Dáil Éireann - Volume 435 - 16 November, 1993
Written Answers. - Access to Wexford Strand.
Mr. Yates Mr. Yates
134. Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Office of Public Works are attempting to prohibit a small number of local horse trainers (details supplied) in County Wexford access to Ballyteigue Strand at Duncormick, County Wexford, who have been carrying out this practice for many decades; if he will intervene in the dispute between these local residents and the Office of Public Works to ensure that their traditional rights and practices will be allowed to continue in view of the fact that they gallop the horses below the foreshore which is a tidal area and therefore of no damage to flora or fauna; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Mr. Dempsey) Noel Treacy
Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Mr. Dempsey): Ballyteigue Burrow was established as a nature reserve in 1987 in order to conserve an ecosystem which includes a heath dune and part of the foreshore. It is one of Ireland's rare intact dune systems and is of great importance ecologically. The ecosystem incorporates many rare plants, in particular Perennial Glassworth and Wild Asparagus which are protected under a Flora Protection Order (S.I. 274 of 1987).
Serious damage is being caused to the reserve by horse training and related activities. Ballyteigue Burrow is one of only two areas in the country where the protected plant Perennial Glassworth is  present. This rare plant grows below the high tide mark (foreshore) and up to 50 per cent of the plant has been damaged by horses galloping on the foreshore. It was because of this and other unlicensed activities on the reserve that the Office of Public Works sought and received an injunction in August 1993 restraining anyone from bringing horses on to the reserve. A stay of three months on this Order was granted to one horse trainer, who had previously held a permit to exercise horses on the reserve, to enable the trainer to make alternative arrangements. Apart from that particular trainer, no other person holds or has held any licence or permit to exercise horses on the reserve.
Any activity or use which damages or is a potential threat to the ecosystem in the nature reserve must be prevented in order to discharge the obligations imposed by the Wildlife Act, 1976 to protect our natural environment.
Dáil Éireann 435 Written Answers. Access to Wexford Strand.