I move amendment 3:—
In page 2, line 18, after the word "duck" to add the words "brent goose, barnacle goose and other species of wild goose."
This amendment goes with amendment 6. The object of the amendment is to put the wild goose on the same level, as far as this Bill is concerned, as the wild duck. There is, however, a difference in view of the fact that only a very small portion of the wild geese which visit this country breed here. I have not put down an amendment to the Schedule to create a close season for wild geese. On the Committee Stage of the Bill Deputy Brennan, I think, introduced an amendment somewhat similar to amendment 6, with reference to the night shooting of wild geese. He withdrew the amendment on the matter being explained by the Minister that wild geese were not to be included in the Bill. I have, therefore, put in amendments 3 and 6 in order to cover both contingencies. I have only mentioned two species of wild geese in the amendment. As a matter of fact, there are other species of wild geese. Wild geese are very plentiful in Co. Wexford. The brent goose is to be found in Wexford Harbour. The ordinary type of goose to be found in the midlands of Ireland is known, I think, as the white brent goose. It is not found in tidal waters. There are various reasons why wild geese should be protected and recognised as game in this Bill. They are found in various parts of Ireland. Certain properties have been sold or leased because of the shooting of duck and geese to be had on them. If the wild goose is not included in this Bill, considerable damage will be caused to the owners of these shooting properties. I see no reason why the Minister should not accept these two amendments. If he accepts them, I do not see that it will cause any hardship on anybody. The wild goose is a very distinctive bird in this country. It has national associations, and apart from that, I venture to say that it has even a theological association. I understand that in the Kingdom of Kerry the barnacle goose is a bird which, according to ecclesiastical law, it is permitted to eat on Fridays in that diocese. I think that is the only case in the whole world where a bird is permitted to be eaten on Fridays according to the laws of the denomination to which the great majority of Irish people belong.
From an aeronautical point of view the wild goose, I understand, is a very interesting bird. It can fly at the rate of eighty miles an hour. I also think that it is the only bird in Ireland, though there may be others, which flies in formation. For various reasons it is very desirable that this bird should be included in the Bill. For instance, it has been suggested to me that possibly a new sport might be developed in this country, particularly in view of the very plentiful supply of wild geese that have been coming in in recent years, a sport which should appeal to many people not only in this but in other countries where there are light aeroplanes available, and that is the shooting of wild geese from the air. It is very difficult to get near these birds, which are very wary of human beings, particularly if they have been shot at on one or two occasions. It strikes me that in the future a very substantial income might be derived by the State from the development of an aerial wild goose chase. These birds fly faster than most birds. They fly, roughly, at the same cruising speed as a modern light aeroplane. I see no reason why the Minister should not accept the two amendments. There can be no objection to making a close season. With the exception of one small limited type of wild geese, the wild geese that come to this country do not breed here. I do not see what harm would be done by the Minister accepting the amendment, and I do not think any Deputy would have any grievous objection to doing so.