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LIFE EMERALD – Improving Our Understanding Of Ireland’s Air Quality

EPA has started a 3-year project that will improve the level of air quality information available to the public and policy makers in Ireland.
LIFE EMERALD is part funded by the European Commission LIFE funding programme.

The main objectives are: –

  • An operational 3-day ambient air quality forecast;
  • Near real-time mapping of the main air pollutants throughout the country and in our major cities and towns; and
  • Annual mapping of air pollutants across the country
  • The project will support Irish citizens in making decisions that positively benefit their health on a day-to-day basis.

The EPA has commenced work on a new 3-year EU part funded project entitled LIFE Emerald – “Emissions Modelling and Forecasting of Air in Ireland”. The project proposes to greatly improve publicly available air quality information and raise awareness around the topic of Irish air quality.

The LIFE EMERALD project will also improve Ireland’s ambient air quality management capabilities, by using an air quality modelling system to gain a better understanding of the factors contributing to poor air quality and develop a system that will provide better information to the public. The project will deliver the following: –

  • An operational 3-day ambient air quality forecasting system, which will inform the public of the predicted air quality in the coming days, allowing them to make decisions to better protect their health.
  • Near real-time (NRT) air quality maps, to provide more detailed information to the public, which will incorporate live data from the growing EPA ambient air quality network.
  • Annual air pollutant maps, which will allow for more detailed air pollution assessment.

On the commencement of the LIFE EMERALD Project EPA Director Dr. Micheál Lehane, has stated,

“LIFE EMERALD will help deliver the first operational national air quality forecast for Ireland. This will allow citizens to become much more informed on their own actions in response to forecast air quality. It will greatly strengthen our knowledge of air pollution nationally. We are delighted to receive the funding from the EU LIFE Programme to help us proceed with this project and we hope to deliver a greater understanding of Ireland’s air quality into the future.”

The EPA will manage the project in co-operation with its main project partners the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, the Health Service Executive, the Asthma Society of Ireland, University College Cork and the Belgian research institute VITO. The EPA will also consult and co-operate with other national stakeholders that have an interest in the area of air quality, such as the Irish Heart Foundation.

Ms Sarah O’Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society stated,

“Ireland has the highest incidence rate of asthma in Europe with one in ten children and one in thirteen adults developing the condition – with 890,000 people likely to develop asthma in their lifetimes. The Asthma Society of Ireland welcomes the opportunity to be part of the LIFE EMERALD Project as the link between clean air and improved human health is clear.”

Mr. Mark Murphy, the Advocacy Officer at Irish Heart Foundation, stated,

“At the Irish Heart Foundation, we welcome the EPA’s LIFE EMERALD project as it will help raise public awareness of the significant damage that air pollution does to cardiovascular health, and highlight what measures could be introduced to reduce the 1,300 premature annual deaths caused by air pollution, the majority of which are due to stroke or heart disease.’’

The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023, with priority given to the provision of the air quality forecast in early 2023.

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Covid-19 Update: Wed. 14th April 2021 – 12 Deaths – 431 New Cases.

Under 5 new killer Covid-19 cases confirmed in Tipperary.

The Department of Health this evening has confirmed that there has been, sadly, 12 deaths caused by the Covid-19 pandemic; leaving the overall death toll, here in the Republic of Ireland, remaining at 4,812.

There have been 431 new additional virus cases reported here within the Irish Republic. This leaves the current total number of confirmed cases, since conception, at 242,105.

Of the cases confirmed today; 160 are in Dublin, 50 in Kildare, 34 in Donegal, 21 in Meath, 20 in Limerick, with the remaining 146 cases located across 20 other counties.

Of today’s cases, 70% are under the age of 45 years.

There have been 5,571 virus cases confirmed here in Co. Tipperary, since the pandemic began, same figure relevant up to and including April 12th, 2021. Within the past 24 hours, under 5 cases have been confirmed within the county, bringing the Tipperary count to 117 confirmed within the past 14 days.

