Illegal inferno in national park: Annual festival of fire resumes

Last week, maybe 20, certainly 10, years too late, the all-party Committee on Climate Action published a report.

Illegal inferno in national park: Annual festival of fire resumes

Last week, maybe 20, certainly 10, years too late, the all-party Committee on Climate Action published a report.

It seems an entirely predictable, underwhelming response to the challenge of our age.

That it remains a report, rather than a pro-active policy, is a concern. That it was welcomed by the IFA, like it or not, is another worry.

Last week, volunteers, rather than the National Parks and Wildlife Service, tried to bring the plague of rhododendron, choking Killarney’s National Park, under control.

These are examples of how very poorly we protect our priceless natural world.

This weekend, we saw another celebration of that denial, when Killarney’s Annual Festival of Mountain Fires resumed.

Hundreds of acres of forest were razed and wildlife was incinerated on Torc Mountain.

This is the latest in a long series of fires set, it is believed, to improve grazing.

If that is the case, then it is likely that the arsonists are already in receipt of significant public subsidies.

That this appalling vandalism has not led to any prosecutions, not even one, nor to the loss of subsidies, is another example of our hypocrisy on environmental protection.

That the Torc fires raged on the eve of the annual Earth Hour adds irony to anger.

It is time to consider excluding all farm animals from national parks, no matter what commonage rights exist — ‘rights’ that lead to the annual, deliberate destruction of habitat and wildlife, which is intolerable in today’s world.

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