March 1, 2022
Minister Noonan must publish report into unlicensed OPW works – Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Justice, Senator Lynn Boylan, called on the Minister of State for Heritage Malcom Noonan to publish the full report and its recommendations by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) into what happened at Emo Court.

This follows reports that the Office of Public Works (OPW) conducted works without the necessary licences for the protection of bats.

Speaking today, Senator Boylan said:

“We know the NPWS carried out a report into the disturbance of a significant roost of brown long eared bats in the basement at Emo Court.  I am asking for that report to be released in full with its recommendations.

“The first step towards accountability is coming clean on what went on at Emo Court. We need to see the recommendations and we need to know whether criminal charges were recommended under the Wildlife Act and Habitats Directive.

“The OPW’s own account of events do not add up, the timeline and description of the works are inconsistent.  Minister Noonan has promised a zero tolerance approach to wildlife crime, if that promise is to be believed,  then we need to know what the NPWS recommendations were regarding Emo Court. The State cannot be above the law, if prosecution by NPWS staff was recommended but not pursued, we need to know who made that decision and why.”

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