24th March

Latest flooding is a consequence of learning very little from 2009

Pat O'Brien, environmental scientist

OBrien

The recent apocalyptic flooding episodes that inundated large parts of the country during December 2015 and early 2016 were for those affected, a case of déjà vu - mindful of the 2009 floods.

Read more: Latest flooding is a consequence of learning very little from 2009

Government order charged as being contrary to natural justice

InshoreIreland email

At the time of going to press, ‘white smoke’ had not emerged from Leinster House to herald the make-up of the 30th government since 1919. And while it is therefore unknown whether Simon Coveney will return as the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, what is known is the unease within the fishing industry that is simmering beneath the surface and is close to eruption.

Not for a very long time – perhaps not since I first became involved with the marine sector in the mid -1990s ― have I sensed the level of palpable frustration and disillusionment being vented by the fishing industry. And rightly so, they would say.

Read more: Government order charged as being contrary to natural justice

Working with nature to solve the flooding problem

Janice Fuller, Consultant ecologist

As soon as the country was hit with the latest flooding crisis, the blame game started. The usual suspects were cited: ‘the government’ for lack of action since the last major floods and ‘the planners’ for poor planning decisions (i.e. the councillors in many cases). Lip service is also given to climate change as the reason for the unprecedented weather events.

Flooding wetlands

 

Increasingly, there is a perception that wildlife is prioritised over people in the management of flooding and that nature conservation legislation is partly to blame for the lack of action regarding flood control.

Read more: Working with nature to solve the flooding problem

The economics of flooding - why do floods affect so many people?

Tom McDermott, UCC

Mc Dermott

Recent events have demonstrated again the cost and misery associated with exposure to flooding. At the same time, a growing awareness of rising sea levels and climate change is adding to the challenge for policy-makers in relation to managing flood risk.

A recent study on the effects of flooding in cities worldwide shows that low elevation urban areas concentrate a greater density of economic activity, in spite of their much greater exposure to flooding. Furthermore, in the aftermath of large urban floods, economic activity tends to return to flood-prone low lying areas, rather than relocating to safer areas.

Read more: The economics of flooding - why do floods affect so many people?

Friends of the Earth react to 2015 flooding

Cara Augustenborg, FoE chairman

Augustenborg

Recent flooding across the country has put climate change at the front of many people’s minds. Record-breaking rainfall demonstrates how our warming climate is intensifying the water cycle and putting us at greater risk of storms and floods.

Risk of extreme storms on the west coast of Ireland is now up 25% due to climate change, and the OPW says up to 70,000 properties could be at risk of flooding from increased rainfall and sea-level rise as a result of climate change.

Read more: Friends of the Earth react to 2015 flooding

Fish-farm application withdrawal could herald new era for wild salmon

Noel Carr, FISSTA

Carr

As our politicians lay out their stall for General Election of 2016, we must welcome the December 21 BIM press announcement it was withdrawing the application for a 15,000 tonnes open-sea system of over seventy-five net cages.

As FISSTA was the first to mobilise opposition to the plan in 2011, we take comfort from our ability to conduct another successful campaign, against the odds.

Success has many fathers but we are satisfied the body of opposition built up from the Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages marches of 2013, coupled with the legal notice served on Government last April ‘to immediately cease all considerations and actions to aprove the Galway Bay application’ was the final straw of objection that prompted the rethink.

Read more: Fish-farm application withdrawal could herald new era for wild salmon

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