Total Pageviews

Monday, 30 September 2019

DETAILS OF NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SACRED/SPIRITUAL HERITAGE:

Archaeology Ireland is organizing a one-day conference (Encountering the sacred) focusing on the importance of sacred places and spaces and our human experience of them. The conference is presented by the National Monuments Service of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in partnership with the Office of Public Works and will take place in the Print Works, Dublin Castle, on 5th October, 2019. The conference will focus on the importance of sacred places and spaces and our human experience of them. Central to virtually all religions—global or local, oral or religions of the book—is the idea that there are places where the otherworld, the numinous or the sacred can be encountered and contacted by carrying out rituals or religious practices at specific times.
Sacred places can be natural, such as caves, mountaintops, islands or springs, or they can be constructed. Such monuments and buildings often deliberately incorporate and literally build on the existing significance of the place where they are located. These sacred sites are not only testaments to the beliefs of the people who built and used them but are also an outstanding feature of the archaeological record.
The conference programme will focus on the significance of sacred sites in a range of religious and cosmological contexts and will explore the central role of pilgrimage: people journeying to sacred places for spiritual purposes. For more information on the Conference visit https://archaeologyireland.ie/encountering-the-sacred/The conference programme is available to view by clicking here - https://archaeologyireland.ie/conference-programme-2019/

Illustrated Lecture: 'Dáibhí de Barra and the Manuscript Tradition



Date/Time: Friday 11th October 2019
Event: 
Illustrated Lecture: 'Dáibhí de Barra and the Manuscript Tradition
Location: Carrigtwohill Community Centre, Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork 
Additional Information: Dáibhí de Barra and the Manuscript Tradition - Talk will focus on two manuscripts by Dáibhí de Barra: the prayer book in Melbourne and his account of the battle during the Tithe War at Rossmore Strand. For more information email carrigtwohillhistory@outlook.com and visit the website www.carrigtwohillhistoricalsociety.com

Illustrated Lecture: 'Mary Elmes - The Quiet Heroine'

Date/Time: Thursday 3rd October 2019 at 20:00
Event: 
Illustrated Lecture: 'Mary Elmes - The Quiet Heroine'
Location: Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, Blarney Secondary School, Blarney, Cork 
Additional Information: Blarney and District Historical Society presents an illustrated lecture titled ‘Mary Elmes – The Quiet Heroine’. in Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal (Blarney Secondary School) on Thursday 3rd October 2019 at 8.00 p.m. Cork woman Mary Elmes devoted her life to helping refugees and was responsible for saving hundreds of Jewish children from Nazi death camps during World War 11. Our Guest Speaker Ms. Anne Twomey of the Shandon History Group recounts her life from 1908 in Ballintemple through her incredible work to her death in 2002. A new bridge in Cork, is also named in her honour. Non-members €4. Everybody Welcome. http://blarneyhistory.ie

Garranes - An Early Medieval Royal Site?

Date/Time: Wednesday 2nd October 2019 at 20:00
Event: 
Garranes - An Early Medieval Royal Site?
Location: Crawford Art Gallery, Cork 
Additional Information: Prof Billy O'Brien's talk will be on 'Garranes-an early medieval royal site?' 8 pm Crawford Art Gallery.

IMPORTANT RESEARCH INTO EVOLUTION OF THE IRISH LANGUAGE APPROVED FOR ANOTHER 5 YEARS:

