Ireland's Environment Overview

Dr. Padraic Larkin, author of Ireland's Environment Article

Padraic Larkin, author of Ireland's Environment feature article graduated from NUI Galway with a PhD in Physical Chemistry. He started his career in the private sector and moved to An Foras Forbartha in 1978. He joined the Environmental Protection Agency, when it was first established in 1993, as Manager of the Licensing and Control Division and in 1998 was promoted to the Board of Directors. He was appointed Director of the Office of Climate, Licensing and Resource Use in 2003 and in 2004 he was appointed Deputy Director General. 
When his second term as Director ended in 2008 he resigned from the agency and now works as an environmental consultant.

Ireland’s environment is, for the most part, very good and stands up well to comparison with any other country in Europe or in the wider world. This is due in no small way to an accident of geography and an accident of history.

Geography places Ireland at mid-latitude, not too close to the heat of the equator or to the cold arctic and its position on the north-western edge of the continent ensures a constant supply of clean unpolluted air and plenty of rain from the Atlantic Ocean.

History decreed that Ireland missed the industrial revolution of the 19th century and, so, missed out on the polluting industries of that period. Up to the middle of the 20th century Ireland’s economy was based on grassland agriculture which was not very intensive and placed little pressures on the Irish environment.  

Much has changed in Ireland in the past 50 years, and the pressures on the environment have grown, but overall the essentials for life of clean air, clean water and productive soil are abundant on this island.

The different environmental sectors of air, water, land etc are discussed in more detail in this article.

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