2 Jul 2019, 14.38
The Petitions Committee will hear from six State and local bodies on a petition to “Save Fermoy Weir” at a meeting tomorrow, Wednesday 3 July, Leinster House at 1.30pm.
The petition is seeking repairs to the weir on the River Blackwater in Co Cork to ensure the safe migration of salmon and other species and preserve the local amenities including rowing and angling.
Representatives froms ix different Departments agencies and local authorities are due to discuss the petition (No P00036/18) at the meeting in Committee Room 4 including:
- Representatives from Cork County Council
- Officials from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment - Inland Fisheries Division
- Representatives from Inland Fisheries Ireland
- Officials from Office of Public Works
- Officials from Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government - Water Division
- Officials from the National Parks and Wildlife Service - Scientific Unit.
Fermoy Weir is a protected structure on the Blackwater river. Large sections of the weir cap and supporting structure have been damaged.
Paul Kavanagh and Tommy Lawtown who lodged the petition appeared before the Committee in May.
Mr Kavanagh told the Committee “repair of the weir needs to be carried out immediately without any further delay.”
The Committee is also considering a number of other petitions including one (No P00022/19) seeking legalisation of euthanasia in Ireland.
An International Women in Cyber Day (IWCD) on 1 September is being called for in Petition No P00014/19. The petitioner wants the national day to be introduced in recognition of women working in cyber security.
Another petition (Petition No POOO11/19) is calling for “less harsh penalties for learner drivers” that have had their cars seized by Gardai while driving unaccompanied. The Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2018 gave Gardaí the power to impound cars being driven by unaccompanied learner drivers.
Petition No P0003/17 is seeking a public consultation process on the feasibility of developing a hemp industry in Ireland.
Speaking in advance of the meeting, Committee chairman Seán Sherlock TD said: “We will give these petitions our full consideration before announcing, in public session, the decision on each one.”
Deputy Sherlock added: “The Committee’s role is to give members of the public the opportunity to place issues of concern directly before the Oireachtas and to influence changes in public policy where appropriate.
The Blackwater River is one of Ireland’s largest rivers, and is a special area of conservation.
It is vital that salmon, a protected species under the Habitats Directive, returning from the sea around the Faroes in the Atlantic Ocean, should be able to swim to their spawning grounds in the Blackwater with any obstacles in their way.
At the same time local amenities must be protected.
The committee is concerned about the failure to repair the weir and hopes that the various departments, agencies and authorities will be able to work together to fix the weir.”
Committee proceedings can be viewed live here.
Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the move, through the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.