For the past 14 years a historical dictionary of the Irish Language has been under development and the Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne T.D. has recently announced the approval of a €920,000 grant for the next stage of the development of ‘Foclóir Stairiúil na Gaeilge’ (‘Historical Dictionary of Irish’).
‘Foclóir Stairiúil na Gaeilge’ - an initiative of the Royal Irish Academy – is funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and is one of the most ambitious linguistic research projects to be ever undertaken in Europe with over 70 million words already compiled and digitised, and freely accessible.  Its primary objective is to establish an historical dictionary of Modern Irish (1600-2000) which will show the evolution of the language in the given period drawing from sources that include printed texts; texts from manuscripts and material from other sources. Examples of early sources to be incorporated include the 1581 poem book of the O’Hara family of Mayo /Sligo, and the 1607 account by Tadhg Ó Cianáin of the Flight of the Earls. The monumental Foras Feasa ar Éirinn, Geoffrey Keating’s great historical work on Ireland and The Annals of the Four Masters  will also be available in the corpus. In addition, the corpus will comprise oral material collected in Gaeltacht regions during the 20th century with the earliest recording devices.
This body of work details the development and evolution of the Irish language over 400 years and provides a great resource for the public, particularly scholars of the language and those interested in our cultural and societal history of that period. It also presents the tradition of the language in a modern, more easily accessible way and we are now able to hear our ancestors’ voice in this new digital era.  Announcing the grant, Minister Seán Kyne noted ‘It is an initiative of both national and international importance.’

A.O.S.T.A Jamboree 2019



Friday, 27 September 2019

Invitation to all Community Groups entered in Pride in our Community 2019

Invitation to all Community Groups entered in Pride in our Community 2019
Cork County Federation Muintir na Tire
Cordially invites

A maximum of three members of your Group

To the Pride in Our Community Awards
Ballincollig Cork.
On Wednesday 23th October 2019
7.30pm Sharp

Refreshments Served on arrival
RSVP  Before 16/10/2019 TO
0214500688 OR ADMIN@MUINTIRCORK.COM

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Wellness Workshop on World Mental Health Day

 Shine are a recovery orientated resource centre and their services are available to anyone with self-experience of mental ill health.  They are located at 14A Washington Street in Cork.  Registration is required for all group – contact Shine on 021 4226064 for further details.
 

Ageing Well Group

Ageing Well Group (Autumn 2019 North Cork) which will be held in Mallow library.
This is an 8 week closed group and booking is essential.
We  hope to run the Spring Group in Mitchelstown.

Course Details:
 8 weeks programme
2 hours per week
Free
Run in Local Community Venues 

What the course can help you with: 
How our activities and roles change as we age
Links between actyvity, our physical and mental well being
Sleep, Memory, Overcoming Lonellness
Falls Education
Social Outing included in the 8 weeks 

For More Information and to book your freeplace contact:  North Cork Primary Care Occupational Therapy Department on 022 58627.

Youth Book Club


Positive Ageing Week 2019


Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Commemoration of Irish Defence Forces who died in the Service of Peace

Date/Time: Saturday 28th September 2019
Event: 
Commemoration of Irish Defence Forces who died in the Service of Peace
Location: Benedictine Bible Garden, Cobh, Cork 
Additional Information: The Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen and Women Cobh Branch and the Irish Lenanese Cultural Foundation will be planting a Cedar of Lebanon in honour of members of the Irish Defence Forces who died in the service of Peace at the Benedictine Bible Garden in Cobh on Saturday 28th September at 14:00. For more information email timaleacobh@gmail.com.  

Griffins Annual Cycle for Charity 2019


This is Griffins 7th Annual Cycle in aid of Cork Simon Community and One Man's Ethiopia. Griffins has organised 2 Cycles in the scenic Dripsey area to suit all levels of Cyclist.

Granny Griffins will have complimentary Soup and Homemade Brown Bread in Griffins for all Cyclists participating in the event on arrival back to Griffins. All Costs including Ambulances, labour, administration and catering for this event is covered by Griffins. So every Penny raised on the day will be going directly to the charities.