There are 192 people with Covid-19 in hospital today, and of that number, 49 are in ICU’s, according to Ireland’s COVID-19 Data Hub.

The EU is expecting to receive 50 million more doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine within in the next three months; that is according to European Commission President Ms Ursula von der Leyen. An Taoiseach Mr Micheál Martin has also confirmed that Ireland will receive an extra 545,000 doses, with delivery to begin this month.
Denmark has today announced it will now stop using the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine altogether, thus becoming the first European country to do so.

Some 758,763 first doses of Covid-19 vaccines have now been administered here in Ireland up to April 10th, with 317,453 persons having received their second dose.

The total worldwide number of virus cases identified up to 5:00pm this evening, now stands at well over 137.60 million confirmed, with global deaths at over 2.96 million.

Please Continue To Behave Responsibly.

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Ireland’s Power Generation & Industrial Emissions Drop 6.4% In 2020

  • In 2020, greenhouse gas emissions from Irish power generation and industrial companies – covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, fell by 6.4 per cent.
  • Emissions decreased by 8.4 % from the electricity generation sector, due to more renewable energy and less fossil fuels.
  • The overall decrease in industrial emissions is 3.5%, with the cement industry emissions decreasing and increases recorded for the dairy and pharmachem sectors.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from aviation decreased by 63% compared to 2019, which reflects the significant impact of Covid-19.

The EPA, as the Competent Authority in Ireland for the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), today released its preliminary analysis of greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. Emissions from Irish power generation and industrial companies fell by 6.4% (0.9 million tonnes) in 2020, to their lowest level since the EU ETS was introduced in 2005. This compares with a decrease of approximately 11-12% across Europe.

The decrease in emissions is due to the impact of lower production in some industrial sectors during the pandemic, combined with a significant drop in power generation emissions. Power generation emissions dropped by 8.4% as a result of the strong presence of renewable energy – mainly wind generation – and less use of fossil fuels, such as peat, in our energy mix. In contrast, emissions from the ESB coal-fired plant at Moneypoint increased by almost 27%, mainly due to increased demand for balance on the National Grid.

Aside from power generation, the decrease in industrial emissions collectively is 3.5%.

  • Cement industries recorded a 5.7% decrease overall.
  • The dairy processing industry showed a 4.0% increase.
  • Emissions from pharmachem industries increased by 10.9%.

Aviation emissions from flights within the European Economic Area reported to Ireland decreased by 63% compared to 2019, to 4.74 million tonnes. The only airline showing an increase in emissions in 2019 and 2020 specialises in air freight.

Dr. Maria Martin, EPA Senior Manager, stated:
“We welcome the overall decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 from large industry and power generation. However, underlying this decrease are some contrasting trends. An increase in the use of renewables in the power generation sector – coupled with the impact of Covid-19 – leads to less emissions. There are, nevertheless, many companies in the industrial sectors, such as dairy processing and pharmachem, where emissions are increasing year on year.

A positive development is the fact that the price of carbon in the EU ETS has continued to rise from just under €31 per tonne at the end of 2020 to €43 per tonne currently. It is not yet clear if this will be sufficient and stable enough to drive emissions reductions.”

In Ireland, 105 major industrial and institutional sites were required to report their emissions for 2020, by March 31st 2021 in the Emissions Trading System. These include sites operating in the power generation, cement, lime, and oil refining sectors. Also included are large companies in sectors such as food & drink, pharmaceuticals and semi-conductors.
Details of the verified emissions of greenhouse gases in 2020 are available on the EU’s website HERE. The data are not complete for all Member states. Analysis of the EU data can be found in Carbon Pulse HERE.

Further details about Emissions Trading are available on the EPA website HERE.
Further information about Ireland’s overall greenhouse gas emissions is also available on their website and the EPA has developed useful infographics and published the detailed greenhouse gas inventory HERE.

