14 DECEMBER 2016


Boycott campaign challenges organic standards on salmon


The Boycott Farmed Salmon’s 2016 Christmas campaign has added the word ‘ORGANIC’ to its campaign’s name after the Minister refused to enforce the EU Regulations which require that whenever chemical medicines are used on organic products ‘treated stock shall be clearly identifiable’. [Note 1]


According to the 10 Irish environmental groups that support the campaign, the requirement is contained in the European Union regulations governing organic production. Deputy Eamon O’Cuiv raised the issue of chemical treatment in the Oireachtas last year when, referring to the chemical treatments, he said that he ‘will not touch farmed salmon because it is a totally unnatural product.’


In 2015, the campaign published a pre-slaughter Department of Agriculture laboratory analysis that showed the presence of 10 chemicals, 6 approved by Marine Harvest, the Norwegian multi-national that produces almost all of Ireland’s organic farmed salmon.


‘However, the Minister for Agriculture claims that the regulation does not mean that the treated stock shall be clearly identified to the consumer. He claims that the identification required is solely for the benefit of the producers to ensure withdrawal periods are met’, the campaign spokesman explained. [Note 2]


The Food Safety Authority initially told the groups that ‘It is a fair point to make – that is treated stock are to be clearly identifiable.’ [Note 3] But after consulting with Department of Agriculture, Food and the Maine and with the Marine Institute, they advised the campaign and the Minister that this was ‘an issue of record keeping, not labelling of packaging. ‘Organic operators meet this requirement’ the Minister told the Oireachtas in a written parliamentary reply earlier this year, ‘by maintaining information at their premises’. [Note 2]


The campaign spokesman said this made no sense. ‘The Regulations state clearly that ‘treated stock shall be clearly identifiable’. Farmed salmon are treated with a range of chemicals which while approved by the regulatory authorities the consumer may not wish to ingest himself.’ [Note 3]


‘The purpose of organic regulations are so that consumers can differentiate chemically treated products from products that have not been chemically treated. We urge the public to boycott organic farmed salmon this Christmas if they have any respect for those who buy and sell organic products in a relationship of trust with the public.’



Billy Smith 353 (0) 86 3511628

Tony Lowes 353 (0) 27 74771   /  353 (0)87 2176316

Or any of the supporting organisations below

Campaign Website:



[1] COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 710/2009 of 5 August 2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, as regards laying down detailed rules on organic aquaculture animal and seaweed production.

Section 7, Article 25 t ‘Veterinary treatments’ (5) of Regulation 710/2009 states: ‘Treated stock shall be clearly identifiable.’


[2] Clare Daly, Dublin Fingal, United Left. Written answers, Tuesday, 28 June 2016. [17940/16]


[3] Medicines Positive List. Marine Harvest list chemical veterinary products approved for use in the production of farmed organic salmon.


Environmental Groups supporting the Boycott

An Taisce 087 2411995

Federation of Irish Salmon and Sea Trout Anglers (FISSTA) 074 9730300

Forest Friends 087 619 8265

Friends of the Earth 01-6394652

Friends of the Irish Environment 087 2176316

Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages 086 3511628

Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture 00 44 7771541826

Irish Federation of Seal Anglers  085 7339040

Irish Seal Sanctuary 01 8354487

No Salmon Farms at Sea 087 7673157

Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture 0044 7771 541826

Salmon Watch Ireland 086 826 9222

Save Bantry Bay 087 7949 227

The Woodland League  087 9933157

Verification and technical support: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 087  2176316

Revised 17.12.16










Trump’s Irish Wall plan scrapped


Donald Trump’s proposed 3 km sea wall at his International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland in Doonbeg, Co, Clare, has been scrapped, according to new plans revealed last night.


At the opening of the Public Consultation on revised plans for Donald Trump’s coastal defences at Doonbeg County Clare last night new plans were put on public display that showed that permission to construct a continuous 2.8 kilometre wall has been abandoned.


According to those who attended last night’s Public Consultation, held at the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland in Doonbeg, a new planning permission is to be submitted shortly which will propose sheet metal piling and rock armour for 650 metres at one end and 200 metres at the other end of the dune system. Two holes will be relocated inland.


Save the Waves, who sponsored a petition that now has more than 100,000 signatures opposed to the original Wall, called it a ‘Good News Story’. Director of Programmes Nick Mucha said that ‘This is a defining milestone for the campaign. It demonstrates the power of the international community to protect our coasts. Save the Waves and its Irish partners will continue to monitor the new proposals and remain engaged to guide them towards a responsible solution, but today more than 100,000 people can celebrate the fact that the original ill-conceived sea wall proposal has been scrapped.’


‘The threat of Trump’s Irish wall has hung over Doonbeg like a dark cloud for more than two years’, FIE Director Tony Lowes said. ‘There is no doubt the original proposal would have stopped the development of the dune system and scoured the beach, leading to a loss of one of the finest amenities on the west coast. While the sense of relief today is enormous – as is our gratitude to the international community- the current proposal will require detailed analysis in terms of the Conservation Objectives – and the impact on the protected snail – before we can comment on it.’


Leading Irish Surfer Fergal Smith, who attended the Public Information Day, said ‘There has been a serious re think on the original wall which is good to see. It's still a wall which is always a concern so it's important to keep a close eye developments.’



Contacts: Tony Lowes Friends of the Irish Environment 353 (0)27 74771

 Nick Mucha, Save the Waves 001 831-345-4837

Save The Waves is working alongside prominent Irish and European environmental and surfing groups to defeat Mr. Trump’s proposal. The coalition of organizations includes Surfrider Foundation Europe, Friends of The Irish Environment, Irish Surfing Association, West Coast Surf Club, Friends of The Earth Ireland, and the Irish Seal Sanctuary.


Press Release

Friends of the Irish Environment

28 November 2016




The Minister for Agriculture has confirmed in a written Parliamentary Reply that the felling of 30 mature oak trees in a heritage woodland designated for protection in County Longford is to be investigated.


The oaks, between the ages of 60 and 80 years old, were specifically protected under instructions issued with a 2014 Felling Licence at Castleforbes, County Longford. The protection was imposed at the request of the National Parks and Wildlife Service [NPWS] during the consultation period before the licence was issued.


The Minister for Agriculture denied on 10 November 2016 in a written Parliamentary Reply to Independent TD Clare Daly that he had any reports of Illegal Felling Activity at Castleforbes. However, after the Deputy provided reference numbers of Friends of the Irish Environment’s [FIE] complaint, he amended his reply on 24 November, stating that his officials did not view a May 2016 letter from the environmental organisation as a report of Illegal Felling Activity but that his Department was now investigating the matter.


A spokesman for FIE said the organisation had in fact first reported the illegal felling to the Minister on 18 April 2016. ‘We informed the Minister that the relevant ’licence allowed the taking only of ‘poor quality stems’ while we understand the activities included prime mature timber’. ‘To not view this letter as a report of Alleged Illegal Felling’ is inexplicable’, the spokesman said.


‘On 16 May FIE wrote again informing the Minister of the existence of a Report confirming the felling of mature specimen oaks at Castleforbes prepared by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The Report, prepared for the Minister for Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht in December 2015 was intended to inform a reply to a written Parliamentary Question from Longford-Westmeath Fine Gael TD James Bannon questioning the protection of this ancient woodland. The Report detailed the felling of oak, ash, and beech, stating “Most oak trees selected were between 60 and 80 years old, with the occasional older trees.” 


Yet the NPWS did not report the matter to the Forest Service and never informed Deputy Bannon of its contents.


The Minister also confirmed to Deputy Daly that sequoias [giant redwoods] up to 100 years old which the contractor had been instructed not to touch on 17 April 2016 had in fact been felled on 13 May 2016, stating that ‘the breach of this instruction is being raised with the Contractor.’


The environmental organisation said that ‘What went on at Castleforbes is a breakdown of the system of protection for ancient forests in Ireland, even though they may have the highest level of protection possible in national and European law. If these heritage woodlands cannot be protected, woe betide the rest of Ireland’s vanishing native woodlands.’




Contact: Tony Lowes 353 (0) 27 74771 or 353 (0) 87 2176316



Full text of PQs



May 2016 FIE PR on Felling During Bird Breeding Season at Castleforbes


The Village Magazine: ‘Castleforboding’, November 2016




Activity at Castleforbes under investigation

Alleged felling of protected trees

 The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine has confirmed that it is investigating the alleged felling of oak trees at a w woodland in Newtownforbes earlier this year.

The oaks aged between 60 and 80 years old were specifically protected under instructions issued with a 2014 Felling Licence at Castleforbes.

The protection was imposed at the request of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) during the consultation period before the licence was issued.

Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) made a complaint in rpect of the matter and the issue was brought forward by way of a Dail Question through Independent Deputy Clare Daly, TD.

‘What went on a Castleforbes is a breakdown in the system for ancient forests in Ireland, even though they may have the highest level of protection possible in national and EU law’, a spokesman for FIE said.

‘If these heritage woodlands can not be protected, woe betide the rest of Ireland’s vanishing native woodlands’.

FIE also claimed that it first reported to the Minister that the relevant licence allowed the taking of only ‘poor quality stems’ but now understood that the trees destroyed at Castleforbes included prime mature timber.

