Complaint to European Commission about illegal wildfires in Kerry

The Irish Wildlife Trust has made a complaint to the European Commission about 21 illegal wildfires in Kerry.

The organisation claims the Irish government is failing in its duty under the Birds and Habitats Directives to protect threatened wildlife in upland areas and hills.

The Irish Wildlife Trust has presented to the European Commission a table of 97 illegal wildfires in 19 counties between the 24th of March and the 22nd of May of this year.

Twenty-one of those were in Kerry, and of those 11 were in either Special Areas of Conservation or Special Protection Areas including Killarney National Park and Mount Brandon in west Kerry.

The Irish Wildlife Trust says these areas across the country are affected annually by wildfires and they claim no action has been taken by the government to prevent them.

They say habitats on hills assessed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service were found to be in a bad condition, while once common upland birds including the Curlew, Golden Eagle, and Hen Harrier are threatened with extinction. They say policies which would dramatically reduce the levels of fires include removing the requirement for farmers in uplands to have vegetation at grazable height, designing new eligibility criteria, and re-establishing native woodlands.

The Kerry illegal fires the Irish Wildlife Trust has reported to the European Commission are:
24/03/2017 Ballyroe,up to Beenmore on the Dingle Peninsula SPA
25/03/2017 Bolteens, Kerry Q790045, Slieve Mish Mountains SAC
26/03/2017 Knockbrack/Coolroe/Knockroe at the Reeks, north side of Beenkeeragh, Killarney National Park, Macgillicudy Reeks SAC
26/03/2017 Killarney National Park, Macgillicudy Reeks SAC
26/03/2017 Camp
26/03/2017 Slieve Mish, Slieve Mish Mountains SAC (2185)
26/03/2017 Ballydavid, Kerry Q384072
27/03/2017 Fán, just off of Slea Head, Dingle Peninsula SPA (4153)
27/03/2017 Castlecove 51.780075, -10.043370
27/03/2017 Sneem 51.829917, -9.902486
28/03/2017 Rossbeigh
28/03/2017 Kenmare
28/03/2007 Purple Mountain, Killarney National Park, Macgillicudy Reeks SAC (0365)
06/04/2017 Emlaghslat, Ventry, near Dingle, Ventry Dunes and Marshes pNHA
16/04/2017 Garranes, Lauragh, 09 46W, 51 47’N
22/04/2017 Lispole/ Anascaul, Mount Brandon SAC (0375)
22/04/2017 Beara Way (Feorus towards Tousist and west to Gleninchaquinn)
24/04/2017 Valentia Island V 396 749
24/04/2017 outside Cahersiveen at V 523 844, Macgillycuddy Reeks SAC (0365)
03/05/2017 Mangerton Mountain, Killarney National Park, Macgillicudy Reeks SAC (0365)
07/05/2017 Stacks to Mullaghareirk Mountains, SPA (4161)