Cllr. Charlie Accused of Being Green on Environmental Issues

“This is what I’m talking about and this is what people are complaining about,” said Cllr. Charlie Farrelly on the river walk on Thursday evening. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Castleisland Community College teacher, Doreen Killington pictured with students: Kevin Keane, Mark O’Donoghue and Kevin Lenihan with: Maebh Young, Shauna Ahern, Aisling O’Connell and Laura Fleming on the local river walk with the biodiversity wall plaques. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Freeing the final duck of the 40 plus hatch into the River Maine in July 2015. With John Skevena O’Sullivan were: Grace McGovern, Kate Harmon, Imogen O’Callaghan, Ava McGovern, Jack McGovern, Bella Harmon and Éabhain Kearney at Barrack Street Bridge. ©Photograph: John Reidy 30-7-2015

Environmental cornucopia is like a prescription for wildlife which summer fills with abandon and which animals take advantage of for their own very good reasons.

Have a look along the town and the walkable banks of the River Maine these days and take the time to observe the teeming world of wildlife which lives there.

It’s thriving there now because everything it needs is blooming, flowering, growing and providing shelter.

Lovable, Visible Evidence

While the ducks and the drakes and the ducklings are often the most lovable, visible evidence of the wildlife here, there are so many other bird, insect and plant species which make up the ‘outback’ on our doorstep.

With adequate shelter the ducks, which were introduced to the area by John Skevena O’Sullivan in 2002 can,quite literally, play ducks and drakes with potential predators.

But even then their clutch casualties are enormous with an average of only two percent of the hatch surviving.

The February 2018 attached Castleisland Community College steel plaques on the wall of the river walk near the Crageen Bridge provide a menu of environmental wonders specific to our river.

The plaques are a revelation to children and people seeking information on what can be seen along the river.

Charlie and the Green View

Cllr. Charlie Farrelly drew the wrath of what he described as ‘every Green and keyboard warrior in the country’ down on his head after declaring that the river should be cleared so that people and children would be able to see the ducks.

“I brought up the matter at Wednesday’s special meeting of the Castleisland /Corca Dhuibhne Municipal District. The condition of the river has deteriorated rapidly over the last number of years and it is severely overgrown and nearly fully blocked in places with trees growing out of the centre,” said Cllr. Farrelly.

Numerous Complaints

He posted the fact on his Facebook account and said he had got numerous complaints regarding the overgrown state of the river.

He included a photograph of an area of the river which ducks and wildlife consider a residential paradise – where food, shelter and water abound and the ideal place to raise a family.

It’s a biodiversity boulevard.

A regular walker along the river, Cllr. Farrelly took the photograph on foot of the complaints he received and raised the matter at council level on Wednesday.

A General View

“The photograph I took was a general shot to show the river and the clutter in it which people had been complaining about,” said Cllr. Farrelly.

“What I’m really concerned about are the trees which have fallen across the river in various parts of the town stretch. In times of heavy rain those trees will collect debris from the the high water levels and would be likely to flood the area – and we have plenty examples of that in recent years.

Balance to be Struck

“Granted, there’s a balance to be struck while taking the breeding and nesting season of the birds and animals into consideration – but there’s a onus on us to take action when we see a potential problem ahead of a change in the weather.

“When that potential problem has been pointed out to us by the people of the area who contact us wondering what we’re doing about it, then, doing nothing is not an option.

Undertaking to Investigate

“Municipal District Manager, John Breen gave a undertaking to investigate what avenues could be explored to get the the river cleaned and he would revert back to me in due course,” said Cllr. Farrelly.

For the people who worry about the state of the riverbed at present, do consider that there are little creatures trying to raise families in this environment and shelter is of paramount importance to them.

The increasing amount of heron activity along the river coincides with the hatching of the ducklings and the heron is an opportunist and has wiped out many clutches over the years.

Relief is at Hand

And, relief is at hand. If the God of the animal and bird kingdom is good, the floods won’t come until the youngsters are sturdy and well able to manage and too big to be picked on.

That same flood will wipe out the shelters and the weeds from the bed of the river and cleanse it as only nature does. All my life’s a circle.

Far more worrying is the amount of plastic, water and mineral bottles and beer cans which continually litter the river bed.

Now, is there anything we could do with the branch of nature which which causes this escalating problem?

For all you need to know about biodiversity and the National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021 you can click on the link here: