Monday, January 18, 2021

Cllr Tracey O’ Dwyer is calling on Kildare Co  Council write to the Minister of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage requesting his intention to make an order designating the Curragh Plains as a Natural Heritage Area under Section 16 (1) of the Wildlife Amendment Act, (2000).

She has a motion to this effect before the next meeting of Kildare-Newbridge Muniicpal district this Wednesday 20 H+January.

I call on the Minister to begin the formal process of advancing its current designation from a proposed National Heritage Area (p NHA) to a Natural Heritage Area (NHA). This change of status will ensure the Curragh Plains receives full statutory protection and I present this motion in light of the continuing loss of our Biodiversity. I am also putting forward this motion to protect the scientific value of the Curragh’s unique semi-natural grassland ecosystem and its integrity as the largest area of un-enclosed lowland grassland in Ireland,” said Cllr O’Dwyer.

She points out the current status of the Curragh Plains is a Proposed Natural Heritage Area (p NHA). However, this designation affords no statutory protection from activities that continue to undermine its value as an area of Natural, and Cultural Heritage. ” We are all aware of the value of the Curragh and its importance in our lives and the lives of those communities which we are here to serve. Never more so than during this Covid-19 crisis. Indeed, the Curragh Plains is our Common Home. It has innumerable benefits to our physical and mental health during these most difficult times.

“I have heard previous requests to “take care of the Curragh” and “it’s a lovely site we must look after it.” This is simply not enough. What my motion seeks is quite different and it goes beyond these aspirational suggestions by formally requestion the process of advancing the Curragh’s current designation from a Proposed Natural Heritage Area (p NHA) to a Natural Heritage Area thus ensuring the Curragh Plains receives full statutory protection to be enjoyed and appreciated by this generation and those generations to come. We are so lucky to have such a beautiful, natural resource as the Curragh Plains on our doorstep and we have all enjoyed the benefits that the Curragh Plains has to offer over the past few months so more than ever it’s important we formalize measures to protect the Curragh Plains to ensure we and future generations can continue to enjoy the many benefits it offers.”

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