Fianna Fáil Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has called for a more coordinated approach to protect the Curragh. She will also reintroducing her bill entitled Curragh of Kildare (Amendment) Bill in the Senate in response to further encampments on the Curragh.
Senator O’Loughlin said, “The damage that is being inflicted on the Curragh is an utter disgrace. The Curragh is a unique heritage landscape, it’s a jewel in the crown of Kildare and authorities are simply not doing enough to protect it.
“I am reintroducing my private members bill, which if enacted will require a licence to be granted by the Minister for Defence authorising anyone who occupies any part or parts of the Curragh for any purpose. The Curragh cannot be a dumping ground. It is a great place for local people in which to walk and enjoy as it is bordered by Kildare, Newbridge, Milltown, Athgarvan and Kilcullen. Local people have a great respect for it. For this and many other reasons, it should have the highest level of protection.”
“I have long advocated for the Curragh to be designated heritage park status, and in addition to its value in terms of heritage, as we all know, it is home to an active military base. There is no place for unauthorised encampments, and certainly not on the Curragh.”
Fiona concluded by saying “My Bill will target any person who occupies an area of the Curragh without a licence. Anyone in breach would be guilty of an offence and subject to a class A fine or imprisonment. We need to get tough on this issue, protecting our national heritage and our environment must come first.”