Minister Richard Bruton

  • The Connacht Angling Council is delighted with the news that a bye-law that protected pike in the great western lakes to the detriment of the wild brown trout is to be revoked.

    Minister Richard Bruton has now afforded special protection to wild brown trout stocks in Loughs Cara, Conn, Cullin and Mask in county Mayo, Lough Corrib in Galway and Lough Arrow in Sligo/ Roscommon.

    It follows an 18 month long Connacht Angling Council campaign to ensure the protection of wild brown trout in the lakes and to halt the proliferation of pike.

    West of Ireland wild brown trout waters are internationally recognised as the best in the world and wild brown trout angling is estimated to be worth in excess of 140 million euro a year to the Irish economy.

    Tom Byrne of Partry is a spokesperson for the Connacht Angling Council , he has been telling Midwest News today about the significance of changing the by-law and local anglers reaction to the development.

  • A Mayo TD has raised concerns about the future of the Mayo Power plant in Killala with Minister Richard Bruton in the Dail today.

    Fianna Fail Deputy Leader Dara Calleary sought the urgent debate with the Minister in the Dail following the decision by the energy regulator to issue a Certificate of High Efficiency to the company with a rate of 18% - compared to the 100% issued previously.

    Minister Bruton told Deputy Calleary that he is not in  a position to intervene directly but the regulator is answerable to the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change and Environment.

    Deputy Calleary has now written to the Chair of that Committee, Deputy Hildegarde Naughton to ask that she request the regulator appears before the committee to address these concerns.

    Some €95 million has already been spent on the €255m high-efficiency combined heat and power plant in Killala.

    Work on the plant was halted in 2016 when one of the investors withdrew from the project.

    New investors then came on board to complete the 45 megawatt biomass-fuelled power plant, and they applied for the necessary consents.

    Renewed consents were was given by Mayo County Council, the EPA and ESB Networks, while the energy regulator has taken since last May to respond.

    Deputy Calleary told Midwest News this evening that it is now of the utmost importance that this issue is looked at urgently.


    A focus on electric cars and home retrofits, and the elimination of non-recyclable plastics are among the key elements of the Government's plan for dealing with climate change, which was published this afternoon.

    Minister Richard Bruton's new plan will impact on everyone in some way  -with increasing carbon taxes meaning more expensive coal, briquettes and fuel, and the phasing out of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 in favour of electric cars, as well as new taxes on single use plastics.

    The Taoiseach says he hopes the government's new Climate Plan will encourage people to change their behaviour.

    It will see the country move away from fossil fuels, a rise in carbon taxes and clear targets for every government department.

  • The Minister for Communications, Climate Action & the Environment Richard Bruton will visit Co Mayo tomorrow for a number of engagements.

    Tomorrow morning, Minister Bruton will host a Climate Action Forum at the Mayo campus of GMIT.

    He will also visit Áras an Condae for the official opening of the offices of CARO - the Climate Action Regional Offices Atlantic Seaboard North.

    Senator Michelle Mulherin says Minister Bruton will visit Kiltimagh to view the Cairn International Trade Centre, where about 70 people are working in various companies under the auspices of Kiltimagh IRD.

    In keeping with the green theme of the Minister's visit, Senator Mulherin says he will also meet management and staff at two local green energy solution providers based in Kiltimagh .



  • Householders across the region who had applied for grants under the Retrofit scheme are being reassured that they will not lose out, as the decision to cut further funding has been reversed.

    The Environment Minister Richard Bruton has announced that applications submitted before the July deadline will be assessed and honoured in line with the existing terms and conditions of the scheme.

    It follows a meeting this morning between Minister Bruton and the Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy authority of Ireland, after the closure of the scheme was announced last week.

    Minister Bruton says the SEAI will recommence evaluating the applications on hand, and letters of offer should begin to issue from early next month.



  • The rollout of the National Broadband Plan will be delayed again as TDs look at reviewing how the contract was awarded.

    The government hoped to sign a contract with the preferred bidder, Granahan McCourt, in time for an announcement at this week's National Ploughing Championship.

    Minsiter for Communications, Richard Bruton, says the contract process cannot be re-started though as suggested by some Dáil members.

  • Schools will be required to consult with parents and pupils on the use of Smart Phones in Schools.

    The Education Minister will send out a circular to all schools immediately telling them smart phones are an item requiring consultation with teachers, parents and pupils.

    That includes what devices are allowed and if they can be used for photos and videos and if age restrictions will apply to younger pupils.

    However, a spokesperson for the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland said most schools already have rules on smart phones, and said a blanket ban wouldn't work.



  • The Government has announced it will not be introducing a nationwide ban on smoky coal.

    Environment Minister Richard Bruton says this is due to legal concerns, and fears it would hurt people in rural areas who rely on turf and logs to heat their home.

    From September next year, the ban will be extended to 13 new towns, including Ballina and Castlebar.

    Minister Bruton says it will lead to immediate improvements in air quality in areas where there are particular air quality issues.



  • The Government will sign off on its Climate Action Plan at a special cabinet meeting this morning.

    It contains targets across every Government department to reduce emissions and meet climate change commitments.

    Richard Bruton's new document is modeled on the Action Plan for Jobs he managed to boost employment after the recession - with strict targets, monthly progress reports and extra oversight from the Department of the Taoiseach.

    The Climate Action Plan aims to push Ireland to reach its 2030 targets, and to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

    It will put targets in place for all government departments and bodies and set a roadmap for areas like transport, agriculture and housing.

    Carbon taxes will be a key part of this plan - with the levy to rise to 80 euro per tonne by 2030.

    It will also re-emphasize plans to have 800,000 electric cars on the road by the end of the next decade - as well as setting targets for home retrofitting and renewable energy.

    Other initiatives will include piloting remote working for staff in local authorities.

    While this plan has been developed by the Department for Climate Action and the Environment it has input from every sector of the government, and sets targets for them all to meet.

    Ministers will sign off on it at a specially convened cabinet meeting this morning.

  • The price of plastic shopping bags is set to increase.


    The plan will see a three cents increase to plastic bags to 25 cents, while larger reusable bags could jump from 70 cents to 95 cents.


    According to the Sunday Independent, the environment minister hopes the new charges will encourage big supermarkets to offer customers non-plastic options.


    Richard Bruton also wants to bring in new charges on disposable cups, plates and cutlery.


    He will bring a memo to cabinet on the plans this week.