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Death Of Jane Gleeson, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

It was with great sadness and regret that we learned of the death, yesterday Monday 12th April 2021, of Mrs Jane Gleeson (née Smyth), Turtulla, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, and formerly of Newtown, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow.

Pre-deceased by her husband James, brothers Patrick, Michael and Robert, brothers-in-law Fr. Milo (Gleeson, Drangan) and Tom (Murphy, Galway), cousin Sr. Maureen (Carmelite Monastery, Wales); the passing of Mrs Gleeson is most deeply regretted by her sons Michael, John, Seamus and Robert, daughter Louise, grandchildren Séan, Jana, James, Charlie and Oisín, son-in-law Bryan (Murphy, Galway), daughter-in-law Bianca, sister Maura (Murphy, Galway), brother-in-law Andy (Gleeson, Drangan), sisters-in-law Alma (Gleeson) and Margaret (McCormack, Killenaule), extended relatives, neighbours and friends.

Requiescat in Pace.

Funeral Arrangements.

The funeral cortège, bearing the earthly remains of Mrs Gleeson, will leave her residence on Thursday morning, April 15th next, at 10:30am (via Cloughmartin and Gaile) to be received into the church of St. Peter, Moycarkey, Thurles at 11:00am, to repose for for Requiem Mass at 11:30am. Interment will take place immediately afterwards in St. Peter’s New Graveyard, Moycarkey, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

For the many persons who would have liked to have attended the funeral service for Mrs Gleeson, but are unable to do so, due to current coronavirus pandemic restrictions; same can be viewed online HERE.

[NB: Due to National Public Health Guidelines, regarding C-19 virus restrictions; those attending (limited to 10 family members), will continue to observe strict adherence to social distancing and face covering.]

The extended Gleeson family wish to express their appreciation for your understanding at this difficult time and have made arrangements for those wishing to send messages of condolence, to use the link shown HERE.

Note Please: House Private.


Suaimhneas síoraí dá h-anam dílis.

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Covid-19 Update: Tue. 13th April 2021 – 18 Deaths – 358 New Cases.

6 new killer Covid-19 cases confirmed in Tipperary.

The Department of Health this evening has confirmed that there has been, sadly, 18 deaths caused by the Covid-19 pandemic; leaving the overall death toll, here in the Republic of Ireland, remaining at 4,803.

There have been 358 new additional virus cases reported here within the Irish Republic. This leaves the current total number of confirmed cases, since conception, at 241,684.

Of the cases confirmed today; 166 are in Dublin, 39 in Donegal, 16 in Kildare, 13 in Offaly, 12 each in both Meath and Limerick, with the remaining 100 cases located across 18 other counties.

Of today’s cases, 73% are under the age of 45 years.

There have been 5,567 virus cases confirmed here in Co. Tipperary, since the pandemic began, same figure relevant up to and including April 10th, 2021. Within the past 24 hours, 6 new cases have been confirmed within the county, bringing the Tipperary count to 122 confirmed within the past 14 days.

There are 206 people with Covid-19 in hospital today, and of that number, 48 are in ICU’s, according to Ireland’s COVID-19 Data Hub.

Immunisation clinics planned for today using the AstraZeneca vaccine have been cancelled by the Health Service Executive. This is due to the changes in the advice on the use of the same vaccine product.
Dr. Mary Favier, a member of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), stressed that the benefits of the vaccine still outweigh the risks and she urged anyone under the age of 60 years whp are in a high risk category, and who has already received their first jab, to get the second dose.

Vaccine Company Johnson & Johnson has stated that it will delay the roll-out of its Covid-19 vaccine in Europe, following US authorities moved to suspend use of the shot, due to rare clotting concerns.

Some 749,450 first doses of Covid-19 vaccines have now been administered here in Ireland up to April 10th, with 314,216 persons having received their second dose.

The total worldwide number of virus cases identified up to 5:00pm this evening, now stands at well over 136.85 million confirmed, with global deaths at almost 2.95 million.

Please Continue To Behave Responsibly.

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