Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has urged all landowners who wish are unhappy with moves to designate part of the their land as a Special Protection Area to submit a written objection to the Department of Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht by Wednesday 5 Oct October 2011.


Senator Ó Domhnaill said:The designation of lands as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) is causing significant annoyance to farmers and landowners within the six recently designated areas in Donegal.


“This is being imposed by the Government through the National Parks and Wildlife Service in order to satisfy the EU Birds and Habitats Directive. The move was made without any prior consultation with farmers or landowners. This is completely unacceptable.


“I am urging all landowners in the designated areas in West Donegal, including Malin Head, Fanad, the West Donegal Islands (Inishboffin, Inisdooey, Tory Island, Gola Island, Inis Meain, Inis Oirtheair) Falcarragh to Meenlaragh encompassing the townlands of Ballyconnell, Ballyness, Drimnatinney, Killult, Magheroarty and Meenlaragh to submit objections to the National Parks and Wildlife Service by next Wednesdays closing date.


“Restrictions for landowners in Special Protection Areas are far reaching. For example landowners will be required to seek the consent of the National Parks and Wildlife for any draining and fencing works, building for one off houses or agricultural facilities and crop rotation. They will also need permission to place certain livestock on their own land.


“I am also calling on the Minister for Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht  and officials in the National Parks & Wildlife Service to deal sympathetically and realistically with all objections they receive, given that there has been very little or no corncrake activity in a large proportion of the designated lands in West Donegal during 2011.  I would question the validity of the scientific data used to categorise SPA areas and I believe that the Department must take this into consideration when accessing all objections.


“Standard objection letters can be obtained by contacting my Gortahork Office at 0749165466.”





The following Activities Requiring Consent apply:


  • Introduction, or re-introduction, of plants or animals not found in the area. [Consent is not required for the planting of crops on established reseeded grassland or cultivated land].


  • Construction or alteration of tracks, paths, roads, bridges, culverts or access routes.


  • Mowing of grass crops. [Consent is not required unless notice has been given that mowing on specified lands is likely to interfere with the breeding and reproduction of corncrakes during the period specified in the said notice.]


  • Planting of trees or multi-annual bioenergy crops.


  • Developing or allowing the development or operation of recreational/visitor facilities or activities, at a commercial scale.