Page last updated at 08:24 GMT, Friday, 22 January 2010

Irish island twinned with Mars in climate change stunt

A Donegal island is to be linked to the Red Planet

An island in County Donegal is to be twinned with Mars in order to raise awareness of climate change.

A community near Letterkenny will be linked with an island outcrop on the Red planet.

The unusual move was suggested by a group of artists asked by Donegal County Council to explore art's role in addressing issues of global warming.

The Council's Public Arts Manager, Terri Duffy, said it would act as an "attention-grabbing wake-up call".

"I know it's a bit 'out there' but it is taking a very serious look at the relationship of art and climate change.

"Some people feel the earth is becoming more Mars like due to the effects of global warming.

"The artists want to show what's happening on Mars does relate to what's happening in Letterkenny," she said.

Councillor Noel McBride asked if councillors would be getting an all-expenses paid trip to Mars as part of the project.

He suggested that the island on Mars be twinned with the tiny Island Roy in Mulroy Bay as, he said, the name was a loose English translation of its native Irish name of Oileán Ruadh or Red Island.

"The small community on Island Roy would be very happy if they were to be twinned with another island on Mars," Cllr McBride said.

The council is currently seeking proposals from councillors and members of the public on the most suitable island to be twinned with its counterpart in Mars.

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