Category Archives for "Pádraic Blog’s"

Jul 15

Opinion: Drift of the farm orgs

OPINION Drift of the farm orgs By Pádraic Fogarty 15th July 2023 This blog represents the views of the author and is not an Irish Wildlife Trust position.   Last May, I found myself on the farm of Donie Regan in the west of County Offaly. The open day was organised by the Farm Carbon […]

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Jul 01

Three years in government

Three years in government Pádraic Fogarty 1st July 2023 The Government recently celebrated three years in office, how is it doing in meeting nature objectives? I wrote a blog after its first anniversary in 2021 and the same terms and conditions apply to the one you are about to read. A year is not a […]

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Jun 17

Fair seas but few whales

Fair Seas, few whales Pádraic Fogarty 17th of June 2023 The south west-coast of Ireland has been identified by Fair Seas as an area which warrants designation as a Marine Protected Area (MPA). The Irish government has committed to protecting 30% of our territorial waters in MPAs by 2030 and legislation to allow for this […]

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Jun 03

Big parties are failing to lead

Big parties are failing to lead Pádraic Fogarty June 3rd 2023 Biodiversity week came to a close last week with dozens of events around the country celebrating our natural heritage. It’s hard to know if the irony was lost on some politicians that instead of spending time reflecting on our connection with nature they joined […]

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May 20

Bringing back the sturgeon

Bringing back the sturgeon Pádraic Fogarty 21st May 2023 Dublin’s wonderful Natural History Museum has a lot to say about our sea fish. The Victorian cabinets that line the walls of the hall on the ground floor speak to not only the great diversity of marine life that once abounded around our coasts but also […]

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May 06

Ireland in 2050

Ireland in 2050 Pádraic Fogarty 6th May 2023 2050 is only 27 years away. It’s at the same point in the future as 1996 is in the past, when Hotmail launched on the internet, Mission Impossible, Twister and Independence Day were in cinemas and the ‘Macarena’ was driving people on to, and away from, the […]

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Apr 22

People and wildife and dogs

People and wildlife and dogs Pádraic Fogarty April 22nd 2023 In the greater scheme of things, owning a dog is probably seen as at the insignificant end of the biodiversity crisis wedge. Owners of harmless-looking lapdogs or lumbering retrievers do not typically see their beloved pets as destroyers of ecosystems. I’m not a dog owner […]

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Apr 08

Will the Citizens’ Assembly change anything?

Will the Citizens’ Assembly change anything? Pádraic Fogarty 8th April 2023 This week’s publication of the Citizens’ Assembly report on Biodiversity Loss is a vindicating moment for environmental NGOs. Over the past year, 100 randomly selected citizens were given the task of making comprehensive recommendations on how we can reverse biodiversity loss, even though many […]

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Mar 26

Goodbye to the Hills

Goodbye to the Hills Pádraic Fogarty 26th March 2023 At a conference in Galway dedicated to the management of Ireland’s uplands regions, speaker after speaker raised concerns about the ecological degradation caused by over-grazing, the low returns for farmers on their sheep as well as the need for diversification and more native woodland in the […]

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Mar 11

The Lawless OPW

The Lawless OPW March 11th 2023 by Pádraic Fogarty Emo Court in County Laois is a splendid example of neo-classical architecture completed in the mid-1800s and set within mature trees and manicured gardens. It was also, until recently, home to a nationally important roost for brown long-eared bats. Emo Court is one of dozens of […]

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Feb 25

Bringing back lost species

Bringing back lost species February 25th 2023 Ireland’s tattered ecosystems are so far down the path of collapse that most people have got used to the idea that our island is not the place for wild nature that can simply be allowed to look after itself. I am used to hearing that what we have […]

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Feb 11

The Nitrates Bomb

The Nitrates Bomb January 11th 2023 The joke in 2008, in the forestorm of the economic meltdown that resulted in such pain for Ireland went like this: what’s the difference between Iceland and Ireland? One letter and six months. It wasn’t funny then either. Today it could be reframed: what’s the difference between Ireland and […]

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Jan 28

Padraic’s Blog: What next for Forestry?

What next for Forestry? January 28th 2023 Padraic Fogarty It has been a dramatic week in the history of our long and tortured relationship with trees in Ireland. The protests, the outrage among opposition politicians, the people sending emails to their TDs, even the government ministers admitting things need to change, including the State buying […]

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Jan 14

Time to remove the deer from the Park

Time to remove the deer from the Park January 14th 2023 I have written before about the need for rewilding the Phoenix Park, Dublin’s largest urban green space. I bemoan the intensive level of management by the Office of Public Works which minimises it’s biodiversity value: dead or fallen trees cleared away, poor management of […]

