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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: The county is failing us on biodiversity policy

May 26th, 2024 1:45 PM

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: The county is failing us on biodiversity policy Image

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EDITOR – Once again Cork county fails us on biodiversity!

Readers may have noticed Minister Noonan announcing recently funding of €2.8m for local biodiversity projects.

Buried away in that headline are the figures by county in which we see Cork City gets €103,139 (4% of the national total) while the whole of the rest of the county gets €72,000 (3%). Pretty poor for the country’s largest county!

With its own biodiversity action plan adopted in December 2008 and now 16 (!) years old, no wonder our county fails us. As the old saying goes, ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’.

From my own contact with the existing cadre of councillors (with one or two exceptions) this fits exactly with their focus on the environment – massively down their list of priorities. Most of them wouldn’t know biodiversity if it hit them in their faces!

For a county that so depends on the quality of its natural environment, we are being sorely let down by this poor focus on biodiversity.  Let’s hope the new lot of councillors kick some biodiversity into the county and start winning us some serious investment in nature.

Mark Robins



Helpless to the horror on our doorstep

EDITOR – I was at the pro Palestine gig last week in De Barras, Clonakilty. We all feel guilty for being so helpless to the horror on our doorstep, on our phones 24/7, and what fills our minds, if we have a conscience. I’m realising, in the middle of having the privilege of indulging in an exhibition of me and my art that doesn’t mention Gaza, that being me and doing that 24/7 is exactly what I should be doing to honour them, and all they are suffering. Being here, I realise what a waste of all I can be, that it would be if I spent any time at all on impotent politics and protest.

My work as it is, is actually a political act. It celebrates everything Gazans are prevented from having. My voice is here to proclaim none of that horror, but what the creative life in the Promised Land actually can be for everyone on this Earth. I do my little best, the bit that only me and no one else can do, but me at my best. I am so grateful. And I’m not guilty.

That’s true art … for Palestine (and the best that Israel could be, too). Zionists don’t get it that it is the Promised Land, not a few acres of land next door, that doesn’t belong to them.

David Seeger

(artist, currently exhibiting at Cnoc Buí, Union Hall)



Eye research in focus at world congress

EDITOR – Through your auspices, I’d be grateful to let readers of The Southern Star know of a rare opportunity for people to quiz eye experts and to hear about the latest advances in treatments and cures for sight loss.

Hosted by Fighting Blindness, and sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine, the Retina International World Congress, will be one of the biggest global gatherings of its kind this year. Taking place in the Dublin Royal Convention Centre from June 5th to 8th, a public engagement day will take place on Saturday June 8th, featuring speakers at the vanguard of eye research, treatment, and care. There will be talks on the latest research to identify genes associated with sight loss, the importance of knowing one’s sight loss gene, and the development of gene therapies to arrest, delay, and reverse vision impairment.

In addition, there will be updates on cutting-edge treatments in the pipeline, the latest on assistive technologies to enhance daily living, the role of artificial intelligence in diagnosing different types of retinal disease, and how best to maintain optimum eye health. One of the highlights of the day will be a performance by the Visionaries Choir, Ireland’s only choir for people with a vision impairment. It is rare to have such a gathering of eye research leaders committed to treatments and cures on our own doorstep. Spaces are limited and so I would encourage anyone interested to book their place today at


Finbarr Roche
Chief executive, Fighting Blindness
Dublin 2


Make sure we keep horticulture course

EDITOR – I am disappointed to learn of the possible closure of the QQIlevel 5 Horticulture course at the West Cork Campus. Over the past 22 years, students have completed and qualified in this very important certificated course. The loss of this to Skibbereen and the greater community would be a huge, in educating people on biodiversity and the natural environment, as well as fruit and vegetable production, plant propagation and so much more. Please can we have this fantastic course stay in Skibbereen, so that it will continue to educate and help grow knowledge throughout the county.

Rory Jackson,



Why was the Israeli ambassador invited?

EDITOR – A national famine commemoration event was held in Longford last weekend. The actions of the British Empire in Ireland, ie occupation, denial of basic rights etc, contributed to this tragic famine. Consider the ongoing actions of the government of Israel against the Palestinian people both in Gaza, where people are not only killed on a daily basis, but denied food, water and medical facilities. In addition, the ‘occupied’ West Bank where Palestinians are driven from their homes and land, I suggest in was inappropriate to invite the ambassador of Israel to this event. I would add, in my opinion, that the invitation was an insult to the Irish people who died or were driven from their homes during the famine. I would urge the public at large to express their opinion on the matter to their elected representatives, some of whom may agree with the government action.

Michael A Moriarty.


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