Cycle begins at 10 am on Sunday October 6th at Griffins of Dripsey

Registration starts at 9 am

Pre register or for Maps please email info@griffinsgardencentre.ie

or text 087 9517574 with CYCLE, your name, route

Maps Of Routes

Route for (86km) Advanced Cycle https://ridewithgps.com/routes/25405910

Route For (60km) Intermediate Cycle https://ridewithgps.com/routes/25405960



Each Steward along the route will have Water and Food, Also there will be a Food stop half ways. The back to Griffins to enjoy complimentary soup and Brown bread,

One Man's Ethiopia , Gerald Mc Sweeney works in Ethiopia for 3 months every year, providing badly needed help for the homeless, poor and dying people of Addi's Abba. Gerald will actually be travelling to Ethiopia later this year to work with various families, Helping them to create a Home, Schooling and a Living to ensure they will become self sufficient and able to work their way out of homelessness in Addis Ababa (Capital and largest city in Ethiopia)

Cork Simon Community : Those working on the front lines of Cork's homelessness crisis

Cork Simon Community works in solidarity with men and women who are homeless in Cork, offering housing and support in their journey back to independent or supported living. Each year Cork Simon supports over 1,200 people, providing accommodation, a daily soup run, access to health services, housing support, training and employment opportunities, addiction supports and connections to the community, to enable people to move out of homelessness. Now more than ever, as the housing and homelessness crisis continues, your support of Cork Simon is needed and greatly appreciated.



Cork Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest Gathering 2019


Cork Kerry Community Healthcare would like to ask your service to help us to celebrate World Mental Health Day 2019. We are organising a Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest from the 7th-13th October in Cork. This is part of our commitment under Cork and Kerry Connecting for Life Strategies to Reduce Suicide and Self Harm. We would like to work with you to promote mental health and wellness across the whole population of Cork and Kerry

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest Gathering Event
In order to get the Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest off to a great start, we will hold a Gathering Event for the public in City Hall, on the morning of 2nd October. This will comprise of an exhibition of stands by local services with information and an opportunity to meet staff from the service. This will be an opportunity for you to showcase the services you offer to the community. We will also launch the Mental Health and Wellbeing Calendar of Events. We hope the Fest will increase awareness of the range of supports that are available to promote and improve mental health and wellbeing throughout Cork.

How Can You Get Involved?
We invite you to get involved by agreeing to bring an information stand and information materials to the Gathering Event in City Hall on 2nd October. This will promote the work that you do to those that may need it and also to  ‘put a face’ to your service. There is no charge to services for participation in this event.

Booking Your Spot!
Please contact me at Martin.Ryan8@hse.ie or by phone on : 021 4659746  M: 087 3287094 ,if you would like to get involved or require more information

Monday, 23 September 2019

Men Die Younger Giving Men a Voice


Ireland was the first country in the world to adopt a National Men’s Health Policy.
There remains an urgent need to maintain a specific focus on men’s health.
This is grounded in continued sex differences in life expectancy and mortality, health inequalities between different subpopulations of men, a substantial body of evidence supporting a gender-specific approach to engage more effectively with men, and the imperative to build on progress achieved to date.
Underpinning this progress has been an explicit focus on gender-specific strategies related to community engagement, capacity building, partnership and sustainability.
"A men's health issue is a disease or condition unique to men, more prevalent in men, more serious among men, for which risk factors are different for men, or for which different interventions are required for men" (Fletcher 1996)
Men, on the island of Ireland, experience a disproportionate burden of ill-health.
There is growing evidence that in constructing, displaying and maintaining their male identity, men engage in risk behaviours that can be seriously hazardous to their health.
Since sickness may be seen as an expression of weakness, many men may decide not to seek help and, instead, present a stoical, brave and unflinching front to the outside world.
This may account, in part, for why - despite their health profile - men in Ireland are reluctant users of health services and continue to present (too) late in the course of an illness. (Men’s Health Forum in Ireland)
Cork County Muintir na Tire In Association with Blarney Men's Shed Blarney GAA Club On Friday Morning Oct 4th at 10.30am are hosting an informal look at  the reality of men's lives especially after  retirement or redundancy. This informal session seeks to give men a voice about the Issues they Face in Living Healthy Active Lives.
Speakers Pauline Lynch Diabetes Ireland and Martin Ryan HSE Connecting for Life
MC Paddy O Regan
 Followed by Refreshments and Fun.
Free Admission


30km/h Special Speed Limits in Housing Estates

Road Traffic (Special Speed Limit) Draft Bye-Laws for 30km/h Speed Limits in Housing Estates.  

