A few months ago I mentioned Paul Whittle’s history of the UK marine aggregate dredging industry, which includes a chapter on the Lough Neagh sand dredging industry.
Sand barge William James at Scotts sand quay
I did not realise at the time that the industry was the subject of legal action by Friends of the Earth. Their objections are outlined here; there are several news reports of the progress of their case, eg here and here; this is an account, from June 2017, of the appeal court case; here is the BBC report of the decision and this is FOE’s reaction, which includes this:
Yesterday the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal ruled that the Northern Ireland government acted unlawfully by not stopping dredging for sand at one of Europe’s most important wetlands.
The only legal option now open to the government is to stop the sand dredging.
Dredging has been taking place on a huge scale at Lough Neagh without planning permission and other authorisations.
Friends of the Earth brought the legal challenge over the Northern Ireland government’s failure to stop the extraction.
Up to 2 million tons of sand is suction dredged from the bed of the lough every year. This is the biggest unauthorised development in the history of Northern Ireland. Yet this vitally important wildlife site is supposed to be protected under local and international law. In fact there is no bigger unlawful mine anywhere in Europe in a Special Protection Area.
Lough Neagh is Europe’s biggest wild eel fishery […].
I suspect that the decision will increase the DUP’s enthusiasm for Brexit.
Posted in Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Industrial heritage, Irish inland waterways vessels, Modern matters, Natural heritage, Operations, Politics, Scenery, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged birds directive, brexit, DUP, eels, Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland, sand dredging
On 17 April 2012 the Northern Ireland Assembly held an enlightening debate about Lough Neagh and its future and ended by resolving
That this Assembly calls on the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development to convene a working group to explore and pursue actively the potential for a cross-departmental approach to bring Lough Neagh back into public ownership.
The report is here. It is well worth reading by anyone wanting an understanding of the management of the largest lake in These Islands.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Drainage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Natural heritage, Operations, People, Politics, Scenery, Tourism, Ulster Canal, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Assembly, DUP, eels, Ireland, Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland, sand, SDLP, Shaftesbury, Sinn Fein, UUP
Sinn Féin takes more interest in the Ulster Canal than does any other political party. It may not be coincidental that the government seems to be trying to get two local authorities, on both of which Sinn Féin is the largest party, to solve the canal’s funding problem.
Posted in Built heritage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Foreign parts, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish waterways general, Non-waterway, Operations, People, Politics, Restoration and rebuilding, Ulster Canal, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged canal, Clones, department of arts heritage and the gaeltacht, DUP, Erne, Fermanagh, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Ireland, Lough Neagh, Monaghan, Sinn Fein, Ulster Canal, waterways, Waterways Ireland