Tuesday 27 September 2016

'They can wreak havoc with their beaks' - Now-annual Seanad debate on seagulls resumes

Published 22/06/2016 | 14:19

Seagulls scavaging for food
Seagulls scavaging for food
Paul Coghlan. Photo: Tom Burke

The Seanad is well and truly back in action with now annual summer debate on the threat of seagulls to life in the capital.

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The marauding birds were once again the target of our senators today with Fine Gael’s Paul Coghlan complaining that “unlike other birds, they do not seem to understand bed time”.

Mr Coghlan told how on his way out of Leinster House last night he “witnessed something” on the corner of Molesworth Street and South Frederick Street and again on the left at the corner of the green and Dawson Street.

He explained that a number of seagulls were ripping open bags of rubbish left out on the street for collection.

“The gulls seem to have a voracious appetite and can wreak havoc with their beaks,” he said.

“I want advice for business owners who are putting out bundles of plastic bags.  The birds are destroying the bags with their beaks.”

Mr Coghlan said the birds “would hardly move out of one’s way”.

“They are perched on ledges ready to swoop.  Litter is being strewn all over the place.  We are discussing bin charges and waste management, but this is a terrible situation in our capital city.”

He suggested a repulsive spray could be used by business owners putting out plastic bags or else there should be a move towards wheelie bins.  

“It was disgraceful, given that tourists were walking around the place after 11pm,” Mr Coghlan said.

Meanwhile Senator David Norris complained that RTÉ are not giving the Seanad enough attention on their nightly ‘Oireachtas Report’ programme.

Mr Norris said he doesn’t usually watch the round-up of the day’s politics but couldn’t sleep last night so he tuned in.

“There was no sign whatever of Seanad Éireann.  It was not mentioned.  It might as well not have existed,” he said.

The country’s longest-serving senator wants the Leader of the Upper House to write “to television people” to complain.

“However vapid they may consider our proceedings or regardless of whether they felt in their own judgment that there was nothing of interest, there remains an obligation on them to reflect the full Oireachtas.

“Seanad Éireann should always be reflected.  It is a serious matter when the Seanad is not recorded at all,” he said.

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