Cork County Council, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by Section 9 of the Road Traffic Act 2004 (No. 44 of 2004), as amended, hereby gives notice of its intention to make Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws in respect of the area comprising the administrative area of Cork County.
The purpose of these Bye-Laws is to provide for Special Speed Limits of 30km/h on designated sections of roads in selected Housing Estates throughout the County of Cork, in the interests of prudent traffic management and road safety.
The Draft Bye-Laws are available for inspection by members of the public on the following website: www.corkcoco.ie and/or www.speedlimits.ie and during normal working hours 9.00am to 5.00pm from 9th September, 2019 to  11th October, 2019 at the following locations:
  • County Council Offices, Floor 5 (Tower), County Hall, Cork.
  • Cork County Library, Carrigrohane Road, Cork.
  • Council Offices, Annabella, Mallow, Co. Cork.
  • Council Offices, Courthouse, Skibbereen, Co. Cork.
Objections or representations to the Draft Bye-Laws may be made in writing not later than 5 p.m. on Friday 11th October, 2019 and be addressed to Roads (Management & Development Unit), Annabella, Mallow, Co. Cork and marked 'Submission on Speed Limits in Housing Estates'.

River Bride Invasive Alien Species Survey

COMBATTING INVASIVE SPECIES IN CASTLELYONS: Cork County Council's Sharon Casey (right) in the presence of l-r: Sinead Hickey, Tony Nagle, Colm O'Leary, Jean Hamilton and Donal Sheehan at Tuesday press briefing at the amenity area in Bridesbridge.
Body
Working in partnership with the BRIDE Project Cork County Council has recently commissioned JBA Consulting to carry out an Invasive Plant Species Survey along the River Bride. The aim of the project is to map non-native invasive plant species which occur along the river bank, and it is planned to follow up by developing a strategy to eradicate these species from the river valley over the next number of years.  The main target species of the survey are Giant Hogweed, Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed. 
The Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Christopher O’Sullivan explained
“This project targets non-native plant species along the river bride. Species that were planted in large gardens and estates in the past and have since escaped and spread along our hedgerows and river corridors.  They have adapted well to the Irish climate, they can spread quickly, out-competing our native species and disrupting the natural balance of our native ecosystems.”
To date, surveyors have mapped the lower reaches of the river, from Bridebridge to the Waterford border. Giant Hogweed and Himalayan Balsam have been found throughout this stretch of the River Bride.  In some areas, Giant Hogweed dominates the bank-side vegetation and has spread well into adjacent fields, especially in areas prone to flooding.
Signs of bank erosion have been noted in areas with severe infestations of Giant Hogweed and Himalayan Balsam, as these species die back in the wintertime leaving bare banks exposed.  Giant Hogweed is also a public health concern as this species has a toxic sap which can cause severe skin burns to people who become exposed to it. This large plant should not be confused with our smaller native Hogweed, which is harmless.
The surveyors will be concentrating their efforts in the upper sections of the River Bride over the coming weeks and will also survey some tributaries which they believe to be the source of invasive species.
giant HogweedMayor O’Sullivan went on to say
“Once the mapping of invasive species is complete, Cork County Councils will engage with landowners to develop a catchment-wide eradication strategy to be implemented over the coming years.”
The Bride Survey project team values all the support they have received from landowners during the project and would appreciate their ongoing support for the duration of the project.
Any landowners who wish to enquire about the project or provide information on invasive species in their area are invited to contact Sharon Casey, Cork County Council 021 4285869, or the Bride Project office in Castlelyons ph 025 37519.
This project is funded by Cork County Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the National Biodiversity Action Plan funding scheme.


Celebrating Cork Past Exhibition

Date/Time: Saturday 28th September 2019
Event: 
Celebrating Cork Past Exhibition 
Location: City Hall, Cork 
Additional Information: A day for heritage groups from throughout the City and County to come together and celebrate the heritage of County Cork. 2019 is the 11th year of the Exhibition and will feature over 40 groups. All are most welcome to attend - exhibition taking place between 10:00 and 16:00. 

