Ever wondered how it all began?

Green Sod Land Trust Story of origin ….

In the pitch of the Celtic Tiger 2005/06 – land up and down the country was being commodified; bought and sold for sites, to provide homes for one species only – ours, with little or no regard for the life of the land itself or its indigenous inhabitants (who also require homes). Having fought the hard fight, with minimal success, to save trees in Eyre Square, Galway City from being removed, two women from Galway city, Melissa Griffith and Sheila Gallagher, discussed the question What would we do if we knew we couldn’t fail? At the same time another group of women, aware of biodiversity loss, were grappling with the challenge of land preservation in another part of the country. Both groups came together to explore a way forward. Knowing for certain that being pro-active is infinitely better than being re-active…we concurred – we need to protect land for its own sake and the sake of the species that live on it. ‘The future of hope is when we all step into some change-making role, regardless of what happened to us in the beginning, so we can process our past and learn the lessons that can move us forward’ Chido Govera-The Future of Hope. Green Sod Ireland was thus conceived, achieving charitable status in 2007; is a company limited by guarantee and fully compliant – charity reg no. 20062262; CHY no. 16961.

Green Sod Ireland’s Mission

The purpose of Green Sod Ireland is to protect and conserve land in perpetuity in Ireland, for the sake of its indigenous inhabitants:

animals, plants, soils, rocks, micro- organisms and the like for their own sake, for present and future generations.

The land of Ireland is a green gift to all of us. In holding land in trust, we acknowledge and respect it for its own sake, thus protecting its indigenous life from destruction. Green Sod Ireland works with local communities, raising awareness of the health, educational, social, economic and environmental benefits of caring for the land and its biodiversity.

about greensod ireland mission


Current Directors of Green Sod Ireland.

Mary White Greensod ireland director
Mary WhiteChairperson

Mary was TD for Carlow/Kilkenny and a former Minister of State at the Department of Community Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs. She has over 20 years experience in care of the environment. She is a passionate organic grower and hill walker. She is the author of ‘Walkguide to the Blackstairs’ and ‘Environment, Mining and Politics’; International Environmental Awardee – Claouste Gulbenkian Foundation for her work in preserving the Blackstairs as an area of natural beauty. She ius currently running Blackstairs Ecotrails in South Carlow.

Maria Heneghan Greensod ireland director
Mary White Secretary/Treasurer

Socio-economic advisor to Farm Families. M.A. Rural Development. Maria has vast experience of working with rural community groups.

Melissa Griffith Greensod ireland director
Melissa Griffith – Director

M.A. Philosophy: Deep Ecology. Teacher. Co-Founder of Green Sod Ireland. Melissa has a deep commitment to environmental care with particular emphasis on ecological education. She lived and worked in Papua New Guinea for a number of years.

Nellie McLaughlin director greensod ireland
Nellie McLaughlin –  Director

Educator in Ecology & Sustainability. Lecturer: M.A in Ecology and Religion. Co-Founder of Green Sod Ireland. Author: Out of Wonder; The Evolving Story of the Universe, and Life’s Delicate Balance, 2015.

Pedro Angulo Greensod ireland director
Pedro Angulo –  Director

Pedro is Direct of Angulo Consulting Ltd and Chairperson of the Irish EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council). He has previously worked in senior management roles in Prospectus, Penna Consutling, Deloitte, IBM Business Consulting Services and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

Áine Bird Greensod ireland director
Áine Bird –  Director

M.Education; M.Sc Science Communication. Nature Education Guide; Education Officer

Cyrilla Costello Greensod ireland director
Cyrilla Costello – Director
Client Development Manager. Irish Management Institute (IMI)

Founders History


Two Galway-based mothers:

Sheila Gallagher Teacher

Melissa Griffith Teacher

…conceived of forming a land trust as land was being increasingly commodified at a worrying rate.


Four Members of the Mercy Congregation:
Nellie Mc Laughlin, Donegal; Lecturer
Rosaleen Hogan, Dublin; Teacher,
Mary Connaughton, Meath; Teacher RIP
Noreen Lyons, Galway; Teacher

…aware of the phenomenal loss of land across Ireland to development -in the centenary year of Michael Davitt’s death -conceived of forming a land trust


The six women joined forces:
and with the help of Liam Staunton, Solicitor, Galway and Kelly Murray Accountants (Candor), Galway

Board of Directors formed 26 th September 2006 registered as a legal entity Company Limited by Guarantee established Charitable status obtained.

Green Sod Ireland established as a Registered Charity on 6 th February 2007


Green Sod Ireland would like to thank the following for their continued support:

Liam Staunton & Co. Solicitors, Galway
T: +353(0)91 587070

Candor Chartered Accountants, Galway
T: +353(0)91 758282

John Muir Trust, Scotland

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland

NUI Galway