Friday, February 29, 2008

Broadband woes

Lots of feedback on the broadband debate in the Dail that took place this week. Minister Ryan's lovely red map showing broadband cover in Ireland is turning out to be full of holes. The village of Shillelagh is a case in point but what struck me was the extend of the problem across rural Ireland.

The government needs to speed up on broadband in every sense. Less international talk shops that cost the taxpayer €50,000 and more plumbing is whats needed.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bellygrass and beyond!

Well, I've seen the future and its called bellygrass...

At yesterday's Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change a presentation given by Jerry Murphy of UCC had us all sitting up on our hind legs. He talked about biofuel and grass can be used to make gas for fuel. Since over 90% of Ireland's arable land is in grass this was significant. But what really got our questions coming was his explanation of how "bellygrass" is used in Europe for gas production for buses.

Bellygrass for those of us who don't know- and there are many - is found in cows and pigs slaughtered in our abattoirs.

Currently the bellygrass has to be carted away and spread on land and that costs the abattoir money.

In the future it can go to a digester system, converted to biofuel and used in buses etc..

While no-one has the solution to the problem of methane produced by belching cows, dead cows may provide part of the solution.

Or at least the grass in their stomachs. Don't they have four of them?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Unite 4 Our Planet Forum

Tackling Climate Change is the great challenge of our time. It requires leadership, co-operation and a clear direction.

We also need an integrated response. That's what we're doing in the Labour Party. The four TDs with responsibility for Energy, Environment, Transport and Agriculture have come together under the "Unite 4 Our Planet" initiative. We are pledging to work together across these areas and to engage with experts and the public to ensure we are in a position to meet the challenges of carbon reduction and climate "proofing".

To discuss this we have organised a Forum on Climate Change to be held this Saturday, 9th February in the Mansion House, Dublin. If you'd like to come along, please email

For more information, please check out the Labour website.