Heritage Bill 2016: Report Stage (Resumed)

Debate resumed on amendment No. 15:
In page 12, to delete lines 1 to 22.
- (Deputy Peadar Tóibín)

Just before we adjourned, the Minister stated, regarding the decline of the bird population by 28% reported by BirdWatch Ireland, that the EU placed an emphasis on the protection of Ireland's birds. However, she went on to state that the latest report given to the EU was in 2013. BirdWatch Ireland's report is very recent. Obviously, the report from five years ago does not tally with the evidence coming from BirdWatch Ireland.

I refer to the issue of the bees. The Minister did not deal with that. There is an interesting report in The Irish Times today by Fitzpatrick and Murray, who have published their findings. In 2006, they indicated, having done a careful study of the bee population, which is difficult, that half of all the species in Ireland were in decline. They sum it up in one sentence today, that a third of all bee species in Ireland will be extinct by 2030. They say that some bees are declining so rapidly that we are facing a silent spring of loss. These are our great unpaid pollinators. If they go missing, then what? The Minister said that is largely due to pesticides. Pesticides play a role but this study also shows that the cutting and abandonment of hedgerows and the flowers that grow in them also play a major role. I reiterate those arguments. To respond to the Deputies who spoke here about farmers and how we regard farmers, I think they have an attitude that we are somehow just city slickers who dismiss the concerns of farmers. Not at all. I mention the Burren and the exercise undertaken there because they were forced to listen to the farmers and do the sort of things that the farmers required. It is working. We need to revert to looking at a different attitude to nature and the environment and to approach the farming community with a clear agenda to enlist them as guardians and protectors of our wildlife, and to ensure that they are adequately incentivised and rewarded for guarding and protecting our wildlife. This Bill will do quite the opposite. We need to consider what is at risk here.

What research has been done to ensure that burning in the uplands in March will not damage bird habitats as a background to introducing this measure in this Bill? The answer is none. Under the birds directive, the Minister is required to safeguard the habitats of these birds but she is introducing a measure which potentially endangers them without doing the necessary background research, when the precautionary principle should apply before she takes a measure like this. She has not done the research and is endangering bird life as a consequence.

In response to Deputy Fitzmaurice, I accept the point that people who live and work on the land know much more about these things than those of us who do not. He should also accept that there is a biodiversity problem which represents a significant danger to everybody, including farmers, and our ability to continue to produce crops and indeed to hold the environment on which all of us, farmers most of all, depend. There is tension between certain types of land use by certain forms of agriculture and the concerns about maintaining biodiversity, enhancing afforestation, hedgerows and so on. We need to overcome that tension. We need to work with farmers to do so and we need to give them supports, incentives and so on to be guardians of biodiversity. It is not helpful to attack city slickers as people who do not give a damn about the livelihoods or concerns of farmers. We should not get into that game. We should recognise that there is a genuine problem with the degradation of biodiversity, bird life, bees and so on, and that we all have an interest in protecting them. This Bill will not do that but will degrade biodiversity.

Deputy Ó Cuív has been in but can come in for two minutes. Does he want in now?

A few Members have seven minutes. Has Deputy Fitzmaurice been in at all?

I was in for two minutes already.

If the Deputies can wait, Deputy Michael Healy-Rae has not been in so he has seven minutes.

I do whatever I am told.

Normally the Deputy does.

I am grateful to be given the opportunity to speak to this important debate. I would like to put on the record a statement that I have made before when we talked about the protection of wildlife and the protection of the future of our family farms. The people who are best able to protect our countryside, who know what is right for land and what is right for wildlife, are the people who own that land. I know of no farmer who would want to do anything to denigrate his or her farm or the wildlife that lives on it.

