Irish children must be ‘less mollycoddled’ says environmentalist

Éanna Ní Lamhna made comments opening of new woodland walkway in Tullyallen, Co Louth

Environmentalist Eanna Ni Lamhna, Louth County Council chairman Liam Reilly and Dick Cheevers of Tullyallen, who donated part of his land to the walkway, at the opening of the walkway in  the village of Tullyallen, Co Louth. Photograph: Martin Byrne

Environmentalist Eanna Ni Lamhna, Louth County Council chairman Liam Reilly and Dick Cheevers of Tullyallen, who donated part of his land to the walkway, at the opening of the walkway in the village of Tullyallen, Co Louth. Photograph: Martin Byrne

 

Environmentalist Éanna Ní Lamhna has urged that Irish children be “less mollycoddled” and encouraged to get into woodlands after noting a sample survey of children here found 40 per cent have never climbed a tree.

Ms Ní Lamhna, vice president of the Tree Council of Ireland, was speaking on Saturday in the village of Tullyallen, Co Louth, where she opened a new woodland walkway through King William’s Glen, part of the site of the 1690 Battle of the Boyne, one of Ireland’s most significant historic sites.

Noting National Tree Week begins on Sunday, Ms Ní Lamhna said a recent sample survey of children by the Tree Council found 40 per cent have never climbed a tree. Children should be “less mollycoddled” and encouraged to get out into the woods and forests of Ireland, she said.

She welcomed the development of the Belnumber Woodway, noting it will take users through woods planted 150 years ago containing a wide range of trees, including ash, beech, oak, sycamore and European Silver Fir.

She also stressed the vital continuation of trees to the reduction of carbon emissions.

Luke and Anna Hurson examine the map of the new walkway. Photograph: Martin Byrne
Luke and Anna Hurson examine the map of the new walkway. Photograph: Martin Byrne

“Our climate is changing because we are putting so much carbon dioxide into the air and that is not a good thing.”.

One of the “easiest and cheapest” things to do to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change is to “plant a tree”.

The new woodway is an initiative of Tullayllen Access the Glen Committee with about 60 per cent of the total €82,000 funding coming from the Town & Village Urban renewal scheme.

Support was also received from Louth County Council, Coillte Ireland and from local business and the community.

The walkway will take users along the ridge of the ancient townland of Belnumber, the entire 1.6km length of King William’s Glen, to join a 3.2km Coillte looped walkway through Townley Hall wood.

Ann Marry, chairwoman of Tullyallen Access The Glen Committee and principal of Tullyallen National School, thanked all involved, especially the local landowners who donated part of their lands to ensure the woodway could be developed. “This was truly a community effort,” she said.

Louth County Council Chairman Liam Reilly said the woodway is an initiative that should be extended to other parts of the county. He praised the local community and Coillte for this “great addition to the amenity and safety of this area.”

Padraig Ó h’Uallachain from Coillte Ireland said woods and forests were very important to the people of ancient Ireland and the word “gael” means wild people who lived in the woods.

He was delighted the village of Tullyallen, as a result of the woodway, “has now moved closer to the woods” and said the Russell, Cassidy, Cole and Cheevers families who donated their lands “deserved much credit”.

“Your generosity will be remembered for years to come.”