New radio documentary looks at the local impact of climate change

Rain, storms, droughts, and you guessed it, even more cold spells could become the norm as climate change increasingly threatens to pose serious challenges for Galway city, that’s according to leading scientist and NUI Galway lecturer Dr Kieran Hickey who was featured in a new radio documentary aired this week.

The likely impact of climate change on Galway city is the subject of the new documentary, ‘The Rising Tide...?’, which was independently produced by locally based Sound Woman Productions and broadcast on Galway Bay FM last Wednesday.

The programme had producer Mary Phelan go on a walkabout the city in the company of Dr Hickey who is one of Ireland’s leading climate scientists and a lecturer in physical geography in NUI Galway. In the programme they stopped at various iconic Galway locations along the way - Shop Street, The Spanish Arch, the Galway market, the Claddagh, the Docks, and the prom in Salthill - with Dr Hickey giving an outline of how global warming is likely to impact on each place.

“Given that Galway’s coastal location, and that water is such a key feature of the city, issues of water management are likely to be very important in the future. Climate change means extreme weather, more rain, more storms, more droughts, higher temperatures but possibly even more cold spells like the one we have recently experienced as well. All this will have consequences for life in the city. In addition, the predicted sea level rise of between one and two metres is going to pose very serious challenges for a city with such an exposed coastline,” says Dr Hickey.

In parallel to Dr Hickey’s imput, the programme also heard people who live and work in the various locations visited. These included PJ McDonagh from McDonagh’s eatery, Captain Brian Sheridan, Galway’s harbourmaster, Sarah Gillespie, director of the riverside Galway City Museum, and Kevin Swift, director of services, environment and housing with Galway City Council.

The programme also featured the voices of the general public, those walking the prom, out doing the shopping, buying crepes at the market, busking on Shop Street, or fixing the cobbles. Each person was asked the same question - what they think and what they feel about climate change?

‘The Rising Tide...?’ was made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s Sound & Vision scheme and was produced for Galway Bay FM by Sound Woman Productions.

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