I would like to put to bed a couple of bits of nonsense that the Minister and others have to listen to. With regard to birds and bird habitats, a main reason that we are given why hedges on the sides of our public roads cannot be cut is that we cannot do it during the season in which it is deemed that birds would be foolish enough to put their nests on the side of busy roads. I have been observing wildlife as much as anybody throughout my life and I have never yet seen a bird be so stupid or foolish that it would want to put its nest on the side of a busy public road. There are plenty of other places to put a nest. If people were to come along and cut hedges, they would not do anything on the side of a public road that would bother or interfere with our bird life. I and others who are involved in farming and represent farmers on a daily basis have the practical common sense of having two eyes in our heads and being able to see what is around us. That is one thing that I would like to be put to bed.

There is no reason to stop people from cutting hedges on the sides of public roads in the interest of bird life. That is not true. It is simply not a fact that birds make nests on the side of the public road where lorries whiz by and buses brush off the sides. Why would they be so stupid as to do that? Many politicians seem to jump up and down, saying that one cannot cut any hedge because one might interfere with bird life. That is an absolute nonsense.

When legislators come into the House, one of the first things they should do is seriously listen to the farming community, the people who own the land and the people who represent the farming community, such as the Irish Farmers Association, IFA, and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association, ICMSA, people who deal on a daily basis with farmers and the groups which represent them. I was very grateful to the Minister, and will be looking for a further written reply, that she was kind enough to meet a group of farmers from Moanveanlagh and other bogs where they were debarred from cutting turf. They were stopped on a very false premise. We are looking to get those people back into action, and get them doing what they were good at, cutting and saving turf, and putting fires for themselves, a thing that their fathers, grandfathers and grandmothers did before them. We want to see them and the future generations being able to cut turf again as they did in the past.

I will be looking for an update on that from the Minister in the next ten days. The people are looking for an update and it is good for the Minister to know that. There are traditions in country life that are very important, whether it comes to cutting turf or to this year when people were fortunate enough to be able to save hay. Despite that we looked for a derogation from the Minister relating to 1 July, we did not get what we were looking for. At the same time, we tried our best to make common sense prevail.

If the Minister let us down on the first Sunday, perhaps the weather will not now anyway and people will be able to get hay from those grounds on which they were debarred from cutting hay on 1 July. I have always said that calendar farming is a nonsense because one quite simply cannot have a situation where one can predict what the weather is going to be like and therefore tell people to farm in accordance with the calendar. One cannot do that. One could often have a better January or February than July or August when it comes to spreading slurry and other such business. Those are things that have to be taken into account.

I was not in the Chamber but I heard Deputy Fitzmaurice's contribution. I thought it was worthwhile and sound and nothing less than I would have expected from him. It is nice for people to know what they are talking about when it comes to burning. It is also nice for them to understand how important burning is and to have a common sense approach. There are only certain times of the year when one can burn, quite simply because the place will bloody well not burn. The killing thing about it is that when one does not want it to burn, it will burn and if one wants it to burn one cannot get it to burn at all. That is the climate we are living in. People think that we can legislate while ignoring common sense issues such as the weather, the climate and we are living in, but allowances must be made for such issues. That is why I would like to see common sense prevail. We went from one extreme to the other. Hills were overgrown, then completely bare and now they are overgrown again because of people in Europe and various forums making laws when they did not know the first thing about what they were talking about. If any of them had a bit of practical common sense they would not engage in half the nonsense and rubbish they talk. More reports are compiled and forums brought together and very little good comes out of an awful lot of them. All it takes is a bit of practical common sense to know what we need in rural Ireland to survive, to keep places in order and from being overgrown and to make sure that vegetation that should be burnt to allow regeneration is burnt at a time when it can be burnt and not to have some person with a suit telling people when they should try to burn it and when they should not try to burn it.

