Karin Dubsky

Photo of Karin Dubsky

Karin Dubsky (born 1954) is a German-Irish marine ecologist working in Trinity College Dublin, and is the coordinator and co-founder of Coastwatch Europe, an environmental NGO and a member of the European Environmental Bureau.

Dubsky is the Green Party (Ireland) candidate for the 2019 Wexford by-election.[1]


Early life

Dubsky was born in Bonn, Germany, and grew up on a farm straddling Bannow Bay, County Wexford. She attended Newtown School, Waterford[2] and then Trinity College Dublin, where she secured a BA in Zoology. She then pursued a Masters in Environmental Sciences, taken partly in Galway, completed in Trinity College Dublin.[3]


Dubsky has worked professionally in environmental education, and in research and practical projects, ranging from wetland protection, over waste, oil and litter prevention and control, coastal zone management, environmental law and biodiversity policy.

Environmental programs and campaigns

Karin Dubsky speaks and campaigns regularly on environmental issues, especially affecting water quality, wetlands, dunes and bathing beaches, in the Irish media.[4]

Dubsky campaigned for reform of legislation including public information on water quality of bathing beaches, which was introduced in Ireland ahead of other countries.[citation needed]

She co-designed the Blue Flag for Beaches award programme, co-founded the Irish Clean Air Group, an inter-disciplinary group from TCD and hospitals led by Dr. Luke Clancy, which successfully lobbied for the introduction of smokeless fuel in Ireland, and set up an international volunteer eco-audit of the coast which spread to 23 countries. Data from the survey were used by OSPAR and the EEA.[5] Data from the Coastwatch survey were also used to lobby for a plastic bag tax in Ireland, which, when introduced, was the first in Europe and brought plastic bag litter down from over 54 per km of shoreline to around 3-4.[citation needed]

She co-authored the chapter on public participation and communication in the World Health Organization's Practical Guide to the Design and Implementation of Assessments and Monitoring Programmes for bathing waters [6]

Dubsky was appointed to the environmental pillar of Ireland's social partnership in May 2009 [7] and is on NESC (The National Economic and Social Council,[8] the Dublin Regional Authority's Dublin Bay Task Force [9] and the Wexford Local Development Board.[10] She was a member of the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board from 2005–2010, and Comhar.[citation needed]

Other activities

Dubsky drew public and official attention to Dublin area raw sewage problems by gaining access to official water monitoring results and organising citizen sewage reports. She further researched treatment options and lobbied for a tertiary treatment plant.[citation needed]

She also acted to halt illegal cockle dredging in Waterford estuary with both media and Senate support.[11]

She exposed wrecking of Kilmuckridge-Tinnaberna Sandhills[12][13] and together with other Coastwatchers halted the cattle storage and pollution. A restoration order now in place is just being implemented.[citation needed]

Court cases

Dubsky took a number of court cases as an individual and as part of Coastwatch. These include a Supreme Court decision that government must give reasons for opinions (Boyne estuary habitat restoration) and High Court injunctive relief to halt creosote sludge dumping in Waterford Port.[14] Dubsky instigated and persisted with EC complaints which ended in the European Court of Justice and belatedly resulted in improvements to landfill sites, provision of compensatory habitat and restoration of wetlands.[15]


She withdrew from the Seanad Election of 2011 due to an oversight in official registration of her Irish citizenship over forty years previously, which could not be rectified in time for the beginning of the election.[16]

She is contesting the 2019 Wexford by-election for the Green Party (Ireland), for the seat left vacant by Mick Wallace after he was elected to the European Parliament.[17]

Awards and achievements

  • Honorary Fellow of the Irish Hotel and Catering Industry (since 2000)[citation needed]
  • Environmental Merit Award 2007 from the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (Ireland branch)[citation needed]
  • Designed the Biodiversity and EU enlargement monument, erected in Malahide Castle, 2002[citation needed]
  • Drafted the Wexford Wetlands county inventory with Wexford County Council, as first inventory in Ireland[citation needed]

Personal life

As of 2019, Karin lives in Ballymoney, Co. Wexford, with her husband Paul. They have a daughter and three sons - Julia, Stephan, Paul and Eoin.


  1. ^ Environment, Kevin O'Sullivan; Editor, Science. "Karin Dubsky among Green Party candidates for by-elections". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  2. ^ "A coast guard like no other". The Irish Times. 2000-07-06.
  3. ^ "A coast guard like no other". The Irish Times. 2000-07-06.
  4. ^ "Search results page for "Karin Dubsky"". The Irish Times. 2019-10-26.
  5. ^ Europe's Environment: The Second Assessment. European Environment Agency. 1998-06-23. p. 27. ISBN 92-828-3351-8.
  6. ^ "Microsoft Word - bathwattoc.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  7. ^ "Dáil Eireann Debate Vol. 727 No. 3 - Departmental Appointments". Debates.oireachtas.ie. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  8. ^ "National Economic and Social Council - Our Organisation". Nesc.ie. Archived from the original on 2007-11-19. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  9. ^ Dublin Regional Authority (2008-11-22). "Dublin Bay Task Force | Future role of Dublin". Dra.ie. Archived from the original on 2011-03-08. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2011-03-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Ryan attacked over damage to estuary - RTÉ News". Rte.ie. 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  12. ^ "Intensive cattle farming causing severe damage to protected Wexford dunes". The Irish Times. 2010-07-30.
  13. ^ "Destruction of Conservation Areas in Wexford - Coastwatch Action Site". Sites.google.com. 2010-03-19. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  14. ^ "Waterford Council investigates toxic waste scare - RTÉ News". Rte.ie. 2002-02-16. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  15. ^ "NPWS vows to get Tinnaberna area restored". Enniscorthy Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  16. ^ O'Halloran, Marie (2011-03-22). "'Don't vote for me', TCD candidate tells electors". The Irish Times.
  17. ^ Environment, Kevin O'Sullivan; Editor, Science. "Karin Dubsky among Green Party candidates for by-elections". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2019-10-22.

External links

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