Save Tullig from West Cork Distillers

@SaveTullig to Save Kestrels Minister Noonan

By Calvin Jones on December 22, 2021

Malcolm Noonan, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, is keen to save Kestrels, a Red Listed species that has seen sharp decline in Ireland over the last few decades.

The minister is absolutely correct in his assertion on Twitter today that the best way to protect kestrels is to protect their habitats. The site in Tullig is a prime example: you can often see kestrels hunting over the rough grassland and intact remnant peat bog where West Cork Distillers is planning its industrial warehouse complex. In fact, Tullig and Reenascreena Community Group enjoyed watching a hunting kestrel over the site the last time we held a group meeting there.

It's not just kestrels either. Barn owls frequent the area, and just last week, one of Minister Noonan's Government colleagues, local West Cork T.D. Christopher O'Sullivan, Government spokesperson on Environment, Climate Action and Biodiversity, spotted a stunning male hen harrier south of Reenascreena just a stone's throw from the West Cork Distillers site.

The sequestration of pockets of rural land for inappropriate industrial development is a threat to the existence of the kestrel, the barn owl and many other species of conservation concern. But more than that, it's a threat to rural communities, and a way of life that is central to the identity of rural Ireland. Allowing profit-hungry companies like West Cork Distillers to jeopardise that is frankly unacceptable, and our public representatives need to step up and put a stop to it.

So come on Minister Noonan: flex those ministerial muscles to do more than just tweet. Make a difference and stop this unethical and unsustainable practice once and for all.

Article written by Calvin Jones
Calvin Jones is an author, freelance writer and naturalist who lives just down the road from the proposed development, in the adjacent townland of Clounkeen East. He is the founder of Ireland's Wildlife.

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