Champion Chatter Podcast
Home » Environment (page 15)

Environment

Environment minister to visit Clare next week

Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan TD will visit Clare next week. On Thursday, February 10, Minister Ryan will attend ‘In conversation on Climate’, a public event for the people of Clare, hosted by Clare Green Party Senator Róisín Garvey. This is a free and public event, beginning at 8.30pm in The Old Ground Hotel. Everyone is welcome to attend and questions will be taken from the audience. On Friday Minister Ryan will give a Climate Action Plan briefing to county councillors in the Council Chamber. In addition, he will join the Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Cíosóg Walking bus, visit public realm in Ennis and a social housing retrofit project and a visit to Shannon and the airport. Senator Garvey said, “It is great that my Green Party colleague Minister Eamon Ryan, the Minister for Climate, is taking the time to speak to Clare councillors on the Climate Action Plan. “In fact, he hopes to attend every council chamber in …

Read More »

Coastal erosion and flood works advancing in Clare

COUNCIL works to mitigate coastal erosion and flood management were outlined to members at a recent meeting of West Clare Municipal District, writes Conor Clohessy. From coastal erosion to flood management, the local authority outlined a range of plans for the creation of safer coasts and floodplains all around the regions of West and North Clare. Firstly, schemes through the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme are close to being carried out county-wide, according to Clare County Council’s chief engineer Seán Lenihan. In a statement at the West Clare Municipal District meeting on January 18, Lenihan was asked to provide details on the progression of these schemes by Cllr Gabriel Keating. Mr Lenihan thanked many of the councillors who were involved in acquiring agreement from landowners in Clonahinshee, where plans for a flood relief scheme have been in place for quite some time and had proven problematic due to said landowners not being local and appearing otherwise unavailable. …

Read More »

New Bill looks to harness technology against illegal dumping

A NEW bill is going through the Oireachtas, which aims to allow the State to tackle instances of illegal dumping through the use of CCTV, drones and automated number plate recognition, writes Owen Ryan. The Local Government (Surveillance Powers in Relation to Certain Offences) Bill 2021 was introduced to the Seanad on Tuesday by Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne. His party colleague Cathal Crowe said it is a piece of legislation that he himself has taken an interest in. “Over the past year, I’ve been in regular contact with Senator Malcolm Byrne and the Office of Parliamentary Legal Advisors in the Oireachtas – they being the team that support members of the Oireachtas in drafting new legislation. “Senator Byrne and I feel that the current laws in place relating to litter pollution make it very difficult for local authorities to use modern technology to catch offenders. “This difficulty has increased with the advent of GDPR regulations which make it very …

Read More »

Biodiversity boost with wildlife sanctuary goal for revived bog

A land owner in south-east Clare has provided a major boost for biodiversity thanks to the help of a local ecologist, writes Dan Danaher. Substantial work has already been completed near Parteen on the first raised bog restoration and rewetting project in Clare on private land. Shanakyle Bog Restoration and Habitat Enhancement Project is a locally-led European Innovation Partnership (EIP) scheme project headed by ecologist Barry O’Loughlin and landowner Catherine Ní Ciardha of Shanakyle Bog Restoration Group. The group hopes that other land owners will follow this example by undertaking similar projects over the coming years. Ms Ní Ciardha decided to embark on this project to help address climate change and hopes to turn this land into a wildlife sanctuary. “Wildlife is getting less and less. I want to encourage the return of birds and biodiversity. I have noticed a decline in swallows in recent years,” she said. Shanakyle bog is of conservation interest as it supports three Annex One …

Read More »

Wynne questions Minister over prospecting licence plan

A SERIES of questions have been put to the Minister for the Environment, by Clare’s Sinn Fein TD over proposals to prospect for silver and gold ore in East Clare.  Deputy Violet Anne Wynne tabled the Parliamentary Questions (PQs) to Minister Eamon Ryan on foot of controversy over attempts by a Navan-based mining company, Minco, to secure a prospecting licence for a number of towanlands in Tulla and Bunratty Upper. (Read about the public meeting against the move here) The deadline for submissions was extended to Sunday last, after a public outcry, and intervention from Senator Róisín Garvey.  Minister Ryan confirmed the extension to January 23, outlining that an additional 14 days had been given. The Kilrush-based representative asked a range of questions of the Minister on his knowledge of the East Clare proposals and mining and prospecting policy generally.  In response to a question on what kind of environmental impact statements are required when a company applies for a …

Read More »

EPA concerned at home heating systems’ impact on Ennis air

ELEVATED particulate matter levels from domestic home heating systems during cold weather, as experienced in Ennis earlier this month, “is a cause of concern”, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The agency said it is working with Clare County Council “to better understand the causes of poor air quality in Ennis”. The Clare Champion contacted the EPA for comment after concerns were raised about the town’s air quality following the detection of a spike in air pollution levels on the night of January 16. Particulate matter (PM) are minute particles of dust, soot and smoke and the daily limit for PM10 is 50 ug/m3. PM10 of 485.38ug/m3 and PM2.5 of 467.58ug/m3 was recorded in Ennis, January 16, at 7pm, along with sulphur dioxide measuring 67.22ug/m3. On the same day, China’s notoriously smoggy capital city Beijing experienced moderate to good levels of air pollution. According to the EPA the daily average PM10 at the Ennis monitoring station for  January 16, …

Read More »

Meeting hears call to ban mineral prospecting in Clare

MORE than 30 people attended an online meeting last week to voice opposition to plans for mineral prospecting in East Clare, writes Fiona McGarry. The gathering heard that a county-wide ban should be sought, in the same way that fracking had previously been prohibited in Clare. The virtual event was organised by the newly-formed Keep Tulla Untouched and hosted by co-founder Jacintha Van Roij. Ms Van Roij, who described herself as a small-holder in the area, said that while a representative of Minco Ireland, the company currently seeking a prospecting licence, had been invited to attend, no response had been received. Farmers, public representatives and environmental campaigners alike were alarmed earlier this month at news that Department of the Environment intended to grant a licence to the Navan-based company for the prospecting of minerals, including silver and gold ore. After a political and public outcry, the Department extended the submission period to January 23 and an emergency motion was carried …

Read More »

Kilrush plant will end raw sewage discharge into Estuary

WORK has begun to construct a Wastewater Treatment Plant in Kilrush which will end the discharge of raw sewage into the Shannon Estuary. The project being delivered by EPS Group on behalf of Irish Water and Clare County Council is expected to take 18 months and is due for completion in 2023 It involves the construction of a new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant and sewer pipelines that will serve a population equivalent of approximately 6,700. The pumping station on Frances Street will also upgrade its pumps, mechanical plant and a storm water storage tank. Speaking on-site, Esther White from Irish Water said “Wastewater from the public sewer network in Kilrush is currently discharged untreated into the estuary. “This unacceptable practice threatens water quality, detracts from the amenity value of the area and does not comply with EU regulations relating to the treatment of wastewater. “Providing improved wastewater treatment for Kilrush will enhance the environmental amenity and protect the waters of …

Read More »