23rd October

Environment includes wildlife and water protection, Minister told

Campaigners in animal costumes and body paint handed in a 14,000 strong petition at Leinster House, calling for the Minister for Environment to be given resonsiblity for wildlife and water protection.

The petition was started in response to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny's proposed abolition of the Department of Environment and the disbandment of its functions across three departments.

FoE Environment

 

Denis Naughten has now  been given the  title, Minister for Environment despite not having responsiblity for key environment functions such as nature, wildlife protection and water quality.

Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth says it wouldhave been "absurd" for Ireland to be one of only two European countries without a Minister for Environment.

"But it's still absurd that he doesn't have responsibility for wildlife and water."

Read more: Environment includes wildlife and water protection, Minister told

Ireland faces action for failing to protect SACs

The European Commission has issued a 'Reasoned Opinion' to Ireland for failing to apply appropriate protection for areas designed under the Natura 2000 network.

In line with the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC), Member States have had six years to designate protected areas under their natural law, turning them from 'Sites of Community Interest' into Special Areas of Conservation. Required measures are then adopted to improve the status of habitats and species present on these sites.

EUComm logo

To date, Ireland has formally designated only a 'minor proportion' of its sites, and has not yet established the required conservation objectives and measures for all of the remaining sites, according to the Commission.

Read more: Ireland faces action for failing to protect SACs

Wild Atlantic salmon from sustainable Irish fisheries

Wild Atlantic salmon from sustainably-managed, traditional net fisheries on estuaries and rivers around Ireland, is now available at fish counters countrywide. 

The commercial quota of 11,131 from a total of 58,599 fish (angling and commercial) will be harvested where there are good numbers of returning salmon. 

 wild Irish salmon

Wild Atlantic salmon is a premium product, rich in Omega-3 oils and is truly organic, feeding on wild fish and krill, and travelling thousands of miles on its long ocean migration. 

Read more: Wild Atlantic salmon from sustainable Irish fisheries

'A Taste of the Waterways' 2016

Over 100 of the best places to eat, drink and stay along 1,000km of Ireland's inland waterways, are described with highlighted features, in the Taste of the Waterways, 2016.

Researched and compiled by renowned food writer, Georgina Cambell and produced by Waterways Ireland, this informative guide should be kept at finger-tip reach of anyone cruising along the Barrow Navigation; Erne System; Lower Bann; Grand and Royal Canals; Shannon-Erne Waterway and Shannon Navigation, this summer. A Taste of the Waterways

"The 2016 Taste of the Waterways guide should introduce a lot of new visitors to a part of Ireland that is still unknown to many - and what a wonderful surprise they have in store! Our beautiful rivers and canals lead the visitor right to the heart of Ireland [where] there is a special timeless quality to the way of life.

Read more: 'A Taste of the Waterways' 2016

Could fracking for shale gas return to the Irish agenda?

North Yorkshire County Council’s decision in May to approve plans for fracking shale gas ends a four-year moratorium in the UK on the controversial technology, and is certain to renew interest in the process in Ireland.

Despite 4,000 representations from the public against and 30 in favour, the county council’s planning committee voted 7:4 to allow Third Energy to test the commercial viability of fracking shale rock in the district of Rydale.Fracking

                                                                                                                          Courtesy of Tamboran Resources

Speaking on BBC radio, Professor Paul Ekins ― Director of the Institute for Sustainable Resources at University College London and an authority on fracking ― described the development as “a political watershed.

Read more: Could fracking for shale gas return to the Irish agenda?

Shannon-Erne Blueway's 70km water trail

A 70km water trail and 17km of linear and looped walking/cycle routes from Leitrim Village to Belturbet, have opened to provide a range of recreational leisure activities. The Shannon-Erne Blueway adds to the network of Blueway trails developed by Waterways Ireland along various navigations.

Waterways Ireland Blueway

Dawn Livingstone, CEO Waterways Ireland; Cathoirleach Paddy Smith, Cavan County Council; Minister Heather Humphries; Karl Henry, broadcaster and fitness expert with members of the Ballyconnell Community

"This is a wonderful amenity which is a great addition to Cavan and Leitrim's tourism offering. The Blueways across the country is an important element of the government's tourisim strategy," remarked Heather Humphries, Minister for Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht. 

Read more: Shannon-Erne Blueway's 70km water trail

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