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 Header Item Teachtaireacht ón Seanad - Message from Seanad
 Header Item Message from Select Committee
 Header Item Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
 Header Item Heritage Sites

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 979 No. 6

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Teachtaireacht ón Seanad - Message from Seanad

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Seanad Éireann has passed the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Bill 2018, without amendment.

Message from Select Committee

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher The Select Committee on Health has concluded its consideration of the Health Service Executive (Governance) Bill 2018 and has made amendments thereto.

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Heritage Sites

Deputy Eamon Ryan: Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan As someone who has been lucky enough to visit High Island in recent years, I am a rare breed. I landed there on a very calm day and it is a spectacular island. On its southern side are monastic settlements on which very detailed excavations have been done. The headstones of the monks are incredible. It is a tremendously interesting and important site. It is similar to the Skelligs in terms of archaeological and historical importance.

When I landed on the island I also discovered that really important scientific work is going on there. University College Cork has been doing some really groundbreaking and important ecological and scientific assessments. Researchers have been tagging and monitoring the very significant populations of Manx shearwaters and storm petrels. These are very large populations which are hugely important in a European context because of the numbers and rarity of the birds. The research being done is also very important in a wider context because, in tracking the movements, breeding and ecology of the birds, the whole north-west Atlantic is monitored. It is hard to believe it considering the size of the birds, but on occasion they fly out almost 1,700 km to feed. The monitoring, management and assessment of that tells us a massive amount about what is happening in the north-west Atlantic, where climate is changing, where cold water is coming down from the Arctic and where the Gulf Stream itself may be weakening. These are very large populations of very rare and critical seabirds. They are one of the birds which are most threatened. The whole issue of protecting biodiversity is critical to the Minister's Department. This area of scientific research is of critical international and European importance.

The island has no possible use other than the maintenance and monitoring of the archaeological, ornithological and other ecological sites.

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