I support the amendment. I wish to address my remarks to Fine Gael. I understand that in many ways Fine Gael is a farmers' party, in particular of big farmers. My understanding of farmers, both big and small, is that they are interested and dedicated to the preservation of the wildlife heritage of Ireland. In all the material and the various videos produced so far for the Government by the strategic communications unit there are lots of overviews of the island and prominent in the sweeping lyrical shots that move in from the Cliffs of Moher and eventually go over counties such as Meath and others is a mixture of fields and hedgerows. Essentially, our hedgerows are there in place of a lot of the deciduous forests which for various historical reasons we do not have in this country. I do not understand where Fine Gael is coming from in suggesting that the hedgerows should be endangered and put in peril.

Lots of young people, in particular, respect our environmental heritage. The people who came and lobbied the Dáil and Seanad on a number of occasions were interested in issues such as pollination and pollinators, insects and birds. Nobody has made an argument that what is proposed in the Bill will not imperil all of that wildlife heritage that we as a people have inherited and which we should continue to protect. We should do it for ourselves and for what we have inherited, but if we want to think about money, we should do it to bolster the marking strategy we use for both people in Ireland and those who come from abroad to get them to holiday here. We should do it because of the way we have branded and marketed food through Bord Bia and other products from cattle, sheep and other animals. We should reiterate that Ireland is a small island but with a strong appreciation of its wildlife heritage and its heritage in terms of hedgerows.

I do not understand to whose advantage this is other than in some narrow way of tidying up the countryside. The issues concerning potential traffic accidents and the work that needs to be done to provide for road safety have been adequately dealt with and can be addressed via the local authorities. I am sure the Minister is as committed to heritage and to hedgerows and wildlife as the rest of us and I urge her to think again because once the hedges become diminished and reduced over a period it is too late. As Members who are farmer will be well aware, what is diminished and reduced is difficult to restore. We are all familiar with the big machines which scalp hedges so that little or nothing is left and the various species of birds, other fauna, trees and plants that inhabit the hedges will be diminished by being constantly hacked back. That would be a mistake for Irish people and the visitors who come to Ireland who enjoy the greenness of the countryside, which is a function of the linear system of hedgerows comprising tens of thousands of miles of special ways of natural wildlife.

At the moment we are creating walkways and cycleways all around the country on disused roads and railways lines and we are all taking pleasure in that. I accept farmers have a living to make and we all know they have it tough but, notwithstanding that many people making the argument in favour of the changes claim they are acting in the best interests of farmers, ultimately those who farm have to be close to the land, close to their animals and they must know they farm it to pass it on to the next generation. I appeal to the Minister and the Fine Gael Party. This is a majority Fine Gael Government. It does not have to listen to other voices. Most of the Independents in the Government come from the Fine Gael family so they are talking to themselves. That is all the more reason the Government should ponder whether it should do this as easily as it seems to be doing. I urge the Minister to think again on this.

In general, in many parts of the country the hedges are much higher and bigger than they were 40 or 50 years ago, or more especially 100 years ago, where every winter they were cut back low.

The available testimony tells us that was the way it was because land was scarce and precious. The people then had a way of folding the hedges in. If one looks out across the countryside from my house, which is on a slight height, one will see far more growth than there was when I began living there.

There has been discussion of fires in the Dublin mountains over the past week. It always seems to me that people presume that such fires are started by farmers who purposely disregard the law. I understand the fires occurred on land in the ownership of the Minister's Department. Has she any preliminary indications as to who started them, how they started or whether they were started by farmers?

I welcome the Bill and the extension of hedge-cutting time to include the month of August and burning time to include the month of March. Farmers in Northern Ireland are allowed burn until 15 April and, as there is only a ditch between the North and the South, it does not make much sense for farmers here to have to cease by the end of February. Many Februarys have been wet and farmers could not burn. Burning is necessary because land becomes overgrown and useless and cannot be grazed by sheep or cattle. There is great merit in extending burning time to include February or March because there might be a dry spell in the middle of February and one would be able to burn the land one wishes to burn. We should go back to farmers' former practice of controlled burning. At that time, Coillte helped farmers. A farmer would notify Coillte that he or she wished to burn and it would assist the farmer to ensure that the fire did not spread to forestry or other land. That can be done methodically and carefully by opening a fire vent such that the fire does not travel. All farmers whose land is prone to burning or whose fire may spread to other land should open fire vents, which is not very expensive. It could improve matters greatly if controlled burning was carried out and we should be aiming for that.

