Minister condemns poisoning of eagles

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has condemned the apparent poisoning of white-tailed sea eagles in Mayo and Donegal.

The young Mayo eagle, which had been released in Killarney National Park in 2010, was found dead on the shores of Lough Beltra after a tag showed it was not moving.

Post mortem results showed it had high concentrations of poison in its body but it had also been shot in the past and had shotgun pellets in its body.

Post mortem results from another eagle, found dead in the Blue Stack mountains in Donegal, showed it too had been poisoned.

The Minister said he was very disappointed that some unknown individuals "would wantonly try to kill these magnificent birds".

Meanwhile there is bitter disappointment in Co Clare after it emerged that efforts to breed white-tailed sea eagles near Mountshannon have failed.

It was announced late last mont that a young pair of the rare raptors had bred and chosen an island on Lough Derg as their nesting site, the first time this had occured in over 100 years.

Speaking on Clare Fm this morning however, Reintroduction Project Manager with the Golden Eagle Trust Dr. Alan Mee said it appears that the birds have abandoned the nest, and that the attempt has failed, close to the point of hatching.

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