Thursdays Seanad debate on the Heritage Bill marked the third sitting of the Seanad on the Bill in the short lifetime of the current government. It is the fourth sitting of the Seanad on this issue. The event was marked by a mass demonstration outside of the Seanad in which An Taisce staff and members were well represented.The event feature heavily in Irish media and was one of the top trending events on Irish twitter that day. The level of attention has also helped to boost our joint petition against the bill which at the time of writing is 26,600+ signatures. We will continue to work with other concerned groups and Senators to ensure that this bill does not pass in its current form.

An Taisces Natural Environment Officer Fintan Kelly featured in a debate on the contentious Heritage Bill on last night’s RTE Drive Time. An Taisce followers will be aware of the ongoing #NoToMoreSlashAndBurn campaign and the negative impact that burning in March and hedge cutting in August will have on our environment. In opposition to our position was Patrick Rowan of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association. Despite the fact that such a change is likely to drive species such as Curlew and Yellowhammer to extinction in Ireland and seriously undermine the environmental credentials of Irish produce and compromise the CAP budget Patrick felt that the extension was necessary for farmers as the existing six month window for controlling vegetation was he felt not long enough. This is despite the fact that he admitted that most hedge cutting is contracted out to specialists these days. The show was hosted by RTE Mary Wilson.

National Coverage

Irish Times: Environmental groups warn on Heritage Bill changes

Irish Time Op Ed 'The destruction of hedgerows'

Irish Farmers Journal 'Bill on hedge cutting and burning dates remains bogged down in Seanad'

Irish Independent 'Hedgecutting ban in place as row rages over new bill'

Irish Independent 'Hedgecutting ban comes into force as bitter debate continues over its future'