Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore has expressed grave concern at reports today of oil covered birds turning up on beaches along Ireland’s east coast.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on biodiversity, said:

“I am shocked to learn of this incident, which is being closely monitored by Birdwatch Ireland and the Oiled Wildlife Response Network. Heavily oiled seabirds, including Guillemots, have been spotted on beaches stretching from Carnsore Point in Wexford to Dalkey in Dublin, with my own Wicklow constituency also affected.

“I want to acknowledge the efforts of Kildare Wildlife Rescue, who are leading the care and rehabilitation of any birds found covered in oil.

“The Irish Coast Guard is aware of the incident and efforts are now under way to establish the source of the oil.

“This situation represents an unacceptable threat to our already vulnerable seabird population. The Government must offer every necessary support to the organisations tasked with rescuing, cleaning and rehabilitating the affected birds.

“In the meantime, those involved in the rescue operation have requested the public to stay off these beaches and keep their dogs under control at all times.

“Ultimately, what is needed is a coordinated national strategy to respond to incidents of this nature, which should include voluntary organisations as well as State bodies such as the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

“It is vital that the source of the oil is identified as soon as possible, with those found responsible held fully accountable.”

May 2, 2024

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