Upon studying the action plan published by Clare Council recently, one particular sentence stood out to me which states that “there are plants and animals we encounter every day, and others we may never see, but they are all an important part of our biodiversity.” This extensive action plan is a well-written and factually based document and should act as the framework that guides the Council at all times. It underpins the importance of protecting, conserving, and encouraging biodiversity at all costs.
As a former resident of Ennis and a native of County Clare, I am deeply disturbed to learn of the plans to rid the town of one of its few remaining pockets of wilderness. The lands in question and the species of animal, flora, and fauna their-in are mostly hidden from the naked eye but nevertheless an important part of our natural heritage. The destruction and non-development of interlinking ecosystems and natural habitats in our townlands is an issue that needs to be addressed now, more than ever.
In Ireland, we have neglected the importance of linking natural areas in favour of hyper development of roads and buildings. This can be attributed to a lack of planning and vision on the part of town planners and civil engineers who have failed to deliver a more sustainable approach akin to countries like Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. The town planners in those countries would find an alternative solution to building on an area like the one next to Pairc na Coille. In fact, it would never have been a viable site in the first place.
In Ireland, there is an urgent housing crisis. People need homes. Children need to wake up and have breakfast at their kitchen table rather than in a hotel restaurant. However, these children also need a future with clean air, an environment without extreme flooding, skies full of birds, and a place for them to appreciate all the other important living things that might not be seen at first glance. They need a future where they can look back and be proud of the people that came before them; the people that could’ve done something to ensure biodiversity and ecosystems didn’t collapse.