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Habitats Directive Again In The Spotlight

By January 7, 2016No Comments

I have once again re-iterated my stance on the part that EU Habitats directives have had in the recent flooding throughout the country. I was speaking to George Hook on Newstalk on Tuesday evening.
The President Michael D Higgins did not like it when I pointed out on Monday that it was he who signed a major EU Habitats directive into law when he was a Minister in 1997 and the facts are that these directives are partly to blame for the disastrous situation that we have now. Many communities are not able to carry out necessary drainage works because of EU red tape and rules and regulations. It seems that wildlife is now more important than human life in some cases. The people who live in these areas that are being flooded, especially the elderly people, know exactly how flood water is going to behave and how it will flow and we are not listening to them. Rural people live in harmony with nature and want to protect wildlife but there has to be a happy medium wherby people are allowed to protect their property, their land and especially their homes. There are many politicians who are now voicing concern over the EU Habitats directives, which is good, but I have been almost a lone voice raising concerns about this long before I was elected and the penny is now beginning to drop. I welcome any move to bring all the agencies together to work out a plan to alleviate flooding in the future but we need to look at these EU directives and set them aside if needs be to protect communities into the future. It’s all about taking a common sense approach.