2004 was a special year for the EU as it grew from 15 to 25 member states. Ireland held the EU presidency that year and the Irish government organised an international conference on Biodiversity at Malahide. The theme was biodiversity; its value and sustainable use, and how to halt the alarming loss of genetic varieties, species and habitats.
A fish shaped monument was created to celebrate the enlargement of the EU on the occasion of this conference. Citizens across Europe were asked to put forward the most symbolic animal, plant and fungi species which would represent their country. Farmers, industry, environmental groups, scientists, schools, colleges and governments, each participated.

The end result can be seen in the courtyard of Malahide Castle. The 25 species that are shown on the monument provide a glimpse of the variety and beauty of the animals and plants that can be found in Europe. It also symbolises our shared European biodiversity resource and our shared responsibility to look after our natural environment.
The monument was unveiled on May 25th 2004 by Nicolas Hanley, Head of Nature Unit, DH ENV European Commission, Pat the Cope Gallagher TD, Minister of State Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Cllr. Sean Dolphin, Cathaoirleach Fingal County Council and Karin Dubsky, Coastwatch Europe.

Additional information can be found here in the downloadable PDF fact sheet.

For more information on these projects please contact the Biodiversity Officer.

Fingal County Council would like to thank Karin Dubsky of Coastwatch and the Department of the Environment for their efforts in creating this monument.

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