Enviro – 6th February 2017

Part one contained an extended interview with Conrad Jay of Mount Usher Gardens in Ashford, Co. Wicklow concerning the environmental implications of plans for the Roundwood reservoir and Vartry River. There have been several letters in the media expressing concern including his letter of the 1st February 2017 in the Irish Times. Conrad expanded on the details contained in the letter. Central to his argument was that an independent environmental analysis of the effects of the plan prepared by Irish Water and approved by Wicklow County Council had not been carried out and that the stakeholders who are entitled to be consulted had not been given that opportunity. A discussion followed and it was agreed to invite Irish Water and Wicklow County Council to take part in a discussion on the subject at some appropriate time.

The second topic in the first part of Enviro centred on a very comprehensive article on the subject of hare coursing in the Irish Independent 4th February 2017, written by Martina Devlin. The discussion led to the conclusion that hare coursing is a cruel sport whereby wild animals (hares) are rounded up, held in captivity for weeks and individually released to be hunted by a pair of greyhounds, and as a result terrorised, running for their lives unnecessarily and just to please huge crowds who take pleasure in the hare’s terror run. Although the hares are muzzled it does not lessen the fear generated and encouraged by the baying mob of humans who somehow feel pleasure and wager on which greyhound will ‘turn’ the hare

Part two contained an extended interview with Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC who set out the details of his article ‘Climate Change Deleted from the White House website, but alternative energy is thriving’ and concluded that renewable energy is thriving which augers well for the future in spite of the climate change deniers who form the mainstream of Donald Trump’s new government.

There followed a discussion about the fact that Environmentalist Michael McCoy was murdered in Ballinascorney Wood near Brittas Co. Wicklow on the 28th  September 2016 reportedly because of his objections to developments in his and adjoining areas in themountains. He was the founder of the Dublin Mountain Conservation Group. His murder has been compared to the frequent murders of environmental and human rights activists in South America. We will discuss the implications of this tragic killing of a fellow environmentalist.

Reference was made to a comprehensive article contained in the Irish Independent 4th Feb 2017 written by Kim Bielenberg. Panellist Joe Dunne suggested that there may have been one or other factors which could explain this murder mystery for which two men had been arrested and a file sent to the DPP.

Presenter: John Haughton

Panellist: Joe Dunne