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Dec 30

Looking back on 2022

Looking back on 2022 December 30th 2022 Are we turning a corner? Or are we stuck in a dead end? Here’s a round up of what happened, and what didn’t, in 2022. February saw the launch of ‘Fair Seas’, a coalition of groups, including the Irish Wildlife Trust, dedicated to the protection of 30% of […]

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Dec 10

The Government at COP15

The Government at COP15 December 11th 2022 COP15, being held in Montreal, Canada, is the biggest, most important event for biodiversity in over a decade. The previous one of this magnitude, held in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, was the last to produce an overarching agreement among the world’s countries to stop the loss of species and […]

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Nov 27

Nature Restoration Law

Nature Restoration Law 27th November 2022 Democracy requires a lot of talking. Too much talking many might say, and certainly when it comes to the biodiversity and climate emergency we have heard far too much talk accompanied by precious little action. As I write, the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss has just voted to pass […]

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Nov 13

Crisis of Consultations

Crisis of Consultations November 13th 2022 “We want to hear your views”: six words that make hardened environmental activists want to take up smoking. Much time is devoted by NGOs and local community groups to making submissions to ‘public consultations’. This is where the government or one of its agencies asks ‘the public’ for its […]

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Oct 29

A revolution is underway

A revolution is underway October 29th 2022 Loss of biodiversity is a sad feature of humanity since our earliest ancestors first left the plains of Africa, but it was the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492 that unleashed an assault on the natural world unlike anything seen in human history. The spread […]

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Oct 15

Toxic denial

Toxic denial October 16th 2022 Denial remains a prevailing feature of the faltering approach to our collapsing biosphere. Outright climate denial has ceased to be a standard feature of debates even if it hasn’t completely disappeared. Extinction denial hasn’t been so noticeable but that is likely due to the fact that biodiversity loss has not […]

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Oct 01

Brazil’s national election and the fate of the Amazon

Brazil’s national election and the fate of the Amazon Fabiola Gomes Vieira October 1st 2022 Once again Brazil is preparing for a presidential election, only this time the date is surrounded by even more attention and tension than normal. After four years of the government of Jair Bolsonaro, champion of the loosening of environmental protection […]

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Sep 17

No more industrial tree farms

No more industrial tree farms 17th of September 2022 Will Ireland’s new Forest Strategy prove to be the acorn that went on to be a mighty oak? Or will it be a seed in the wind, destined to land on stony ground? It’s hard to get excited about new strategies, given our long history of […]

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Jul 23

Dodgy Dealings Under the Sea

Dodgy Dealings Under the Sea by Pádraic Fogarty July 23rd 2022 Hundreds of records released to Coastal Concern Alliance, a citizens’ group, under Freedom of Information and Access to Information on the Environment rules raise serious questions for habitat protection and wind farm development in the Irish Sea Was there political interference in designating sites […]

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Jun 11

Sinn Féin and biodiversity

Sinn Féin and biodiversity June 11th 2022 The government is nearing its second birthday. At the end of this year, at the halfway point if the government goes to full term, Micheál Martin will be replaced as Taoiseach by Leo Varadkar. While Martin has backed a response to the biodiversity emergency, even addressing the National […]

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May 28

30 years of plans… and counting

30 years of plans… and counting May 28th 2022 Next month (June) will mark the 30th anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit. That’s right, 30 years. In 1992, when I was just finished my first year in college and heading off for a summer of fun in Munich, thousands of delegates from across the globe […]

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May 15

Could this be a super year?

Could this be a super year? Yesterday (May 14th) marked the first full day of the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss, nearly three years since the idea was first mooted on the very same day the Dáil declared a climate and biodiversity emergency. Hardly an emergency response but a welcome development all the same. 100 […]

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Apr 30

Is this progress?

Is this progress? I had a dream that I was listing to Claire Byrne’s RTÉ radio show every day this week where she interviewed politicians from across the spectrum on the imminent extinction of curlews in Ireland. I imagined I heard Fine Gael’s Patrick O’Donovan list all the townlands in his constituency where curlews could […]

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Apr 16

Doing Nothing on the Bogs

Doing Nothing on the Bogs It’s nearly a decade since I travelled to Glenveagh in Donegal to look at what I had been told was widespread illegality and habitat destruction inside the eponymous National Park. I found the accusations hard to believe at the time, given the high profile of the Park but there it […]

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Apr 03

Rewilding: winning hearts and minds

Rewilding: winning hearts and minds I’ve never particularly liked the term ‘wilderness’. Although it is instantly evocative it carries so much colonialist baggage that I think it best avoided, regardless of whether you think it even exists or not (for background on this I can recommend this important essay by William Cronon). These days many […]

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Mar 19

Water… what’s it to you?

Water – what’s it to you? Where is your nearest water course? Mine is the River Tolka, a fairly short river that rises in farmland in Co. Meath only about 20km from where I live in Dublin. It is perhaps best known as the river that flows past the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin while […]

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