adaptation to be Developed for Disney+ - wdwnt.com - August 10th, 2020
- Sunsets on Cape Cod and the islands are beautiful this summer. Here are 20 reader-submitted photos to prove it. - Boston.com - August 10th, 2020
- Exploring the vast, rolling hills of the Faroe Islands - Far Out Magazine - August 10th, 2020
- Daufuskie Island offers a taste of the simple life in the Lowcountry - Atlanta Journal Constitution - August 10th, 2020
- Second-Annual Garden Island bodyboarding a success - Thegardenisland.com - August 10th, 2020
- Waterfowl Hunting Permits Available for Deal Island, Fairmount - The Southern Maryland Chronicle - August 10th, 2020
- Why 'Renovation Island' Hosts Bryan and Sarah Baeumler Will Never Become the Next Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - August 10th, 2020
- Island Fights greatest: 10 fighters who reached the highest stage after Island Fights - Pensacola News Journal - August 10th, 2020
- Discovering Lastovo, Croatia's Southernmost Inhabited Island - Total Croatia News - August 10th, 2020
- DNR: Conservation officer rescues two men stranded near an island - KESQ - August 10th, 2020
- Grand Island football team in quarantine; one staffer tests positive for coronavirus - Omaha World-Herald - August 10th, 2020
- Nuclear watchdog opposes any agreement that would transfer ownership of Three Mile Island Unit 2 - LancasterOnline - August 10th, 2020
- No flight required: 10 island escapes you can drive to - USA Today 10Best - August 9th, 2020
- Grand Island School district expects technical devices will be in high demand as more students learn remotely - WIVB.com - News 4 - August 9th, 2020
- Community Health Action of Staten Island distributes boxes of fresh free food from Fresh Direct - SILive.com - August 9th, 2020
- Five new bridges leading to Deira Islands open to traffic - The National - August 8th, 2020
- Head of island police station to be removed over lax virus checks | Kathimerini - www.ekathimerini.com - August 8th, 2020
- Still without power? Con Ed giving away dry ice at Staten Island Mall Saturday - silive.com - August 8th, 2020
- Big Island Weekly Road Closures: Aug. 8-14 - Big Island Now - August 8th, 2020
- Hallmarks Love on Harbor Island: Where It's Filmed & Cast - Heavy.com - August 8th, 2020
- Public records lawsuit against city of Bainbridge Island dismissed - Kitsap Sun - August 8th, 2020
- Access granted: Halifax harbour's Georges Island opens to the public - Global News - August 8th, 2020
- Big Island Weekend Closures: Aug. 7-9 - Big Island Now - August 8th, 2020
- From Manus Island to Melbourne: we do not even know what we are being punished for - The Guardian - August 8th, 2020
- Heritage Museum launches a walking tour exhibit - Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber - August 8th, 2020
- Galveston Island Humane Society's pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News - August 8th, 2020
- UFC Fighters, Staff, and Journalists Couldn't Help But Love Fight Island - Sportscasting - August 8th, 2020
- Aquidneck Island Open Houses: 14 homes to tour this weekend - What'sUpNewp - August 8th, 2020
- Authorities tell people to leave Oak Island, declaring much of it unsafe after Isaias - WRAL.com - August 5th, 2020
- Hatteras Island, Ocracoke Island reopen to residents and vendors; minimal damage from Isaias - WAVY.com - August 5th, 2020
- Vacation-rental agreement a good thing for island - Thegardenisland.com - August 5th, 2020
- Rock Island-Milan School District to begin school year with full remote learning - WHBF - OurQuadCities.com - August 5th, 2020
- Metlakatla resident diagnosed with COVID-19 is off-island in Juneau, local officials say - KRBD - August 5th, 2020
- The 10 best dream Islands to visit in Animal Crossing: New Horizons - iMore - August 5th, 2020
- Tornado watch issued for Staten Island on Tuesday - SILive.com - August 5th, 2020