The sound of the glorious Twelfth?


A chara,– Ah, the glorious Twelfth! Waking early, I waited for the dawn and its accompanying chorus: the outbound wave of flights from Dublin airport rumbled past, but no bird sang. Later, seagulls scavenging discarded burgers screeched mournfully, lamenting the factory-fishing which has driven them inshore.

Doubtless the grouse will enjoy the day. Republican grouse are spared the gunman’s attention until September, but her majesty’s Northern-Irish subjects will enjoy the sound of the gun from August 12th all autumn, except, sportingly, on Sundays: thank God!

It would be unfair to castigate sportsmen for participating in extinction, when theirs is only the most obvious of the depredations visited on our fellow creatures. (Even when they miss the bird they destroy the environment: the European Chemicals Agency estimated in 2018 about 40,000 tonnes of lead ammunition are distributed over the European environment per annum). Irish growers of winter barley are even now stocking up on glyphosate, while the concreting-over of the countryside continues. Let no birds sing.– Is mise,


Ranelagh, Dublin 6.