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National Parks & Wildlife Secure Section 40 Convictions Against Farmers.

We spoke recently (Late June) regarding ineffective changes to a stretch of healthy Hawthorn trees, latter recently annihilated close to the river Suir, behind the new Lidl shopping complex, being replaced by ‘sod all’.

Delighted to read that, at last, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) have gotten up from their office seats, to secure convictions against persons responsible for the destruction of hedgerows and woodland, during this same bird-nesting season.

Separate cases have been heard recently in Ballina District Court and in Nenagh District Court, both taken under section 40 of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act of 2000, with the NPWS stating that a number of similar cases are also before the courts.

At a recent sitting of Ballina District Court, a Mayo farmer has been fined €4,000, and received a 20% penalty to his farm payments, for the destruction of vegetation over an area of around 1.9 acres, during the bird-nesting season.
At Nenagh District Court, Co. Tipperary, yet another Galway farmer was also convicted and fined €3,000 for destroying 755 metres of hedgerows, and 0.7 acres of scrub woodland, at a farm here in Co. Tipperary.

NPWS has stated that it has noted an increase in the number of such reports of the complete removal of hedgerows and vegetation on lands not cultivated, during the statutory bird-nesting season.
NPWS now state it is fully committed to investigating such areas, where this destruction is reported.

In Nenagh District Court, the remarks made by Judge Ms Elizabeth McGrath, should be heralded throughout this island. She stated that “section 40 is not a bureaucratic law, and exists to protect birds and their habitat.”

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