Donal Hickey

Wonderful Blackwater wanderer

ANY person who walks the length of the Munster Blackwater deserves an accolade, writes Donal Hickey

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The Guinness brewery building in Dublin, a magnet for tourists.

Bygone age gives us modern industry

THERE isn’t a parish in the country, urban or rural, without very visible reminders of how people earned their livelihoods, conducted their lives and transported themselves in the past.

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Faith in weather lore pays

CAN there be a better topic to get people talking than the weather? 

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Dormouse found in Ireland

THE common dormouse, made famous through the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, has been found in Ireland and is being treated as a non-native species. 

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Hidden art of reading weather

NOWADAYS with professional experts giving weather forecasts based on science and studies of the atmosphere, it is common to mock traditional weather lore, farmers and other rural folk who relied on signs from plants and animals to predict the capricious elements.

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Recurring rodent risks

IT’S not always appreciated, but birds of prey, including barn owls and red kites, play a key role in controlling the rat and mice population in a natural way, writes Donal Hickey

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If you go down to the beach

WHEN the sun is shining and skies are blue is there a nicer place to be than the beach? Even if there’s only a mild hope of a favourable weather, we flock to the seaside.

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Makeover of towns inspiring

TIME was leading tourist towns like Westport, Co Mayo, and Killarney, Co Kerry, were criticised for not being attractive in themselves, despite their exquisite surrounds.

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Children must play outdoors

SCHOOL holidays are almost here and, hopefully, long, sunny days lie ahead.

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Wildlife still under pressure

THE odd snippet of good news about nature, such as the hatching of five white-tailed eaglets, should not lull us into a believing that things are looking up for the natural world.

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Get on your bike for life

THE number of people cycling in Ireland has more than doubled in the past 10 years, which must surely be a help in easing traffic congestion on the roads, not forgetting the health and environmental benefits.

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Funding to protect wildlife in the Duhallow region

RURAL communities hold the key to nature conservation and, by so doing, can ensure their own survival — was the message from a conference of environmental experts in Newmarket, Co Cork. 

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Sneem, one of the many villages in Ireland like a postcard picture.

The villages of Ireland are looking good

ONE of the most uplifting aspects of travelling around Ireland now is seeing how the appearance of villages has improved so much in recent years.

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What’s eating the potato?

AMONG the many lovely things about flower-filled May are the early potato stalks rising ever upwards. In recent years, many people, yours truly included, have returned to vegetable-growing and there’s a primal joy in watching those hardly, little green leaves breaking through the soil.

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Calls for bounty on mink to reduce population

ANYBODY trying to keep hens, or ducks, will know how difficult it is to protect them from predators. Foxes have always been a threat to poultry but, in some areas, mink are now regarded with equal dread in the coop.

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Make haste with the waste

TAKE a look around the kitchen, the garage and, most certainly, the attic and you’ll definitely spot some used electrical items that have been lying there for ages.

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Wild plants are essential to wildlife

THE COUNTRYSIDE has donned its mantle of green and you can scent the fragrances of early summer, especially the vivid yellow gorse that lights up the landscape in April. 

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Wild plants are essential to wildlife

THE COUNTRYSIDE has donned its mantle of green and you can scent the fragrances of early summer, especially the vivid yellow gorse that lights up the landscape in April. 

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Pollutant dangers to fish

IS any food truly safe to eat?

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New grants and apprenticeships are aiming to conserve Irish skills of old

TIME was when the traditional Irish thatched cottage was associated with rural poverty. Then, there was a change in perception when photographer John Hinde — a man who always portrayed Ireland as a land of perpetual sunshine and blue skies — came along. His postcards featuring such cottages went all over the world.

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The buzz on the buzzard

ONCE persecuted to extinction here, the buzzard, a bird of prey, seems to be making a comeback and we’ll probably be seeing more of it in southern parts, writes Donal Hickey

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