FIE Work

FIE’s intervention over felling in an ancient woodland in County Longford has led to the suspension of felling – but for how long?


While the Felling License issued for Castleforbes woodland last year had a condition preventing work during the bird nesting season from May to September, for some reason no conditions were put on the licences issued this year by the Forest Service. FIE has also seen photographs from last year of the stumps of huge ancient oaks and valuable ash trees removed in spite of the licence permitting only the removal of ‘poor quality stems’. This year’s licenses were limited to ‘non-native trees and shrubs’ while again FIE has photographs of mature native trees felled in a woodland first recorded in the 17th century. FIE was informed by the Forest Service that work was to recommence last week – but so far the contractors have not returned. We are doing our best to increase the pressure through public representatives and in a letter to the Minister.


 Read the Letter to the Minister   |   Read the Press Release





FIE has launched a campaign to STOP TRUMPS IRISH WALL! The developer and US Presidential candidate bought the sea side golf course and hotel at Doonbeg County Clare in 2012 and is now claiming that ‘the asset and business is in a state of emergency’ after a series of storms led to five holes being out of service, ‘rending the course unplayable and inoperable’.

 He has now applied for planning permission for a 3 km hard coastal defence of quarried limestone rocks up to 5 meters above beach level and 15 metres wide to protect the course from falling into the sea.

An attempt to bring in quarried blocks of rock to protect the dunes without permission was halted by a Enforcement Order from the local authority in April 2014.

Friends of the Irish Environment, who went to the High Court in 2000 to ensure protection for the dunes and a tiny snail it hosts, claim that the proposed wall will ‘kill the dune system’. According to the group, the legally binding Conservation Objectives for the EU protected nature conservation site published in 2014 prohibit ‘any construction on the dune system’.

FIE has also lodged complaints with the local authority and the National Parks and Wildlife Service after the Irish national television service’s RTE ‘Prime Time Investigates’, recorded an unauthorised dump exposed by the eroding dunes. The group has provided photographs showing what appears to be a covering up of the dump since ‘Prime Time’ filmed it and asked the management about it.

They have also published documents showing that the National Parks and Wildlife Service originally opposed the building of the course but in spite of scientific evidence in the end allowed it to proceed.

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A pre slaughter chemical residue test on a Marine Harvests’ ‘organic’ salmon showed traces of 10 chemicals. None of them are listed in the State’s annual Report of chemical residues published by the Marine Institute – part of the Department of Agriculture which supports an massive expansion of this industry - as they are below the ‘minimum residue level. The chemicals Including dyes which are illegal, artificial preservatives which are not permitted in organic production, anti-parasite drugs which have been shown to cause mutation world wide in just 11 years in the targeted lice, and anti-biotics which the world health organisation is seeking to have banned from agriculture to preserve their effectiveness in human diseases. The presence of the chemicals are hotly denied by the company and the IFA. READ THE ARTICLE in the current Village Magazine.

Trihalomethane’s [THMs] carcinogenic chemicals have created an additional health risk to water consumers in Carraroe, County Galway because of Irish Water’s Boil Water notice. The Carraroe group water scheme is recorded as exceeding the WHO/EU limits in 4 of the last 5 water quality tests.

THMs are a group of more than 60 chemicals, including chloroform which is classed as a carcinogen, created in drinking water as a result of reaction between organic materials, such as peaty soil, to chlorine added as a disinfectant.

It is universally accepted that THMs are volatile chemicals that present a specific and particular danger through inhalation. Yet this is exactly what Irish Water has instructed consumers to do by bringing the water to a “vigorous, rolling boil”.’

Absorption through the skin and inhalation of THMs associated with everyday tap water use such as showering can result in ‘THM blood concentrations rising 5- to 15-fold, according to USA study.

FIE is not suggesting that Irish Water stop chlorinating the water before the infrastructure is rationalised, but it borders on the criminal to instruct consumers to boil the water without informing them of the necessary precautions, including ensuring adequate ventilation to protect themselves and their family from inhaling the dangerous chemicals released from boiling THM-laden water. An EPA Direction issued to Irish Water required completion of works including filtration and UV to address cryptosporidium in this supply by 30/11/15.’

FIE is continuing its campaigning to have consumers informed directly on their bills of exceedances of the WHO/EU permitted level of THMs in their water supplies.

 Read the full Press Release

Erin Brockovitch has warned Irish Water consumers ‘not to be fooled by this dodge of responsibility and factual sharing of information by your government!’ about Irish Water’s refusal to notify consumers of the high levels of toxic THM chemicals in 412,000 consumers' water.

Brockovitch became a household name after a 1990 film ‘Erin Brockovitch’, starring Julia Roberts in the title role, detailed Brockovitch’s work in exposing Chromium 6 in groundwater from a cooling tower system on a gas pipeline in California. The film is to be screened by TV3 tomorrow Friday 26 February, at 9PM.

On her recent Facebook Post, Brockovitch highlighted the dangers of THMs causing miscarriages as well as cancer. She highlighted specific danger to pregnant women, writing ‘Trihalomethanes are far more dangerous to pregnant women. Studies have demonstrated woman exposed to Drinking Water over 80 micrograms/Litre of trihalomethanes are exposed to a greater risk for miscarriage in the first trimester and low birth weight in the second and third trimester... beware of very real "short term" exposure!’

The Irish Health and Safety authority have refused to notify consumers as they claim there is no ‘short term potential danger’ to consumers.