– Speaking at Joint Oireachtas Committee on protecting the integrity of our waterways, our food and environment post Brexit –

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach spoke at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement on the importance of protecting the integrity of our environment post Brexit.

“The Committee heard excellent presentations from The Northern Ireland Environment Link about all the issues that will affect our Island both sides of the border post Brexit.”

“I spoke of the complexity of these issues which must not be overlooked in the overall context of Brexit.  My own county of Louth is part of the Neagh Bann catchment area, sharing waterways and water sources.  Air, ocean, sea-life, waterways, flora and fauna know no boundaries.  We need to use the collaborative institutions already in place like the North South Ministerial Council, the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly and the Local Authority cross border collaborations to create solutions appropriate for our whole Island.  It is surprising that we don’t already have an all-Ireland pillar to deal with environmental issues.”

“I also spoke of protecting the brand and integrity of our food and agri produce.  Furthermore, I spoke of the need to have a collective approach on environmental issues in the border region, and on environmental protection in mountain areas like Slieve Gullion, and the Cooley and Mourne mountains.  Geoparks need to be further explored also as areas of exceptional environmental importance also know no boundaries.”

“John Martin – Conservation Team Leader for Land Use & Marine Policy for the RSPBNI said that we need to have a single voice approach in looking at all avenues to get a single message.  The idea of a shared environmental framework should be explored.   Ireland will be the only EU country sharing a land border with Britain – we must look at the Island of Ireland as a single bio-environmental unit.”

“I am looking forward to further engagement on environmental issues post Brexit at a conference to be held in the Crowne Plaza Dundalk on the 16th of June – Brexit – Implications for the Environment on the island of Ireland.”

Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2

(T) 01 6183549 (Email)  declan.breathnach@oireachtas.ie