Friday, 20 September 2019

Launch Exhibition in the Mitchelstown Library

“MITCHELSTOWN MY PLACE”

The Creative Arts Stag Park Community Children’s Programme has been running in Stag
Park community house during the month of September.
This is an initiative of Ballyhoura Development through funding received from The
Creative Ireland County Cork Grant Scheme 2019 and Cork County Council’s Culture Team.
During the month of September, the children attending the programme visited historic
buildings in Mitchelstown. Through group work, field trips, creative thinking and active
discussions they learnt about the history of Mitchelstown.
Following each session, the children reflected on their favourite places in
Mitchelstown. “Mitchelstown my place” was the key theme behind this programme.
Each week the children created and added to their creative mind maps and Sketch
books. Expressing their experiences of the historical places they visited. Through
different mediums such as pencils, charcoal, pastels and paints.
The children have enjoyed the programme immensely to date, with lots of laughter
heard coming from the community house over the past few weeks. This is a
testament to the programme support team Ballyhoura Beo and the children who
participated.
To showcase the children’s collection of amazing art work. A launch exhibition will be held in
Mitchelstown library on Friday 27 th at 3pm with refreshments.
All are welcome to attend and support!!
The exhibition will continue to be on joint display with The Social Hub creative art work
project during Positive ageing week in Mitchelstown Sep 30th – Oct 4 th . This is an inter-
generational themed exhibition.

For further information, please contact Laura Moloney McCarthy at Ballyhoura Development
offices Mitchelstown.
For Further Information,
Contact: Laura Moloney McCarthy Development Officer, Ballyhoura Development,
Mitchelstown
Email- lmoloney@ballyhoura.org or 025 85213


Mitchelstown Positive Ageing Week


Ballyhoura Development are delighted to launch a series of events for Positive Ageing Week
on Monday September 30 th in Forrest Hall from 11 am. There will be a celebration of Cork
County Council’s Small Business Innovation Research, (SBIR) project in
Mitchelstown, combined with the launch of Mitchelstown Age Friendly Week as part of
Positive Ageing Week.
This is a joint initiative with Ballyhoura Development CLG, Cork County Council’s Age
Friendly Programme, Mitchelstown Age Friendly Committee, Mitchelstown Community
Forum and the HSE.
Deputy Jim Daly, Minister of State at the Department of Health with special
responsibility for Mental Health and Older People and The Mayor of the County of
Cork, Cllr. Christopher O’ Sullivan will officiate the Launch.
Mitchelstown Positive Ageing week will be full of social and creative events running
from September 30 th to October 3 rd open to all.

 Highlights include the launch of “Arts and Crafts for an Inclusive Community”
project on Tuesday October 1 st . The launch will commence in Mitchelstown
Library at 11am with an exhibition of all the participant’s artwork. This project
was supported through funding from The Creative Ireland County Cork Grant
Scheme 2019.
 Music with Eddie & Eleanor in conjunction with Mitchelstown Active Retirement group
on Wednesday 2 nd of October at 2pm in Forrest Hall

 “Singing for the Brain” in Forest Hall at 2pm Thursday October 3 rd

 A “Lovely Afternoon” with afternoon tea and make-overs in Forrest Hall Friday
October 4 th at 2pm.

The week is set to be full of interesting and exciting events, with refreshments and fun
guaranteed!! For further information, please contact Laura Moloney McCarthy at Ballyhoura
Development offices Mitchelstown.