Under the Bill, the cutting of roadside hedges will be allowed in August, which I very much welcome even though I have always maintained that the cutting of roadside hedges should be permitted all year round for the safety of all road users. We are told that it is good for our health to walk but those doing so on country roads are in danger. Some roads are so dangerous that one's eyes might be picked out if one tried to stay close to a hedge on a narrow road in order to avoid being knocked down. Cyclists could be knocked off their bicycles by briars, etc. It is imperative that roadside hedges are cut and that roads are safe for people to walk, cycle and drive on. Many people regularly complain to me about hedges which need to be cut. They have difficulty passing cars on narrow roads. A new car costs money and one should not have to run the risk of one's property being scratched or damaged by hedging. I also receive regular requests for hedges or branches to be cut in order to allow school buses pick up children on country roads. That is one of the main issues with which local representatives deal. It is important for the safety of children that a branch or briar does not break the windscreen or side window of a school bus and injure a child travelling on it. Farmers regularly complain that they cannot get goods or milk lorries up or down the roads to their farms. Wing mirrors, which may cost €1,000, are often broken. Parts of the Ring of Kerry are still unsafe for tour buses. The road is only the width of one bus and buses cannot pass a car where hedges or briars extend into the road.

It is ridiculous that people are stating that the Bill, if implemented, will lead to nesting birds being harmed. As I put it to Kerry County Council, what bird would be so foolish as to make a nest on the side of the road where the wind from a lorry could blow the feathers off the bird and leave it standing naked in the middle of the road? It does not make any sense. I do not request permission to cut the field side of hedges but the side facing the road should be cut, and continually so, for the safety of all road users. The next thing will be for someone to say that part of the road should be given over to wildlife as well as the side of the road. The side of the road is part of the road network and should be treated as such. Local authorities have previously refused to cut roadside hedges because of a law passed by the Oireachtas in approximately 1993, as a result of which the local authorities believe the cutting of hedges is none of their business. However, if one were to take certain actions beyond the ditch forming the border between one's land and the road, the local authority would not be long in putting a stop to it. The roadside is part of the local and national road network and should be treated as such.

Another Bill progressing through the House will require motorists to give cyclists 1.5 m passing space. However, if a cyclist is keeping out from briars, he or she will be closer to the centre of the road, which would mean there may be no space for a motorist to pass on a narrow road, particularly with, for example, a car and possibly a bicycle coming in the opposite direction.

I support the Bill, which is designed to ensure that roadside hedges are cut in the month of August and that farmers be allowed to burn in the month of March.

I wish to address some points raised by Deputy Boyd Barrett. This is not a city-against-country scenario. Last year, however, some farmers, particularly in Galway and Mayo, were accused of starting fires deliberately. The individuals in question had nothing to do with those fires. There are records available which prove that they, and others who were questioned, had nothing to do with the fire. The Irish Wildlife Trust submitted a formal complaint about the fires to the European Commission, as a result of which the farmers were left without money in one of the worst winters in recent years. Tourists and others expect to be able to hike up mountains in those areas, which is great and to be welcomed, but there should be a consideration of the farmers who were left penniless last winter as a result of the report that was submitted.

We have to work with people and not report them.

We have to look at the green low carbon agri-environment scheme. Deputy Smith spoke about the bees. In that regard, there is an obligation on farmers in GLAS to put out sand. I do contracting. I bale for people and they have their sand out in the field, which has actually improved the number of bees. The problem is that the badgers are coming out, eating the honey and killing some of the bees. I have seen it. Farmers will tell the Deputy what is going on but they are doing that. They are putting up bat boxes. In terms of the traditional hay meadow, they are cutting fields from the middle out to save wildlife. All that is helping the biodiversity. It is very important that we acknowledge the amount of work being done by farmers in all areas.

