EDITOR – The recent demand from An Taisce for a compulsory reduction to the national dairy herd is a critical step towards an anti-farming agenda. While most farmers would expect little solace from An Taisce on any issue, their call for a reduction in the dairy herd is an extreme step that will create anger and dismay amongst many dairy farmers.
In recent years much of the rural population, including farming and community organisations, have become increasingly confused about the role and purpose of An Taisce, and why the State should be giving them significant funding each year through different government department and State agencies.
However, this hasn’t deterred An Taisce from recently launching a legal challenge in the High Court against the government’s decision to maintain the nitrate derogation for farmers, which was already agreed with the EU Commission. This creates a farcical dilemma for the government which must now defend a legal challenge against an agency to which it is providing taxpayers’ funding.
Glanbia, one of the country’s largest co-operatives, had to engage in a two-year legal battle with An Taisce in relation to planning for the construction of a new milk processing plant which culminated in a Supreme Court case finding in favour of Glanbia. The court case led to a long delay in construction and cost Glanbia, their shareholders and their milk suppliers, dearly.
The recent outburst by An Taisce for a reduction in the dairy herd came just after the release of the IPCC climate change report. An Taisce’s intervention has been vehemently condemned by the president of the ICMSA Pat McCormack, who said that if An Taisce had its way, food production would cease to exist in Ireland. He also accused An Taisce of ‘jaw dropping arrogance’ by creating division between different sectors of society. Clearly there is now a compelling need for more carefully measured discourse between all sectors of the economy, including farmers, to foster a united effort to confront the huge climate change challenge.
It is likely that An Taisce’s new-found interest in climate change may indicate that the organisation is now under the control of more extreme elements, who are seeking to exert pressure on the two large parties in government, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
An Taisce has accused both parties of stifling measures to control climate change in order to keep their supporters on side for the next election. However, the fact that the Green Party – who are also part of the government – were spared criticism creates speculation that An Taisce may be more interested in helping out the Green Party than solving climate change.
We need to be on alert for attacks on colourful rooks
EDITOR – A court recently convicted shooters for the recreational killing of rooks, which they had lured to their deaths using artificial crow decoys.
The National Parks and Wildlife service (NPWS) is to be commended for bringing the case, which highlighted the continuing threat to our diminishing bird populations from people who think they have a divine (if not always a legal) right to kill anything with wings. Sadly, the targeting of protected birds rarely ends up court, with shooters roaming the countryside virtually at will, turning these avian masterpieces of creation into mangled blood-spattered carcasses.
We must be on the alert for attacks on the birds that bring so much colour and biodiversity to the landscape. EU directorates aimed at safeguarding species are of little value if the law is not enforced.
Anyone who witnesses or becomes aware of unlawful targeting of birds should contact either the NPWS or the gardaí.
Gunmen have wrought enough havoc on our woodland birds and animal species, if not as much as that resulting from climate change and habitat loss. We humans need to rein in our destructive urges for nature’s sake.
Let’s protect the birds so that they can fly, chirp, and sing, free from man’s inhumanity … whether perched on tree branches or telephone wires, pecking in our gardens or traversing the heavens.
I know we’ll miss them terribly if they exit our world, never to return.
Restore Cork/Leeds flights
EDITOR – I have just launched a petition to rally and garner support for the restoration of the Cork to Leeds/Bradford and Newquay air routes.
The two routes have much to offer.
They are of commendable economic and social benefit mutually to the regions served at both sides of the sea, and open up new access to tourist markets not served currently by a direct air route.
There is capacity at Cork Airport for growth and the routes of Leeds/Bradford and Newquay are an ideal fit.
Direct flights on these routes open up the possibilities of valuable weekend and longer vacation potential at both sides of the water.
I urge your readers’ support for the restoration of these routes by contacting the airlines, as well as Cork, Newquay and Leeds/Bradford airports, and to support the petition on social media.
You might also consider writing to your local newspaper and your local public representatives here in Ireland and the UK.
To sign the petition, search for ‘Restore Cork/Leeds/Bradford & Newquay air routes’ on change.org.
Butchers’ guild objectives
EDITOR – I am writing to introduce the public to the Irish Butchers’ Guild. The Irish Butchers’ Guild was formed in 2019 by like-minded quality orientated butchers from all over Ireland. It is a platform to facilitate the exchange of best practice and personal knowledge. Members share a common drive to produce products of the highest standards, source as locally as possible and deliver an exceptional experience to their customers.
Irish Butcher’s Guild,