For Further Information,
Contact: Laura Moloney McCarthy Development Officer, Ballyhoura Development,
Mitchelstown
Email- lmoloney@ballyhoura.org or 025 85213


STATUS REPORT ON IRELAND’S EU PROTECTED HABITATS AND SPECIES:

A recent report by Ireland’s National Parks and Wildlife Service has found that EU-protected Habitats in Ireland have an unfavourable status but that the majority of species are either stable or improving. The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, has welcomed the publication and says the report highlights the challenges to conserve biodiversity in Ireland and the need for all sectors of society to work together to address it. 85% of habitats are reported as being in Unfavourable status, with 46% demonstrating ongoing declines. The status of EU listed species is somewhat better with 57% assessed as Favourable and 30% of assessed as being in Unfavourable status (i.e. Inadequate and Bad), with 72% demonstrating stable or improving trends while 15% demonstrating on-going declining trends. Minister Josepha Madigan said “we have programmes ongoing which implement measures to maintain or restore natural habitats and wild species considered vulnerable at European level and  listed on the EU Habitats Directive”.
Ireland has 59 habitats and 68 species listed on the Directive and many positive actions are being undertaken across the country such as the National Raised Bog Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) Management Plan 2017-2022 and the Native Woodland Scheme that supports the restoration of existing native woodland and the targeted conversion of conifer stands into native woodland. Dr. Deirdre Lynn of the NPWS says “the unfavourable status of many of our habitats is, regrettably, unsurprising as this is the reason they have been listed on the Directive; it is, however, the ongoing declines that are of concern, particularly in our peatland, grassland, woodland and marine habitats.” She added that “the main drivers of the habitat decline are agricultural practices which are negatively impacting over 70% of habitats, particularly ecologically unsuitable grazing, abandonment and pollution.” The reports are now available to view or download by visiting  https://www.npws.ie/article-17-reports-0.

Free workshops "Confidence to Care"



Thursday, 19 September 2019

NATIONAL ARCHIVES GENEALOGY PAGE:

National Archives has developed a Genealogy website to facilitate access to digitised collections that are useful to family and local history research. Access to these records is free of charge: https://www.nationalarchives.ie/article/our-genealogy-website/  


Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Culture Night in the County of Cork

Date/Time: Friday 20th September 2019
Event: 
Culture Night in the County of Cork
Location: Various, Co. Cork
Additional Information: Culture Night is an annual all-island public event that celebrates culture, creativity and the arts. This year, it will take place on Friday 20th September between 4pm and 11pm. On Culture Night, arts and cultural organisations and venues of all shapes and sizes, including the National Cultural institutions, extend their opening hours to allow for increased access to the public. Special and unique events and workshops are specifically programmed at participating locations and everything is available free of charge. Over 100 events will be taking place in the County of Cork and for full details visit http://culturenightcorkcounty.ie/

Global Week Of Action


Does someone in your family have dementia?

The Crystal Project is holding a FREE 6 week course of information and support sessions for families
of people with dementia.

Start date : Wednesday 25th September (7-9pm)
Location : Tearmon Ui Chaoimh Day Centre, Mitchelstown

For further details & to reserve a place contact:
Sheena Cadoo or Amy Murphy
Occupational Therapist Dementia Adviser
HSE Alzheimer Society of Ireland
sheena.cadoo@hse.ie amurphy@alzheimer.ie
Tel: 086 787 1818 Tel : 086 781 2217

Thomas Kent School of History

Thomas Kent
Date/Time: Friday 27th to Sunday 29th September 2019
Event: 
Thomas Kent School of History 
Location: Fermoy, Co. Cork 
Additional Information: The 2nd Thomas Kent School of History will take place in Fermoy in September 2019 with a great line-up of speakers already in place. For further information and to book a place email thomaskenthistory@gmail.com

