Liam’s Wild Ireland Tour

A trip around Ireland to celebrate Ireland’s wildlife

In Compass Informatics we are in the lucky position of applying our work to the effective use and management of our environment and its assets, be they built or natural.  We create systems, analyse data, assist decision-making – and do this using expert skills combined with many years of experience.  But we largely do that from the comfort of an office seat – not the narrow painful seat of a bike, and not through travelling more than 3,000km over one month.  For that, thankfully, we have a colleague!

Liam Lysaght, Compass Informatics team member and director of the National Biodiversity Data Centre for Ireland, is just the man.  Liam is undertaking his Wild Ireland Tour in order to celebrate and enjoy our unique and special natural heritage – his tour presents a personalised perspective on some of what is special about Ireland’s wildlife and an attempt to share this experience with a wider audience. Leaving on August 1st 2014 and returning home a month later, Liam will be undertaken a Praeger-like “Way that I cycled” but very much in his own manner and with his own deep knowledge and appreciation of his surroundings – people, place, and nature.

The aim of the tour is to cycle around the island of Ireland, a distance of >3,200km within a month, each day visiting some of Ireland’s special wildlife sites and highlighting what is special about them. At many of the sites Liam will meet with local experts or enthusiasts to give him their personal insights to what the sites mean to them. Writing about the sites and aspects of wildlife will build up to a gazetteer on Irish wildlife over the month long tour.

“The trip also has a personal dimension on two fronts. First, I will be accompanied by my daughter, Bella, who will drive support car and look after all the logistics for the trip. Bella will just have completed her Leaving Certificate and is due to obtain her full driving licence before the tour.  Bella will also be writing about her own experience of the tour using her English, Irish and German language skills, and one of my challenges is to try to pass on my love of wildlife to her on this tour. Comparing Bella’s experience of the tour with that of her father, could make for some interesting reading.

And second, although cycling is a passion of mine, the challenge of cycling over 3,200 km in one month is far more than anything I have ever attempted before. Moving from cycling about 200 km each week to covering close to the distance that the professional cyclists will cycle during the Tour de France 2014 (albeit at a far, far slower pace) is a going to be a significant personal challenge.

So during the month of August, I plan to cycle over 3,000 km, use up about 70,000 calories, visit and write about 60 wildlife sites,  meet with loads of interesting people and generally have a grand old time (hopefully!). I invite you to join me on this journey in celebration of Ireland’s wildlife.”

Compass Informatics is delighted to sponsor and support Liam and Bella on their Odyssey Éireannach, and we look forward to joining them on some of their stages, and via their blogs and radio and news items.  Never a better time to say ‘go n-éirí an bóthar libh!’

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