Killybegs Set to Host the Laurentic Forum

Killybegs will play host to this year’s Laurentic Forum which will see a visiting delegation coming, not just from across Ireland, but from Canada, France, USA and Norway. 

The forum, now in its 15th year, focuses on how best to nurture and develop sustainable coastal communities in Ireland, Canada, Iceland, and Norway and provides a unique opportunity for policy makers, practitioners, communities and businesses to share their experiences, insights and learnings.

Donegal County Council is one of several organisations supporting this event and Cathaoirleach Cllr Martin Harley is looking forward to welcoming this international delegation to Donegal saying “Donegal is a place defined by our coast and hosting an event such as the Laurentic Forum provides us with an opportunity to showcase the unique offering that we have as well as engage with other similar regions to share experiences as well as to conceive and develop exciting new opportunities for collaboration”.

John Andy Bonar, VP for Research, Equality and External Affairs at ATU Donegal, commented Atlantic Technological University (ATU) is delighted to host the 15th Laurentic Forum at our Killybegs Campus. "We look forward to hosting visitors from Canada, France, Norway and the USA, as well as visitors from across Ireland. We are excited at the opportunities emerging from Ireland’s Ocean Wealth and look forward to working with colleagues from Ireland and other Countries and with colleagues from the public and private sectors to leverage these emerging opportunities to drive economic development across Ireland’s Northern and Western Region"

Don McNeill, Chairperson of the Ulster Canada Initiative, is one of the original founders of the Laurentic Forum and says that “the Laurentic Forum has become a truly unique pan-Atlantic collaborative process that enables representatives from four Peripheral Atlantic regions to come together to explore best practice through shared learning”.

The Laurentic Forum was first established as a way to mark the sinking of the transatlantic ocean liner HMS Laurentic, off the Northern West coast of Ireland, in Lough Swilly, in 1917. Over 350 men perished that day and 121 survived. 

Don McNeill explains that “the forum is a platform that allows all those connected by such a tragedy to come together to create a better shared future by exploring our shared history”.  

This years’ event has an impressive lineup of speakers and panel contributors looking at Sustainable Tourism and the Creative Economy on Tuesday 7th November and the Blue Economy on Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th November.

Karl Bonner, Education Outreach Manager (Cluster Manager)for the Killybegs Marine Cluster said, "We are delighted to be hosting the 15th Annual Laurentic Forum from Killybegs this year, which provides a great opportunity to showcase Killybegs unique marine ecosystem to our domestic and international visitors.”

“Killybegs is Ireland’s premier fishing port, home to the national pelagic fishing fleetand Ireland’s only dedicated marine cluster. Killybegs is anucleus of innovative marine engineering businesses that are poised and ready to serve growth sectors within the blue economy such as aquaculture and renewable energy. The hosting of the Lauretnic Forum inKillybegsprovides the cluster with a unique opportunity to showcase both our unique marine ecosystem and the international businesses operating from here.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara, another Laurentic Forum supporter and sponsor will have The ARC (Aquaculture Research Centre), designed to raise young people's awareness of aquaculture. On location at ATU Campus Killybegs during the 7th& 8th of November for public viewing and will be also hosting educational workshops to local Transition year students. (See link 

The Laurentic Forum will take place in the ATU Killybegs on 7th, 8th & 9th November 2023 

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