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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C

# noteworthy.ie

All time
# cash cow
A win for farming, a win for nature: scheming for sustainability
Farm subsidies to protect biodiversity need to be channelled into results-led projects.
THE MORNING LEAD
Land grab: How agri-subsidies encourage farmers to cut back on nature
A report by
Niall Sargent and Ella McSweeney
Carbon emissions-heavy dairy and livestock farming rewarded over environmental efforts.
The EU's multi-billion euro farm subsidy model is driving up emissions & hitting nature hard, writes Niall Sargent and Ella McSweeney in new Noteworthy investigation
Irish farmers are being financially penalised for maintaining biodiversity hotspots
€100 billion of farm subsidies for climate action have had little impact on emissions, EU audit finds
# State failure
Children's Minister: 'There's ingrained institutional racism against the Traveller community'
Minister Roderic O’Gorman told Noteworthy that the State “has failed successive generations of Traveller children”.
Minister Roderic O’Gorman said that the State 'has failed successive generations of Traveller children' in an interview with reporter Michelle Hennessy
O'Gorman spoke to Noteworthy as part of a series into the challenges facing Traveller children in Ireland
He was 'surprised to see' the Cork City Council letter which hit back at the findings of the Spring Lane report
# Separation of Powers
Chief Scientific Adviser's dual role should be separated 'to protect independence'
A review of the role is underway, with concerns over a conflict of interest raised since the head of the Government’s science funding agency was appointed.
# Children's Rights Alliance
Many teenage Travellers not returning to school following pandemic closure challenges
Young Travellers found remote schoolwork extra challenging due to lack of access to digital and other resources during the pandemic.
# Endangered Species
Commission raps Ireland for 'persistently failing' to manage protected nature sites
Just over 60% of our 600-plus legally protected nature areas have conservation objectives.
# Addiction
'No plans' to reinstate HSE rehab unit closed during pandemic
The Keltoi Rehab Unit was converted to an isolation facility, with previous Health Minister Simon Harris promising its reopening.
The Keltoi Rehab Unit continues to be used as a Covid isolation facility, reports Maria Delaney of Noteworthy, our investigative platform.
Keltoi closed 18 months ago, with previous Health Minister Simon Harris promising its reopening
Addiction service advocates are frustrated with the HSE response and are calling for a clear reopening date
# factory farm
Explosion in poultry farming in Border region poses air pollution threat
Report, seen by Noteworthy, shows over 250,000 tonnes of manure is being currently produced by the industry in Monaghan alone.
There are an estimated 18.5 million farmed chickens in Monaghan producing ammonia-laden manure.
Report, seen by Noteworthy's Niall Sargent, warns of "direct and indirect negative impacts on the environment locally".
Soil, water and air pollution an increasing concern.
# Biodiversity
The Explainer x Noteworthy: What can be done to halt the decline of our precious biodiversity?
Noteworthy’s Niall Sargent tells Susan Daly how the race is on to save iconic species like the puffin and curlew – and even save ourselves.
# Biodiversity
Funding failure: Most of Ireland's biodiversity spend goes on schemes that have little impact
Ireland’s overall spending on biodiversity protection is also under internationally-accepted levels.
THE MORNING LEAD
Loss of Ireland's biodiversity is accelerating - and we're missing the chance to halt it
A report by
Niall Sargent
Noteworthy reveals virtually no protected sites have management plans and Ireland is moving further away from a target for effective nature conservation.
A host of iconic Irish species and habitats are under threat, writes Niall Sargent in first part of Noteworthy's investigation into biodiversity loss
Virtually none of our protected nature areas have management plans
An expert forum has labelled the State as the “biggest transgressor of environmental law in Ireland”
# Selling our genes
Government investment in DNA-collecting company Genuity Science loses value
The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund had invested €66m in the private genetics company acquired in a deal announced yesterday.
# No Target
‘A significant challenge’: Unclear when public transport will be fully accessible
Despite some improvements in recent years, ongoing obstacles to accessibility are leading to isolation and anxiety for disabled people.
Despite improvements in recent years, ongoing obstacles to accessibility are leading to isolation and anxiety, reports Maria Delaney of Noteworthy, our investigative platform.
The NTA and Department of Transport could not give a date for a fully accessible public transport system.
Inaccessible infrastructure is preventing disabled people from travelling on accessible trains and buses.
# costly cut
'No plans to reinstate' transport schemes for disabled people that activists say are 'vital'
The Motorised Transport Grant and Mobility Allowance schemes remain closed after a review was recommended over eight years ago.
