18th November

Irish world medalists row in behind water safety awareness campaign

Approaching the last bank holiday weekend in 2017, Irish Water Safety reports twenty-seven fewer drownings against this time last year. They warn however that an average five people drown per fortnight - and appeal to the public to be vigilant this weekend, and every weekend.

IWS water safety Oct 2017

Paul and Gary O'Donovan, Ireland's world rowing silver medalists, promote water safety message

Forcasted dry weather on Saturday 'aqua enthusiasts are likely to be enjoying our waters in various ways and in different types of craft, and people tend to  be more at risk as they can become complacent and put themselves and their families in dangerous situations,' they warn.

Water-related tragedies can happen in seconds and with an average 133 drownings every year, John Leench, CEO of Irish Water Safety is appealing to the public to take personal responsiblity to ensure no loss of live - and to comply with best practice:

  • always wear a lifejacket when on or near water and ensure that it has a correctly-fitted crotch strap
  • surfers, kite boarders, divers, kayakers and sailors should wear suitably warm and waterproof clothing
  • shore walkers should stay away from the edge, and beach walkers should remain vigilant to the dangers of being stranded and should always carry a mobile phone
  • ensure you are fully trained and competent for your aquatic activity
  • children should be constantly supervised 
  • anglers should be extremely vigilant  of dangersour swells and always wear a lifejacket 
  • alcohol should be avoid before or during any aquatic activity. ( On average, one third of victims have consumed alcohol)
  • sea and freshwater swimmers should take all necessary precautions, never swim alone and be aware that jellyfish are still in Irish coastal waters  
  • In emergency situations, immediately call 112  and ask for the Coast Guard

Government must expedite process to enable public access to justice for environmental cases

The Environmental Pillar coalition of 26 national organisations has welcomed the comments of the new Chief Justice on the practical difficulties and barriers to accessing justice in Ireland.

Mr Justice Frank Clarke’s comments ‘underline the urgent need for Government to speed up its work in adopting genuine access to justice rules for environmental cases which should have been solved through Ireland’s ratification of the Aarhus Convention’, it contends. ‘According to the government’s latest legislative programme “work is underway” to update our legal provisions to fully comply with the Aarhus Convention.’

IEN 2017

The Pillar adds however that five years after Ireland’s ‘belated ratification of the Convention' there is 'abject failure' to adhere to the access to justice provisions in the Convention.

Read more: Government must expedite process to enable public access to justice for environmental cases

Deterioration in ‘pristine’ status of Irish waters

Ireland has failed to meet a planned national target of 13% improvement in water status and has failed to prevent deterioration of water status overall at hundreds of water bodies, despite improvement at some locations. 

Maam River

The Maam river feeds into Lough Corrib, Co Galway 

These finding and more are revealed in the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Assessment of Water Quality in Ireland covering 2010-2015 — the first six-year assessment on the status of Ireland’s waters, under the Water Framework Directive.

Read more: Deterioration in ‘pristine’ status of Irish waters

Water Footprint Network files for bankruptcy

WFNThe WFN Foundation has filed for bankruptcy and expects to go into receivership in early September, citing ‘overwhelming financial problems’. The WFN wa founded in 2008 'to solve the world’s water crisis by advancing fair and smarter water use'.

While the WFN will no longer exist as a legal entity, its mission – to promote the transition towards sustainable, fair and efficient use of freshwater resources worldwide – remains as important and relevant as ever, explains executive director, Dr Christopher Briggs.

Read more: Water Footprint Network files for bankruptcy

Galway City's 'hidden' canal system

Concern over the neglected state of Galway City’s canals has prompted the formation of a group to create awareness and to include the many users of the waterways, some of which have been working at cross purposes with each other.

Galway Canal Distillery River

Distillery River

Phil James, who chairs the Galway Waterways Association, spoke to Inshore Ireland about the challenges ahead.

Read more: Galway City's 'hidden' canal system

All-island environmental standards must be safeguarded

Crucial cross-border cooperation to protect the environment across the island of Ireland must not be ‘diluted’ by Brexit, warned MEPs, NGOs and legal experts at a conference (16/6) to examine potential impacts on Ireland’s environment, post Brexit. Potential weakening of legislative protection is seen as the single greatest environmental risk.

Cruit Island

Cruit Island, Co Donegal. Environmental standards for the island of Ireland must be upheld, post Brexit. Photo Gillian Mills  

The importance of ensuring equal status in environmental standards north and south has been recognised at European level. EU Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has highlighted the risk of environmental ‘dumping’ if a divergence of standards between the UK and Member States emerges.

Read more: All-island environmental standards must be safeguarded

Spread the News

Irish world medalists row in behind water safety a...

Approaching the last bank holiday weekend in 2017, Irish Water Safety reports twenty-seven fewer dro [ ... ]

Government must expedite process to enable public ...

The Environmental Pillar coalition of 26 national organisations has welcomed the comments of the new [ ... ]

Deterioration in ‘pristine’ status of Irish wa...

Ireland has failed to meet a planned national target of 13% improvement in water status and has fail [ ... ]

Water Footprint Network files for bankruptcy

The WFN Foundation has filed for bankruptcy and expects to go into receivership in early September,  [ ... ]

Irish world medalists row in behind water safety awareness campaign
Government must expedite process to enable public access to justice for environmental cases
Deterioration in ‘pristine’ status of Irish waters
Water Footprint Network files for bankruptcy