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Green Party cllr 'wants to find out' if fire on Bull Island is connected to the return of cars

Vehicular traffic returned to the nature reserve after yesterday’s change in government guidelines.

PastedImage-75048 An image of the fire shared by Dublin Fire Brigade. Source: Twitter/DubFireBrigade

CONCERN HAS BEEN raised that a gorse fire on Bull Island on Dublin’s northside last night could be connected to the return of traffic to the protected reserve. 

Local Green Party councillor Donna Cooney has said that “nature had recovered in the last few weeks” in Bull Island and that “everything in Dublin City Council’s power must be done” to protect it. 

Dublin’s Dollymount Beach is located on Bull Island and the Causeway Road which allows vehicular access to the beach and the reserve had been closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The 15 sq-km Bull Island formed some 200 years ago following the construction of the Bull Wall. It is now a protected Unesco Biosphere and has been a bird sanctuary since the 1930s

Last night, firefighters and two engines from Dublin Fire Brigade extinguished a fire on Bull Island

Dublin Fire Brigade today shared a number of dramatic images of the fire and warned people that vegetation on the reserve is very dry and to therefore “take extreme care”.

PastedImage-10693 Source: Twitter/DublinFireBrigade

Motorists were previously able to drive the all the way up onto Dollymount Beach but a number of years cars were blocked from accessing the beach. Instead, cars can now drive up the road and park along the road before walking to the beach. 

Yesterday, Causeway Road was reopened and Cooney has said she is concerned the return of this road is potentially connected to the fire in the area last night. 

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“I’m so upset this morning to think of the destruction of the beautiful habitat, a world Unesco site,” she said.

“We don’t know what caused it yet, but I want to find out if there is a connection to the fact that they opened up the island to cars yesterday.

Nature had recovered in the last few weeks when human activities had been restricted, the public had been enjoying nature in its all its wonder by threading gently, listening to the beautiful song of the skylark.

“Everything in Dublin City Council’s power must be done to protect Bull Island. The parks department, who manage the island, need to be given all the help and resources necessary,” Cooney added. 

Dublin City Council has said that a dedicated cycleway “to promote and facilitate cycling” is to be created along Causeway Road. Cooney had previously called for the road to remain closed until this happens.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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