18 Aug 2022

The option of having mountain goats help combat gorse fires in west Donegal to be explored

The option of having mountain goats help combat gorse fires in west Donegal to be explored

Flashback to the gorse fires in 2019

A meeting is to be organised to discuss the issue of having a rapid response unit established in west Donegal. The issue was raised, once again, by Independent Councillor Micheál Choilm Mac Giolla Easbuig and was supported by councillors during an online meeting of  the Glenties Municipal District on Tuesday. 

Councillors want measures put in place that will help prevent the destruction that was caused by gorse fires in the Rosses area, over two years ago, from happening again.

Speaking in Irish, Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said he believes strongly that a Rapid Response Unit should be established as part of a pilot scheme from Dungloe, Annagry to Crolly. He said that the move would benefit the communities. He said when fires start the community are the first on bogs with spades trying to extinguish fires and to stop them from spreading.

He recognised the great work that fire crews do throughout the county. 

He said that he felt that the unit would have the potential to save lives as summer draws closer. 

Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig recommended that a workshop be scheduled and that Donegal County Council’s Garry Martin, Michael McGarvey  and Donegal’s Chief Fire Officer, Joseph Mc Taggart be present. His motion was supported by Cathaoirleach Marie Therese Gallagher and Fianna Fáil Councillor Noreen McGarvey among other councillors.

In supporting Mac Giolla Easbuig’s comments, Cllr Michael McClafferty said that in the past sheep and goats kept the gorse down and that spreading fires may be as a consequence of changing times.

During an earlier meeting, Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuic asked about the initiative in relation to having goats being stationed to protect the hills around the Dublin suburb of Howth from gorse wildfires.

Area Manager, Michael Rowsome outlined to the meeting that he had spoken to the person responsible for the initiative and that they were amenable to discuss the issue with the councillors and give an online presentation. The idea will be discussed during a meeting which is being scheduled to have the issue discussed with the council and fire service. 


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