Planning & Environment

Massive payments to politicians and a huge rezoning

Payments of €500,000 to councillors coincided with the rezoning of lands that have now become the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre. As a direct consequence, an already disadvantaged community has been further disadvantaged. The Planning Tribunal has commenced public hearings that will involve 88 witnesses and tens of thousands of documents – unless prevented by the Courts. By Vincent Browne

Humanity's ecological struggle

I want to take a moment to remind you of where we have come from. For the first three million years of human history, we lived according to circumstance. Our lives were ruled by the happenstances of ecology. We existed, as all animals do, in fear of hunger, predation, weather and disease. For the following few thousand years, after we had grasped the rudiments of agriculture and crop storage, we enjoyed greater food security, and soon destroyed most of our non-human predators. But our lives were ruled by the sword, the axe and the spear. The primary struggle was for land.

Up the Ben and down again

  • 22 September 2005
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Every September, a crowd of people gather at Fort William in Scotland to run up, and hopefully down again, Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Village sent Colin Murphy to join them

50 fires in derelict Dublin housing estate this year

The Dublin Fire Brigade has been called out at least 50 times to tackle fires in derelict houses on one estate in Loughlinstown this year. The houses on Laurel Avenue in Loughlinstown, according to the fire brigade, were condemned more than two years ago. Of 60 houses in the estate, more than three-quarters of them are boarded up, with half of these now burnt out.


Ireland second worse at paper recycling

An EU report has ranked Ireland second bottom in paper recycling. The report showed that Ireland has yet again missed an EU environmental deadline, this time on the recycling of packaged goods. Although, we are not the only EU nation that has failed to implement the new EU law. Ireland recycles only 35 per cent of its waste. This compares to Austria which recycles 75 per cent of its waste; Belgium – 91 per cent; Denmark – 94 per cent; United Kingdom – 50 per cent.

Local direct-action groups to converge on Rossport

  • 18 August 2005
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The Erris region of North Mayo, where blockades of Shell's controversial Rossport gas pipeline are ongoing, is to welcome local community campaigns from around Ireland and abroad when it hosts a Grassroots Gathering in late August.

Ballymun: a no-fly zone for birds

  • 18 August 2005
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As the towers come tumbling down, they will be replaced by trees. Colin Murphy talks to Jochen Gerz, the man behind a project to create an oak woodland in memory of the seven Ballymun towers, and the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation after whom the towers were named


'A rape of our natural resources'

In the long-running dispute over Shell's high-pressure gas pipeline in North Mayo, which has resulted in five local men being jailed by the High Court at the request of the multinational, the objections of those living close to the pipeline tend to be juxtaposed against the "national interest" and Mayo's "regional development". But just what will the benefits to Ireland be?

'Sitting on a time-bomb'

Fears about the high pressure of gas in Shell's disputed North Mayo pipeline were behind the willingness of five local men to go to jail. Some of them spoke to William Hederman before going to prison