2.8 litre diesel landcruisers while telling us to go electric…cutting farmers’ funds in environmentally designated areas while talking up the Nature Restoration Law…claiming to be personally putting money in farmers’ pockets when administering taxpayers’ funds…shameless.

Wastewater Infrastructure in coastal communities

Developing wastewater infrastructure in unsewered settlements is neither the responsibility of local authorities nor Irish Water. Therefore, despite the environmental and economic necessity and a budget surplus, communities all over Ireland have little prospect of a resolution.

In the Dáil today, I raised the plight of Clare coastal communities such as Carrigaholt, Doolin, Spanish Point, Miltown Malbay and Quilty.

Energy Security

It was confirmed to me today that the Government did not even bother applying for a multi-billion euro EU scheme to fund biomethane production despite Ireland being ideally suited to its production, our agricultural sector seeking help to produce it and our dire need to replace increasingly expensive and scarce imported gas.

Northern Distributor Road

The Government’s decision not to proceed with the second phase of the Northern Distributor Road lacks strategic vision. The Clare side of the University of Limerick campus needs to be developed for the benefit of the university, Clare, Limerick and the wider region, and sustainable travel links should be central to that development. The Government has sadly neglected these imperatives. 

Burren Businesses Recognised for Sustainable Tourism Practices

Great energy at the Falls Hotel & Spa in Ennistymon last night where 58 Burren Ecotourism members were honoured for fulfilling their commitments under the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark Code of Practice for Sustainable Tourism. A brilliant project which shows the way forward for sustainable tourism not just in Clare, but also across Ireland.

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VAT reduction on fuel

Independent Clare T.D. Michael McNamara has urged government to temporarily remove VAT on fuel as prices continue to soar across the country.

Speaking tonight (Wednesday) in Dáil Éireann in favour of the Government’s Financial Motion to reduce excise duty on petrol, diesel and green diesel, Deputy McNamara urged Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to follow in the footsteps of Poland by reducing VAT.

The Clare T.D. said rising costs are fast becoming unsustainable for people, especially rural dwellers.

Type of forestry carried out in Ireland not environmentally sustainable

Clare Independent TD Michael McNamara has told the Dáil that farmers are being prevented from harvesting forestry they plant and there is no incentive to replace monoculture Sitka spruce plantations with something more sustainable.

Deputy McNamara was speaking during a Motion presented to the Dáil by Deputy Jackie Cahill, Cathaoirleach of the Joint committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The Clare TD told Minister of State for Forestry, Senator Pippa Hackett, that the type of forestry being carried out in Ireland is not environmentally sustainable.

He said, “There is no sense of urgency, and farmers are seeing no urgency, with regard to their applications to plant trees or to cut the forestry they have planted, perhaps to replace it with something more environmentally sustainable.”

Deputy McNamara continued, “I hope we are about to see a change because all the talk in the world about afforestation in Glasgow – one can fly anywhere in the world and produce grandiloquent statements – is completely worthless unless it is backed up by what farmers are experiencing on the ground. We need action now as we are nearly half-way through the lifetime of this Government and we need it soon.”

“I ask the Minister of State to move outside her comfort zone. Stop talking to the converted and talk to farmers, ordinary people and landowners. They are the ones who are the future of afforestation in Ireland if there is going to be one. Above all, the Minister of State needs to back up the talk with actions, which have been singularly missing up to now,” he stated.

Data centres in Ireland

Simply moving data centres abroad to countries where they have a bigger carbon footprint isn’t a solution. I asked if the Government would engage with environmental NGOs & the tech giants based here to see how the growing demand for data storage can be slowed & sustainability met.

Climate Action & Agriculture

When talking about reducing Carbon emissions from agriculture, we need to consider that the Irish national herd has scarcely increased since 1975, the specific impact of methane on global warming and the risk of displacing Irish produce with South American produce with far greater emissions.

We don’t even yet know the metric the Govt will use to measure greenhouse gas emissions in its Carbon budget, and the metric used will have a large impact on the targets to by met by various sectors, especially agriculture.

My interview on RTE Radio today.