‘On May 16 we wrote again informing the Minister of the existence of a Report confirming the felling of mature oaks at Castleforbes prepared by the NPWS’, the spokesman continued.

‘The Report, prepared by the NPWS for the Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht in December 2015, was intended to inform a reply to written parliamentary Questions from Longford-Westmeath TD James Bannon questioning protection of this ancient woodland.

‘It detailed the felling of oak, ash, and beech and stated that most oak were between 60 and 80 years old, with the occasional older trees.’


By Aisling Kiernan


Longford Leader 3 December 2016


Over a Tiny Snail, Big Concerns

The vertigo angustior snail is only two millimeters long. But it punches above its weight.

The endangered little snail has helped stall Mr. Trump’s plans to build a sea wall to protect the coastline along his Trump International Golf Links course on the west coast of Ireland, in County Clare.

Environmentalists, as well as surfers, list a host of concerns about the proposed wall, particularly its potential impact on sand dunes. Along with the snails, a patch of the dunes near the course is protected by European Union rules. But Mr. Trump’s organization has said the golf resort development might be dead in the water without the sea wall, and many locals welcome the business and the jobs it brings.

The battle is likely to be decided next year in front of a national planning board, in the weeks or months after Mr. Trump is inaugurated on Jan. 20, several people said.

The planning board was overhauled in the 1980s to insulate it from political meddling, and it now has the confidence of environmentalists. But there is little precedent for the Trump situation, which could involve a public hearing.

“They can be long, they can be lively, and a lot of things could be aired,” said Sean O’Leary, the executive director of the Irish Planning Institute, which represents the majority of the country’s professional planners.

He noted that the national planning board had considered a development proposed by a politician before, but that was a holiday home that the Irish president wanted to build.

“The scale is slightly different,” he said.

Local officials have said the Trump Organization needs to resubmit its application by the end of the year. In a statement, the Trump Organization said it was “considering all potential coastal protection options at present” and would be in contact with the local authority before Christmas. The snail, the statement said, “is thriving on the site.”

“Its only material threat is that presented by coastal erosion,” it added.

A video by the Trump Organization advertising its golf course in Scotland. YouTube

Certainly, Mr. Trump’s golf courses in Scotland and Ireland have remained at the fore in the president-elect’s mind, even in recent days. Shortly after his election, he urged a group of “Brexit” campaigners led by Nigel Farage, the head of the U.K. Independence Party, to fight against wind farms in Britain. Wind farms have been a favorite target of Mr. Trump’s in both Britain and Ireland, where he has railed against proposed installations as a potential blight on the views from his resorts.

After a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump initially denied that the matter had been raised with Mr. Farage’s group, Mr. Trump conceded during his interview with The Times this past week that “I might have brought it up.”

Tony Lowes, an activist who runs a group called Friends of the Irish Environment, said Mr. Trump had once called him because Mr. Lowes’s group also happened to oppose a proposed wind farm near Mr. Trump’s Irish course on environmental grounds.

“He certainly hates wind farms, that’s for sure,” Mr. Lowes said about the call.

His group decided against working with Mr. Trump, and is now a leading opponent of his planned sea wall.

“The dune system will not be able to develop naturally,” Mr. Lowes said. “It will be starved of the sand it needs to develop and evolve and it will die.” He added, “The whole system there is alive and mobile and moving, and the wall is intended to stop that.”

Mr. Trump’s representatives have advanced a number of rationales for the sea wall, with the most straightforward being that they simply want to buffer the land from a continuing erosion problem. The proposal has previously attracted attention because an environmental-impact statement submitted by Mr. Trump’s team highlighted the risks of climate change and its influence on “coastal erosion rates.” That was a noteworthy claim, since Mr. Trump has called global warming a hoax perpetrated “by and for the Chinese.”

The Irish government has zealously courted Mr. Trump. When he visited the course in 2014, he was greeted on the airport tarmac in Shannon with a red carpet, a harpist, a violinist and a singer whose voice cut through the runway clamor.

Malachy Clerkin of The Irish Times called it “a preposterous welcome” and “the worst kind of forelock-tugging.”

Many locals, however, support Mr. Trump’s development. Hugh McNally, the owner of Morrissey’s Bar in Doonbeg Village, about two miles from the course, said the issue had been “sensationalized by the media” because of the Trump connection.

“I’ll give you an example,” he said. Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical company, announced last year that it would close a plant in nearby Clarecastle, causing the loss of more than 200 jobs. “If someone told them you’d save those jobs by building any wall, everyone would do it,” he said. “The only reason people are objecting here is because of Trump.”


(c) New York Times 27.11.16