Frog scheme has opposition hopping mad
THE final bill for Environment Minister John Gormley's controversial frog-counting scheme will be €70,000. But the opposition parties are still describing the new project as a "ridiculous" way to spend money, writes Fiach Kelly.
The contract for the scheme was signed this week, with the deal being awarded to Queen's University, Belfast.
There was uproar last year when Mr Gormley sent plans for the frog study to tender during the crisis in the public finances.
Despite the final contract being slightly less than was originally speculated, Fine Gael TD Michael Ring still described it as "outrageous".
"We have more important things to be spending our money on -- fixing the country for a start -- rather than going around counting frogs," said Mr Ring. The Department of the Environment said it hoped the study would provide an "up-to-date understanding of frog distribution".
The survey is to be carried out in the south and North, overseen by the National Parks and Wildlife Services.