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Dear Editor, 25.05.21

CLG Bord Inis Eoghain wish to express their full support for the countless families, across every parish in Inishowen, who have been so traumatically affected by the MICA crisis and their request for 100% redress.

As we prepare to return to our games, having hopefully emerged from a pandemic which has caused deaths, illness, hardship, stress and anxiety in all areas of Inishowen over the past fifteen months, the joy of some restoration of normality has been overshadowed by the harrowing and stressful situation which our GAA community and their family members now find themselves in.

Anxiety and stress levels, some of which were already evident throughout the pandemic remain extremely high, especially among many of our younger members as they witness the reaction of their parents and grandparents who watch their homes crumble on a daily basis. This is causing the health and well-being of numerous members of our GAA family in Inishowen to be severely impacted upon and generating a major cause for concern.

This intolerable situation cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely and we are therefore calling for immediate and remedial action on the MICA crisis from all our elected representatives.

Mise le meas
Gearoid O Ceallachain
Chairman CLG Bord Inis Eoghain

Dear Sir or Madame, 03.05.21

With regard to the much-hyped easing of Covid 19 restrictions, I feel that a little perspective needs to be brought to the discussion.
After the first wave of April 2020, the daily infection rate fell to a low of 7 (7 day moving average). After the second wave of October November 2020, it fell to 248. Yesterday Ireland recorded a total of 545 infections. These figures speak for themselves.

We are now dealing with Covid 19 variants which are much more contagious and Ireland’s vaccination programme is not on a par with that of the UK or the US. As of the 28th of April, Ireland had administered 28.7 doses per 100 head of population against the UK’s 70 and the USA’s 71.

We should act with caution if we are to continue to prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed, causing needless death. Justifying easing of restrictions based on decreased hospitalisations is playing with fire. The new variants attack the younger to a higher degree and this cohort has not yet been vaccinated.

Pat Fitzpatrick

Dear Editor, 03.05.21

We’re inclined to take birds for granted, however much we might appreciate their life-enhancing presence in our gardens, in the trees, or traversing the skies above. It’s time we took stock of the fact that many of our feathered friends may disappear forever from our lives, and from this country that has played host to them for millennia.

A recent report highlighted that fifty-four bird species are now on Ireland’s red list, meaning they are deemed to be of “highest conservation concern" and seventy-nine species have been added to the amber list, denoting “concern for populations.”

This should set alarm bells ringing as it provides further evidence of the increasing threat to our biodiversity. Given the implications of these developments you’d think our politicians would be clamouring to do everything possible to stem the decline of affected species.

Unfortunately, politics and wildlife conservation don’t go well together. It has to do with votes, and the calculation as to what electoral advantage is to be gleaned from saying you’re “for the birds.”

Not only have successive governments failed to enact effective measures to protect them: the law continues to permit the targeting for “sport” of even the most vulnerable bird species.

Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon, Pintail, Tufted Duck and Greylag Goose are “amber” listed, yet are also listed in the annual Open Season Order for shooting. Snipe were recently raised from the amber conservation status to red, with breeding populations in Ireland now "in severe decline.” But hunters remain free to shoot them for five months of the year.

Red listed Pochard and Goldeneye, both of which have experienced severe declines in their wintering populations, can also be shot.

Red listed Red Grouse can be shot anywhere in the state for the whole of September, while red listed Woodcock are fair game from November 1st to January 31st.

Mallards, whose status has gone from green to amber, also appear on the Open Season Order. You can legally kill them from September 1st to January 31st.

What possible justification can there be for allowing these already threatened species to be blasted out of the sky? We must lobby TDs of all parties on this issue, and make them aware that the protection of our wonderful wildlife heritage DOES matter. It belongs to all of us- not just to those whose idea of fun is to turn a graceful avian into a blood-spattered carcass.

Our leaders need to be told that hunters don’t have a divine right to kill everything with a pair of wings. At the very least, birds that are either red or amber listed should be removed from the Open Seasons Order.

Let’s act to preserve what remains of our diminishing bird life…before the gunmen finish it off.

John Fitzgerald

Inishowen News reserves the right, at its complete discretion, to refuse, amend or delete letters to the editor without prior notice.

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