In terms of burning, everyone should be clear that we are not asking to burn at this time of year. Everyone is going on about the current fires but let us not talk about farmers doing that. It is as a result of someone's carelessness. No one condones fires or anyone doing anything like that. We are talking about Connemara or mountain areas in February. One would not start a fire because it would not take. It is controlled burning. It cannot be done willy-nilly. As I said, the vegetation that grows back is very important. All these things need to be understood in terms of what we are trying to achieve.

To reply to some of the comments the Minister made, I appreciate that prosecutions have been taken under section 40 of the Wildlife Act which relate to the cutting of hedges during the closed periods. Not very many were taken but they happen. However, it is section 22 of the Wildlife Act which protects birds, their nests and eggs from mutilation and injury. That is the section the Minister reminded Deputies of on Committee Stage in terms of its importance for the protection of our birds. Since 2015, however, there have been zero prosecutions carried out. The protection and the resources do not exist to protect our birds.

I know the Minister has a hectic schedule so I was very interested to hear that she had time to meet a turf cutting delegation courtesy of Deputy Michael Healy-Rae because it is my understanding that BirdWatch Ireland requested a meeting with the Minister to discuss the impact of this devastating Bill and no such meeting was facilitated. That is highly regrettable. Since she had time to meet the turf cutters, did she have time to meet the members of the Environmental Pillar and the Irish Wildlife Trust? I know that BirdWatch Ireland definitely asked her for a meeting and no such meeting was facilitated. That is a shameful lack of consultation with a stakeholder such as that.

On previous Stages of the Bill, the Minister justified this legislation's expansion of burning into March and Northern Ireland's burning period, which extends to 14 April. However, what she did not mention is that this situation is currently an unmitigated disaster in Northern Ireland. In 2017, there were 2,231 wildfires throughout Northern Ireland that the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service had to attend, and 511 of those occurred after 1 May. The Minister kept making that comparison and said that this will be good and that it will stop things happening but despite having that longer burning season, out of control fires have continued to wreak havoc in Northern Ireland. Changing the dates for burning will not stop out of control fires as controlled burning, as a management tool, is virtually non-existent in Ireland. This Bill as currently drafted will be disastrous for our wildlife and our natural heritage.

I want to add my voice to some of the points raised on sections 7 and 8 of this Bill. The question we must ask ourselves is whether they add to the protection to wildlife. I do not believe the argument can be made that they do that. They do the reverse. We know that one third of the 98 bee species in Ireland are threatened with extinction. We also know how important the bee population is in terms of pollenation of crops and plants. I have a very small garden but I deliberately grew plants that attracted bees. One can see that one can have a very positive impact in very small spaces in reversing the kind of damage that happens as a consequence of pollutants, pesticides, agri-chemicals and so on. I believe most farmers appreciate the importance of wildlife on the health of land and agriculture but agriculture is having a direct impact on the threatening of the bee population.

I thought I was seeing things when I saw birds' nests in trees close to where I live that are right beside a road. I was thinking that the birds in Kildare must be terribly stupid. They do not seem to be that stupid in Kerry where they can avoid making their nests on the side of the road. To be perfectly honest, I never heard anything so ridiculous. We should not lecture people about knowledge of the countryside. One only has to drive along a road to see that birds do not pick and choose where the road system goes. They will nest where they can find an appropriate place to nest.

That is better planning than the side of the road.

Can we talk a little bit of sense?

I think everybody had an opportunity to contribute. I call the Minister who has only two minutes.

I know and, unfortunately, the only way I can be fair is to start with the Members who spoke first and if I do not get to deal with the other Deputies' contributions, my apologies.

I spoke about the bees earlier so I will not talk about that again. Deputy Smith mentioned the curlews also and managed burning is very good for the curlew and the red grouse. The biggest enemy of the curlew is unmanaged or degradation of existing habitat and predation. That is the scientific view of the leading expert on our birds in the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Dr. Barry O'Donoghue. I spoke about that at the committee. My Department is spending €400,000 over the next three years on a curlew management programme.

