Day to Day Diary

The salmon produced by Marine Harvest at their installation in the Kenmare River are now being slaughtered on a new floating barge rather than being transported alive as initially reported.

For the first time in Ireland, a floating slaughterhouse has replaced the company’s established practice of killing the fish within the designated area at the port of Castletownbere. The slaughtered fish are now being landed at Ballycrovane, a small remote harbour within the Kenmare River Special Area of Conservation where they are piped into steel tankers for shipment to the company’s processing plant in Donegal.

Aquaculture is controlled by the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, whose Principle Officer recently recommended that the company licence be rescinded for overstocking, a recommendation rejected by Minister Creed earlier this year.

The Department’s Aquaculture and Foreshore division has been unable to produce the required written notification from the company of a change in the movement of the fish as required under the licence and the company’s certification by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council agreed Chain of Custody. In response to enquiries by journalists, the company was unable to state that the certifiers had been notified and the new procedures approved as required. The product has ‘organic’ status.

The operations are continuing at night, on Sundays and public holidays, with up to five 3-ton tankers holding 15 tons of fish each leaving the remote pier, in spite of the road being limited to 3 tons capacity and the areas’ nature designation, including a colony of seals and otters.


The Kenmare River is designated for protection under the Habitats Directive but the Department of Agriculture has informed the group that issues of assessment to ensure protection of the Natura 2000 site are the responsibility of the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Rural Affairs and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphries. However, this Minister has informed the group that such assessments are the responsibility of the Minister for Agriculture’. FIE has referred this situation to the European Commission and is awaiting the results of a full investigation by the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine.

FIE is urging Ireland’s Minister for Climate Action and the Environment Dennis Naughton to support the ratification of the findings that the UK must stop construction on its new nuclear plant until opportunity for comment provided to the public of neighbouring countries are ‘equivalent to that provided to the public of the Party of origin’

FIE’s complaint in March 2013 to the UN Economic and Social Council was upheld (along with a similar complaint from a German member of Parliament, Sylvia Kotting-Uhl. The finding determined that the UK did not met its obligations under the Espoo Convention and is due to be ratified in Minsk on June 16th. Work must be suspended until the opportunity to comment has been provided.


Read the letter   |   The current PR   |   Previous FIE press release and related documents



FIE’s successful complaint to the UN Implementation Committee of the Espoo Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context [ESPOO] in March 2013 that we in Ireland had been deprived of our right to be consulted by the UK before constructing the first of a new series of nuclear power plants continues to play out across Europe.

Ireland’s position is that since the United Kingdom had concluded that the likely impacts determined through a thorough EIA do not extend beyond the county of Somerset and the Severn Estuary’, the activity was not likely to give rise to a significant adverse transboundary impacts and the requirements under the Convention regarding notification to other States did not arise.

As an Austrian study submitted to the Committee stated, however, ‘A conservative worst case release scenario should have been included in the EIA. A source term, for example for an early containment failure or containment bypass scenario, should have been analyzed as part of the EIA – in particular because of its relevance for impacts at greater distances.’

As a result of the complaint, work may now have to be halted at the Hinkley C power plant construction site to allow for consultation.

Read our press release and letter to the Minister




The first legal action under Ireland’s new climate legislation has been lodged with the High Court.

The Chief Executive of Fingal County Council failed to provide satisfactory explanatory reasons for granting the extension to the original decision to allow a third runway at Dublin Airport in spite of the fact that the Chief Executive was fully aware that the extra runway would result in increased greenhouse gas emissions and so contravened the objectives of the 2015 Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act. 

While aviation is only responsible for about 5% of human-generated climate change, if the current trends continue, aviation emissions will increase by up to 300% by 2050.

The planned third runway at Dublin Airport is based on the scenario of unconstrained aviation growth and travel demand and reflects an implicit assumption by the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), Fingal County Council and the Irish Government that no steps will be taken to limit the growth in aviation. The proposal assumes that we will ignore the targets of the recent Paris Agreement on climate change.


Read the Press Release.



Almost a year after FIE began to investigate the felling of protected trees during the bird nesting season at Ireland’s largest private estate, the Minister for Agriculture has confirmed the felling of at least 9 specimen oak trees between 60 and 80 years old – with some even older – even though the Department had tried to specifically protect them with a cover letter to the licence. The cover letter proved invalid and while procedures have been changed, there is no way to enforce existing licences with these kinds of conditions. Even worse, when Minister for Heritage Heather Humphries had a report prepared by her Parks and Wildlife Service confirming the felling in response to a Parliamentary Question from James Bannon about the felling in December 2015, she told neither the Guards nor the Forest Service – nor did she ever answer the Deputy as promised. As a result, no prosecution can be undertaken of Lady Georgiana Forbes because of the passage of time.

 FIE is following up – read today’s letter