# REFUSED ENTRY
Stranded, refused and left waiting: Disabled people 'on tenterhooks' trying to access taxis
Most accessibility-related complaints involved taxi drivers refusing to take guide dogs or wheelchair users.
Advocates are concerned low availability of accessible taxis is leading to reduced independence, reports Maria Delaney of Noteworthy, our investigative platform.
Most accessibility-related complaints involved taxi drivers refusing to take guide dogs or wheelchair users.
Two-thirds of the current wheelchair accessible vehicles in the taxi fleet are based in the Greater Dublin area.
# Voices Unheard
'White elephant': The €2.7m transport training centre causing conflict in disability community
Disabled people feel that once again they were not consulted about a major project that most affects them.
Disabled people feel that once again they were not consulted about a major decision that most affects them, reports Maria Delaney of Noteworthy, our investigative platform.
The NTA and Department of Transport (DOT) were aware of lack of consultation before funding decision.
Concerns were raised numerous times at the DOT Accessibility Consultative Committee.
# parent rights
Concern for parents as international surrogacy still missing from new legislation
Advocates warn of ongoing impact to families if international and retrospective surrogacy not addressed soon.
# Thanks To You
Noteworthy investigations reveal biggest climate emitters and violent bike theft increase
The investigative platform completed four new projects in the past three months, thanks to your contributions.
Voices
Opinion: Only a full ban can save Northern Ireland from the threat posed by fracking
Eddie Mitchell of Love Leitrim outlines concerns of border communities that fracking may be set to get back on the agenda in the North.
# Troubled Waters
Licence granted for large salmon farm in Bantry Bay despite strong opposition
Decision follows six-year appeals process, with opponents ‘gutted’ and ‘extremely disappointed’ with the decision.
THE MORNING LEAD
Licensed to Fail: ‘Outdated’ salmon farm licensing system comes under fire from all sides
A report by
Niall Sargent
Noteworthy reveals internal concerns the Department of the Marine did not take sufficiently tough action over potential licence breaches by Ireland’s largest salmon operator.
Over 20 salmon farms operating with expired licences for over a decade, writes Niall Sargent in final part of Noteworthy investigation into salmon farming
State has investigated several cases of possible licence breaches by Ireland's largest salmon company
No enforcement over various farms’ failure to carry out assessments for impacts on marine biodiversity
Lice, infectious disease and taking reef fish: The impact of salmon farms on marine biodiversity
State issues licences to salmon farms to cull protected seals, documents reveal
# Troubled Waters
Lice, infectious disease and taking reef fish: The impact of salmon farms on marine biodiversity
Noteworthy investigation reveals concerns over State monitoring of potential environmental impacts of salmon farms from sea lice, disease and farm escapes.
State holds limited details on disease outbreaks and mortality rates at salmon farms, reports Niall Sargent of Noteworthy, our investigative platform
Little regulation of wild wrasse fishing for use as cleaner fish on farms despite potential marine impacts
Experts warn Ireland lacks baseline data to effectively monitor for salmon farm escapes
THE MORNING LEAD
State issues licences to salmon farms to cull protected seals, documents reveal
A report by
Niall Sargent
Noteworthy investigation shows that at least two grey seals and three common seals were killed after licences were issued.
Since 2015, the NPWS granted 11 licences to farms to shoot small numbers of the protected species, reports Niall Sargent in the first part of Noteworthy's investigation into the salmon industry
Conservation groups have expressed shock at the decision and a lack of scientific evidence behind culling
The NPWS does not generally carry out site visits to monitor cull events due to 'resourcing issues'
Voices
Opinion: Bogus clothes collecting denying legitimate charities access to much needed funds
Double check if in doubt when approached for clothing donations to ensure those in need benefit.
# LOSING FAITH
Religion in schools: 'My son was upset - a friend told him he wasn't going to heaven'
Noteworthy gathers the experiences of parents and educators in Ireland’s majority Catholic primary education system.
In part two of a deep dive into the stalemate in providing choice in primary education, Peter McGuire hears from parents and teachers.
Families speak of being forced into Catholic schools because of hours-long daily commutes to 'nearest' multi-denominational.
While 'opting out' of religious instruction is facilitated by many schools, many parents say their children feel isolated and upset.
# LOSING FAITH
State on a go-slow in moving primary education from majority Catholic grip
Noteworthy spotlights a lack of coherence, communication and progress in the State promise to provide 400 multi-denominational primary schools by 2030.
In this first of a two-part deep dive into the promised creation of better educational choice, Peter McGuire finds a process in paralysis.
Just 13 multi-denominational schools have been established under divestment Catholic schools in the past 8 years.
Completed reports and surveys on school patronage lie unpublished while the Department continues to meet with the Irish Episcopal Conference every month.
# Testing the Waters
Over 1,400 people waiting for drinkable tap water for more than three months
Figures show that almost 900 people on a public water supply have been on boil notices for a year or more.
Almost 900 people across eight locations have boil water notices in place for a year or more, reports Maria Delaney of Noteworthy, our investigative platform
Over the past two years, 50 boil water and 10 do not consume notices were in place for more than a month
Water supply is impacting housing, with 42 houses refused permission in Paulstown, Co Kilkenny recently
Voices
Opinion: Without a public childcare model there can be no equality for women
The National Women’s Council says inadequate State investment in childcare has led to an unsustainable system in crisis.
Fracking not compatible with human rights law, says Irish study
A new report from NUIG’s Centre for Human Rights calls on the State to use its weight at the UN to push for a global ban on fracking.
Voices
Opinion: Radon kills thousands in Ireland but the gas is completely preventable
EcoEye producer Marcus Stewart explains how some straightforward policy moves can bring deaths from the radioactive gas under control.
Voices
Opinion: Low ambition and poor policy keeping people with disabilities out of workplace
Joan O’Donnell writes that it’s time to ditch failing strategies and embrace an inclusive future of work.
# stolen wheels
1 in 100 bikes stolen nationwide in 2020 as Dublin and Limerick cyclists worst hit
Noteworthy investigation reveals bike theft trends over past five years and hears calls for better cycling parking facilities.
Almost 30,000 bikes were stolen over the past five years, with an average of 70% of thefts occurring in Dublin, writes Noteworthy reporter Maria Delaney
While violent bike thefts increased by 65% in 2020, overall bike thefts were almost unchanged nationally
Provisional figures "suggest a marked decrease" in bike thefts up to March this year
‘Eight teens were kicking him’: Violent bike and scooter thefts up 65% last year
THE MORNING LEAD
‘Eight teens were kicking him’: Violent bike and scooter thefts up 65% last year
A report by
Maria Delaney
Traumatic attacks on cyclists and scooter users linked to Covid-related anti-social crime.
There was a 65% increase in aggravated bike and scooter thefts in 2020, reports Maria Delaney in the first part of Noteworthy's bike theft investigation.
Cyclists at Luas stops were targeted by gangs over the past month
A rise in anti-social behaviour linked to the pandemic is being blamed for an increase in attacks
1 in 100 bikes stolen nationwide in 2020 as Dublin and Limerick cyclists worst hit
# cost of carbon
State spent 2.5 times more on fossil fuel subsidies than climate supports over past decade
Noteworthy shows that State revenue from an EU carbon trading scheme went into controversial forestry programme and a rural transport scheme.
THE MORNING LEAD
Transparency gap: State bodies holding back company emissions data from the public
A report by
Niall Sargent
Noteworthy project reveals emissions profiles of some of Ireland’s largest companies and highlights where lack of public transparency still exist.
Companies are starting to volunteer their emissions data but State bodies slow to reveal all details to public, writes Niall Sargent.
While emissions levels are falling in many sectors, Noteworthy analysis shows that sectors such as agriculture and aviation are stagnating or growing.
Ireland is doing well on finding energy efficiencies but there is still a mountain to climb.
Voices
Opinion: Our farm subsidy model is broken and causing destruction to habitats
As the biodiversity crisis gathers pace, researcher Ray O’Foghlu explains how both farmers and environmentalists struggle with contradictory land eligibility rules.
# rehab wait
Over 3,500 on wait list for a detox bed, with over 140 residential beds still closed
Over 60% are on the waiting list for at least nine months.
Voices
Poor interpreting having impact on patients, victims of crime and those seeking asylum
Mary Phelan writes that lack of accredited training and poor service are having huge consequences and must be addressed by the State.
# busy investigating
Noteworthy investigations expose environmental issues and analyse far-right activity
The investigative platform completed five projects so far this year, thanks to your contributions.
# risk to baby
Valproate scandal: Parents feel failed by State over drug that harmed their children
Noteworthy finds that pleas for help from women impacted by valproate (Epilim) continue to be dismissed.