Deputy Sherlock, who is not in the Chamber, mentioned a public consultation process, as did Deputy Boyd Barrett. There was an extensive public consultation. There were 188 submissions and analysis was done by my experts from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, led by the chief scientist, Dr. O'Keeffe. That is a pilot that will be very closely monitored.

What BirdWatch Ireland is saying is a flagrant distortion of the facts. What it is characterising is not evidence based and in my view and that of the Department, and our scientific research, does not bear gravitas.

That is a disgraceful comment.

Deputy Boyd Barrett did not make a submission even though he spoke about the public consultation. A number of stakeholder groups contributed, including BirdWatch Ireland, An Taisce, the Irish Farmers' Association and the ICMSA.

I thank Deputy Fitzmaurice for his contribution. The dose of reality he brings regarding the obligations on the landowner since 1993 is refreshing.

Deputy Ó Cuív mentioned the regulations. They will permit controlled burning only, and only in years when the winter rainfall is higher than average. Advice will be provided on rotational burning. Also, there will be guidelines to state that burning should not be carried out in blanket bog habitat.

The guidelines will also emphasise that species and habitat considerations should also be to the fore before embarking on a plan to burn and the objective should always be to return the habitat to its pre-burn condition in a reasonable timeframe. Guidance will also be provided on how to carry out controlled burning to benefit certain ground nesting birds such as the hen harrier, the red grouse, the curlew and the golden clover.

I thank Deputy Ó Cuív for the second dose of reality as well. The Bill gives limited authority to allow burning in parts of Ireland for some time during March under certain conditions on a pilot basis.

Deputy Catherine Martin raised the issue of people who are fighting the fires. My staff and other public servants have been doing that and I thank them for their bravery. The fires that were set in the Dublin mountains were the result of arson and they are being investigated at the moment. The Deputy's use of the term, "slash and burn", is unfortunate, inaccurate and political. She is simply courting a headline. These are pilot initiatives subject to statutory instruments that will come before the Houses and there will be guidelines. The Deputy also mentioned Ticknock. Regrettably, the setting of those fires follows a pattern of fires in uplands close to large urban centres. We only need look at Manchester this week. Today, my senior officials met Coillte officials to plan a programme of action to monitor and police this antisocial activity, including the possible use of drone technology to catch the perpetrators in the act.

I reassure Deputy Sherlock that this is the eleventh time the Bill has been before the Oireachtas. There have been more than 32 hours of debate prior to tonight and the public consultation to which Deputy Boyd Barrett referred lasted four months and there were almost 200 submissions.

In response to Deputy Tóibín, as Minister, I make regulations when necessary, for example, when weather has been adverse. There is no question of a blanket permission to burn in March. May I beg the Leas-Cheann Comhairle's indulgence for a few more moments?

The Minister has been begging it for the past five minutes. Because of the interest, we will give her another minute.

I reassure Deputy Eamon Ryan that the fires in March will not be the result of a carte blanche. In 2008, the Government of which he was a member stopped recruiting NPWS rangers. This Government is now recruiting rangers. I stress to Deputy Boyd Barrett that the positive effect of managed burning at the correct time of year is important. Unmanaged burning results in extensive areas of upland burning for long periods and irreversible change to the habitat. My Department's NPWS is constantly maintaining and counting species. We spend millions per annum on our science programme and that is how we know about species in decline. The reports the Deputy cited are NPWS reports.

Deputy Healy-Rae made an interesting point. Approximately 455,000 ha or 6.4% of the country is covered by hedgerows, individual trees and woodlands. The birds are still protected. I assure Deputy Burton that the Bill will not result in the removal of a single hedgerow. It will allow the trimming of a single year's growth on the road-facing side of roadside hedges. I agree that our hedgerows need to be cared for and managed and the Bill seeks to allow for careful management of our hedges on roadsides. The Labour Party supported the Heritage Bill 2016 when it was published and Deputy Burton was a member of the Government that approved the Bill. We are not scalping hedges and to suggest that is a mistake. The Deputy should know that we are prohibiting flails and grubbing, which is an improvement. We also have provided for prosecutions under the Wildlife Act.

The majority of farmers in this country are broke. Only a third of farmers have economically sustainable farms given the way the industry has gone. Another third have to work outside the farm to make ends meet. They are broke for a number of reasons. The main one is that they are not getting paid enough for their produce. Meat factories and supermarkets are squeezing them. Another reason is that because of the way the CAP system is built, richer farmers are getting the bulk of the money and farmers are drowning in a sea of paperwork. Climate change is radically affecting the way farmers are able to work.

Year after year, there are fodder crises. The country is not able to provide enough fodder for the farming industry. Anybody who stands up and tells farmers that this Bill is a panacea or will solve the problems they face is involved in deceit. This is not going to stack up to a hill of beans in respect of the issues facing farmers. There is a false dichotomy here as well. We have heard again and again from the Minister and some Opposition Deputies that this is about road safety. There is nobody in this Dáil or this country who is saying not to cut a verge and a hedge back when they are dangerous. Everybody agrees with doing that. All we are saying is to cut the dangerous ones back and leave the rest of them there. That is why we have proposed these amendments. Anybody who stands up here and talks about children on buses and people in new cars is talking tommyrot.

We are telling the truth. The Deputy is antagonising us.

Any number of amendments that would solve the issue of dangerous verges and dangerous hedges. It is important that people accept that first and foremost. Let us call a spade a spade. When landscapes are burned and hedges cut back, one destroys habitats and sustenance for the biodiversity of this country.

If he had a spade he would starve - he would have more dinner times than dinners.

The biodiversity of this country is radically depleting before our eyes. This Bill proceeds with that. I ask the Minister to delete section 7 because it is the most odious element of the Bill. I urge her to accept logical, reasonable responses such as amendment No. 19, which asks the Minister to make regulations to establish a new task force to identify efficient agriculture and environmentally sympathetic ways of doing business. Both the environment and agriculture can work in sympathy if they are allowed to do so but not under these provisions.

How stands amendment No. 15?

I am pressing it.

11 o'clock
Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 31; Níl, 58; Staon, 0.

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Níl

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Peadar Tóibín and Bríd Smith; Níl, Deputies Joe McHugh and Tony McLoughlin.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 16:

In page 12, to delete lines 2 to 7.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 31; Níl, 59; Staon, 0.

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Níl

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Eamon Ryan and Peadar Tóibín; Níl, Deputies Joe McHugh and Tony McLoughlin.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 17:

In page 12, lines 3 and 4, to delete “that section” and substitute “section 40 (1)(a)”.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 18:

In page 12, to delete lines 8 to 13 and substitute the following:

"(2) Notwithstanding section 40 of the Act of 1976, the Minister may make regulations to provide for derogations from the restrictions of section 40(1) of the Act of 1976 in order to permit the management of vegetation growing in any hedge or ditch for the purpose of ensuring public health and safety pursuant to section 70 of the Roads Act 1993.

(3) Regulations made under subsection 2 shall specify—

(a) the species of wild flora which are not subject to the derogations,

(b) the circumstances of risk and the circumstances of time and place under which such derogations may be granted,

(c) the authority empowered to declare that the required circumstances obtain and which can impose conditions on the management of vegetation under the derogation, and

(d) the controls which will be put in place to ensure compliance with the conditions.".

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 31; Níl, 59; Staon, 0.

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Níl

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Catherine Martin and Peadar Tóibín; Níl, Deputies Joe McHugh and Tony McLoughlin.
Amendment declared lost.
Debate adjourned.
The Dáil adjourned at 11.30 p.m. until 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 4 July 2018.