Illustrated Talk: From Skibbereen to the Moon - by Finola Finlay

Agnes
Date/Time: Thursday 26th September 2019 at 20:30
Event: 
Illustrated Talk: From Skibbereen to the Moon - by Finola Finlay 
Location: Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Co. Cork 
Additional Information: Agnes Mary Clerke, born 1842, was a celebrated astronomer and a founder of the craft of science writing. Her mother was a Deasy from Clonakilty and her father came from a prominent Skibbereen family. Agnes and her family lived through the famine in Skibbereen, but at the age of 19 she moved to Dublin, then Italy and finally settled in London. Her 1885 book, A History of Astronomy in the Nineteenth Century is still in print, and NASA named a crater on the Moon in her honour. How did this West Cork young woman attain such a high level of education and knowledge in an age when women didn’t go to university, and what is her legacy today? Finola Finlay lives near Ballydehob where she writes the blog Roaringwater Journal with her husband, Robert Harris. Finola has degrees in history and archaeology from UCC. She writes about the history, archaeology, landscape, wild flowers and the artistic heritage of West Cork, and her current research interests include prehistoric rock art, stained glass, West Cork during the Famine, and the natural habitats we need to preserve. She and Robert give frequent talks and presentations and have organised several rock art exhibitions. This event is organised by Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage and all welcome

DEADLY DISEASE FOUND IN IRISH HARES AND RABBITS:

 A disease fatal to rabbits and hares, but of no risk to humans, has been confirmed in the wild in Ireland for the first time. The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is asking the public to report any suspected cases. Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) was first reported in domestic (farmed) rabbits in China in 1984 killing millions of animals within one year of its discovery. By 1986 this viral disease had been found in continental Europe and has since spread globally leading to significant mortality in wild populations of rabbits. In 2010, a new more virulent strain of this virus (RHD2) emerged in France. It causes death within a few days of infection with sick animals having swollen eyelids, partial paralysis and bleeding from the eyes and mouth. Most distressingly, in the latter states close to death, animals exhibit unusual behavior emerging from cover into the open and convulsing or fitting before dying. The disease was reported in Ireland from domestic rabbits in 2018, but has now been confirmed in the wild from a rabbit in Co. Wicklow and another in Co. Clare. Recently, the virus has been confirmed from a hare in Co. Wexford. In all cases individual animals were tested at Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine Laboratories where RHD2 was subsequently confirmed. While all three locations continue to support apparently healthy wild populations, unlike the situation in the UK where mass mortalities have been reported, NPWS Conservation Rangers continue to monitor the situation. The virus has been detected throughout Europe, in wild rabbits, hares and seemingly unrelated species including voles and shrews. The Irish hare is native to Ireland and found nowhere else and should this disease prove as infectious and lethal here as it has done elsewhere in Europe, the impact on the hare could be catastrophic. Dr. Ferdia Marnell of the NPWS Scientific Unit outlined his concerns: “Rabbits are central to wild ecosystems, being the main food for many predators from stoats to eagles that in turn regulate other animal populations. A decline in our wild rabbits will have numerous knock-on consequences. Of further concern is the potential for the disease to spread through the Irish hare population.” The disease is highly contagious and can be spread directly between animals and in the faeces and urine of infected animals, as well as by insects and on human clothing. In addition the incubation period may last several days and apparently uninfected animals may in fact be carriers. Under these circumstances the catching of hares in nets, their transportation in boxes and the collection and holding of hares in confined areas can all be considered to increase the risk of disease spread.
Accordingly the Department has decided to suspend the licences issued to the Irish Coursing Club to capture and tag hares for the 2019/20 hare coursing season with immediate effect until a clearer understanding of the extent, spread and implications of the RHD2 virus emerges. Dr. Marnell stressed “that the Rabbit Haemorrhagic disease presents absolutely no threat to human health and it is entirely safe to handle infected or recently dead rabbits or hares provided normal hygiene is followed”. The public - particularly landowners, farmers, vets and the hare coursing community - is being asked to be on high alert and to report any suspected sightings of diseased rabbits and hares as soon as possible to help efforts to monitor and control the disease. This can be done by contacting the NPWS by Email (nature.conservation@chg.gov.ie.) or Phone (1890 383 000). Dr Neil Reid, a Conservation Biologist at Queen’s University Belfast, who is also tracking the disease across the island warns of the significant impact this could have on the wild ecosystem.  He said “I am asking people to be on high alert, to report any suspected sightings of diseased rabbits and, particularly hares, as soon as possible so we can monitor this rapidly developing situation as it unfolds. This is an example of how citizen science can really contribute to conservation biology.”