Formal complaint made to the EU over illegal wildfires this year

The Irish Wildlife Trust has made a formal complaint to the EU over the failure of the Irish Government to prevent illegal wildfires.

There were 97 such fires this year alone many of which the IWT claims were started deliberately.

Three of these wildfires were in county Sligo, one on the Sligo Leitrim border and five of them were in county Donegal.

Five of where the fires in this region took place are in protected areas including the Ox Mountains, the Bricklieve Mountains and the Lough Gill Special Areas of Conservation.

Speaking to Ocean FM News today, Padraig Fogarty of the Irish Wildlife Trust says the damage being done is davastating not only to wildlife but also to people and our tourism economy:

It is illegal to burn on land from the start of March to the end of August and the nature of the fires this year was so bad that the Department had to issue a warning to remind landowners that this is an offence.

The army had to be called in in county Galway to help put out some of the fires.

Padraig Fogarty says the system incentivises farmers to burn and it makes no sense: