"Thousands of creatures wiped out" as Tallaght wetlands destroyed overnight
"Someone has to be held accountable for this environmental vandalism."
Environmental activists and citizens have registered their disgust after the destruction of the Tallaght wetlands, which plays home to multiple animals — including frogs, newts, bats, eels, spiders, butterflies and rare plants.
The wetlands in Sean Walsh Memorial Park are an important source of Irish biodiversity, but were this weekend razed and flattened, as can be seen in the video footage below.
We have been actively survey the site for the last year and working with @sdublincoco throughout the process. They are completely aware of the importance of this site for local wildlife and as a carbon sink. We can not understand why they would undertake such destructive action. pic.twitter.com/GjFxTjfiad
— The HSI (@HerpSocIreland) September 21, 2019
The Herpetological Society of Ireland have taken to social media to voice their outrage over the destruction. "Heartbroken to find Tallaght's wetlands completely destroyed today," one tweet read.
"How can South Dublin County Council justify this given the current period of increased awareness in the importance of biodiversity? THOUSANDS of creatures wiped out for what? Tidiness? Convenience? Laziness? Someone has to be held accountable for this environmental vandalism," demanded another.
In the video shared by the society, a voiceover says that South Dublin County Council had promised that the wetlands would be protected for environmental reasons, and noted that "Somebody has taken it on themselves to completely flatten it."
"We have been actively survey [sic] the site for the last year and working with South Dublin County Council throughout the process. They are completely aware of the importance of this site for local wildlife and as a carbon sink. We can not understand why they would undertake such destructive action."
A statement on Facebook from the society said "Months of work (given freely) documenting species, meeting with council officials, getting assurances that this oasis for wildlife would be protected. All for nothing. Completely wiped out."
A video from April shows the wetlands before their destruction.
We had a productive meeting today with @sdublincoco heritage officer in regards to preserving/ protecting this site in Sean Walsh park Tallaght. A former waste ground that has rewilded naturally & is now bursting with wildlife including newts & frogs. Just listen to those birds! pic.twitter.com/jVP8ez1vMB
— The HSI (@HerpSocIreland) April 16, 2019
The Irish Wildlife Trust has called the development "very disheartening."
It is not yet exactly clear how the destruction of the wetlands took place.
South Dublin County Council has been contacted for comment.