A Cork councillor has called for the needs of people to be balanced against the importance of the environment and says continued efforts are needed to protect the city’s Glen River Valley.
Worker’s Party representative councillor Ted Tynan pointed out that the Glen area is rich in biodiversity and full of bees, butterflies, bats, foxes, lizards as well as vegetation.
He also said that the Valley is an important ecological corridor and area of outstanding natural beauty.
“I have fought to ensure that the City Council maintains its protection of the Valley on ecological grounds," he added.
However, Mr Tynan said the Valley had been "under threat" and he pointed out how developments have previously been proposed on the bog behind the Fox and Hounds pub and said there is a current housing development for the same site that has been refused previously by An Bord Pleanála.
While Mr Tynan acknowledged that there is currently a housing crisis and said that some may object that housing development should take precedence over environmental concerns, that an environmental perspective must “balance the needs of human beings against other lifeforms.”
“Opposition to development on areas such as the Glen Valley should not be taken to mean prioritising non-human above human life, as if the two were to be seen somehow in opposition. The main insight of ecology is that everything is connected - the very word ‘ecology’ stems from the Greek word ‘oikos’, which means house, home or dwelling place," he said.
The Worker's Party councillor said that living in a place "also means sharing that place with others, human and non-human".
Mr Tynan said that an area such as the Glen should be valued not as a space of potential development, or as land that can be bought and sold, but as “a reminder that living is always a living-with, and that human flourishing can only be possible with the flourishing of non-human others.”