Irish seabird and whale news


This is a great shearwater video from Portugal in 2014.

From Cork Bird News in Ireland, on Twitter today:

16/8, 16.05: Baltimore pelagic – 2 Wilson’s [Petrels], 7 Great Shear[waters], 1 prob[ably] Cory’s [Shearwater], 4 Bonxie [Great Skua], 7 Sooties [Sooty Shearwaters], 4 Minke [Whales] & Common Dolphins

Breeding shorebirds in Northern Ireland, new study


This video is called Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata) (with northern lapwings in the background).

From Bird Study:

Population estimates and changes in abundance of breeding waders in Northern Ireland up to 2013

3 July 2015

Abstract

Capsule: The third survey of breeding waders in Northern Ireland showed large declines in the abundance of Eurasian Curlew, Northern Lapwing and Common Snipe since 1987.

Aims: To estimate the size of the breeding populations of selected breeding wader species in Northern Ireland in 2013 and population changes since previous surveys in 1987 and 1999.

Methods: Complete surveys of all potentially suitable breeding habitats were undertaken in randomly selected 2 km squares in each of 146 land-dominated 10 km squares across Northern Ireland. Square selection and a two-visit field method replicated previous surveys conducted in 1987 and 1999.

Results: Northern Ireland breeding populations of Eurasian Curlew, Northern Lapwing and Common Snipe were estimated to be 526 (±95% CI: 252–783), 860 (277–1545) and 1123 pairs (527–1782), respectively. These estimates represent significant declines in abundance of 82%, 89% and 78% respectively since 1987.

Conclusion: Breeding populations of Eurasian Curlew, Northern Lapwing and Common Snipe have declined dramatically since 1987 and the distributions of all species are becoming increasingly fragmented and restricted towards the western counties of Tyrone and Fermanagh. Urgent conservation action is needed to prevent the disappearance of these species from the wider countryside.

British governmental child abuse inquiry starts


This video from Northern Ireland says about itself:

1 June 2015

A man who was abused at Belfast’s Kincora boys home four decades ago calls for the scandal there to become part of a wider UK inquiry into historic child abuse cases.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Inquiry into Westminster child abuse ring begins

Friday 10th July 2015

THE long-delayed inquiry into historic child abuse finally got underway in London yesterday.

The independent inquiry was set up last year amid claims of an Establishment cover-up following allegations that a paedophile ring operated in Westminster in the 1980s.

However, it has been beset by controversy since it was first announced by Home Secretary Theresa May last July after both the first and second choices for inquiry chair were both forced to stand down.

Baroness Butler-Sloss stood down in July last year over the role played by her late brother, Lord Havers, who was attorney general in the ’80s.

Her replacement Dame Fiona Woolf resigned following a barrage of criticism over her “Establishment links,” most notably in relation to former home secretary Leon Brittan, who died earlier this year.

Officially opening the probe at the Queen Elizabeth II centre in Westminster, third choice New Zealand high court judge Justice Goddard said the inquiry faced a “daunting task.”

Justice Goddard said: “This inquiry provides a unique opportunity to expose past failures of institutions to protect children.”

Thatcher government plans to deport Hong Kong people to Northern Ireland


This video from Mauritius says about itself:

Demonstration against UK occupation over Chagos

Event: Peaceful march
Date: Wednesday, 7 April, 2010
March co-ordinator: LALIT

To put on the agenda once again the original demands for full decolonization, the re-unification of Mauritius, for base closure and environmental clean-up, and for the right to return and reparations for all Chagossians. What this means is that the march is perhaps the beginning of a new long-term campaign that needs to be built up on these issues.

After the British Harold Wilson government deported all people forcibly from Diego Garcia island in the Chagos archipelago to give place to a United States military (and torture) base … after Wilson’s Conservative successors in the 1970s seriously discussed the possibility of ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Northern Ireland by driving all people opposed to the Great Britain-Northern Ireland union violently south across the six counties-twenty-six counties border (recalling the seventeenth century, when the English military said to the Irish people of Ulster: ‘To Connacht, or to hell!’), now this about the later Thatcher administration …

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Thatcher files: Ministers considered Hong Kong relocation

Friday 3rd July 2013

THE government seems to have seriously considered a proposal for the entire population of Hong Kong to be shipped lock, stock and barrel to Northern Ireland, newly released documents show.

This hare-brained scheme was suggested during the height of the Troubles by Reading University lecturer Christie Davies, who asserted that when Britain handed back Hong Kong to China in 1997 there would be no future for its 5.5 million inhabitants.

The alternative, he suggested, was to resettle them in a new “city state” to be established between Coleraine and Derry, revitalising the stagnant Northern Ireland economy.

Recently released National Archives files show that the idea sparked a flurry of correspondence in Whitehall.

When details appeared in October 1983, George Fergusson, an official in the Northern Ireland Office, sent a memorandum to a colleague in the Republic of Ireland department of the Foreign Office, declaring: “At this stage, we see real advantages in taking the proposal seriously.”

Among the benefits, he suggested, was that it would help convince the unionist population that the British government was committed to retaining Northern Ireland.

If this moronic scheme would have gone ahead, then it would have run into trouble from bigotry among the most fanatical of unionists in Northern Ireland. These are not just bigoted against pro-republican Northern Irish people. Or against Romanian people. Or against Jews. There is also nasty racism against people of Chinese ancestry there.