Dáil debates

Thursday, 12 November 2015

10:40 am

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Kildare South, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I am a little confused by the Minister's reference to a count as I understood the Department had indicated that it did not have sufficient resources to conduct a count. If that is the case, it would bother me as the number of red deer in Killarney National Park is not especially significant. It probably stands at between 500 and 700 and, as such, one would expect the Department to have sufficient resources to count them.

The Minister's party colleague, Senator Paul Coghlan, has expressed concern about the culling of red deer, while others have argued that any such cull would be blind if the National Parks and Wildlife Service was not aware of the numbers involved. We need to consider the history of the red deer, which stretches back nearly 10,000 years before Christ to the Ice Age. As the only native and indigenous deer, there is an understandable public reaction to the possibility of some red deer being culled. Will the Minister explain the position regarding the count and respond to Senator Paul Coghlan's comment that the cull should target the non-indigneous sika deer rather than the native Irish red deer?


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