Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

OPW Flood Works On Limerick River Show ‘Disdain’ For Natural Heritage Claims Wildlife Group

15th May 2019
1083 Views
Part of the River Newport as seen after OPW flood relief works in December 2018 Part of the River Newport as seen after OPW flood relief works in December 2018 Photo: Irish Wildlife Trust

The Office of Public Works has been accused of showing “disdain” for Ireland’s natural heritage over flood relief works on a waterway in Co Limerick.

The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) criticised the clearing last year of some 3km of wild habitat from the River Newport, east of Limerick city and within the Lower Shannon SAC.

The conservation group accuses the OPW of conducting the clearance works — in which “entire stretches of the riverbank had been stripped down to bare soil” — in the absence of the Appropriate Assessment legally required under Irish and EU law.

It is suggested these works have jeopardised an important habitat for otters and wet Willow woodland, while also potentially exacerbating the spread of invasive plan species such as Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed.

The IWT says it visited the River Newport in December and found that “works had greatly exceeded what had been set out” in the OPW’s initial screening report, which the group has branded “largely inaccurate”.

IWT campaigns officer Pádraic Fogarty said: “The OPW is not above the law but yet it seems to think that it can operate with impunity. The damage it has done to our rivers is incalculable; this instance at the Newport in Limerick is not untypical of the distain they show for our natural heritage.”

Similar complaints have been levied against OPW works in Skibbereen, where a stream feeding the River Ilen has been re-engineered as a concrete culvert.

The OPW did not respond to queries from either The Sunday Times or The Green News.

Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Webcams

webcam sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating