Elaine Loughlin reported “Fianna Fáil leader wants the Dáil to go wild” in the article ‘Green welcome for FF’s wild proposal’ (Irish Examiner, June 14). Micheál Martin was reported as taking inspiration from University College Cork who have created a wildflower meadow. Mr Martin has suggested the pristine lawn in front of Leinster House be let grow into a wildflower meadow.
His comment “I’ve been wondering why we mightn’t replant the Merrion Lawn with Irish wildflowers” has 75% support out of 1,000 online people currently being polled. May I point out that this idea was first posted on RTÉ’s Pat Kenny’s radio show some years ago when it was suggested the green lawn in front of Dáil Éireann would be turned into a car park and it caused a discussion.
I sent the radio programme an email to grow a wildflower meadow so politicians would understand the meaning of “buzz off” and it got quite a reaction. The idea of a meadow is not Mr Martin’s, it’s ours at Design By Nature, Irish native wildflower growers who supplied the wildflower seed to UCC.
Mr Martin could go further and turn the lawns into a living gene bank as we recently convinced Áras an Uachtaráin to do for native Irish apples, instead of a wildflower meadow
If it were up to me I would create flower beds of living gene-banks of Ireland’s most threatened species of wildflowers, for we are going to need them to restore ecosystems. These would have the advantage of being protected by Dáil security, grown by OPW’s skilled staff and placed as a reminder to the rest of us, if it were not for wild plants the human race would not be here.
Sandro Cafolla (Irish national)
This reader's opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on 18 June 2019.