The shooting of the first juvenile of the Sea Eagle project in Lough Derg is a national disgrace. Whatever side you are on, be it local farmer to a member of the Sea Eagle project staff, the implications for Ireland on the international scene are grave. The international perception of Ireland as a green and emerald jewel has been tainted by the malice and ignorance of an individual or group of individuals.
This parochial and selfish act has no regard for the greater good of this country. It damages good farmers identities as guardians and curators of our countryside. The low minded cultchie attitude is prevalent in many educated people. In a debate, the first recourse is to community and local level politics.
This disregard for the wildlife wealth of this nation is sickening. It highlights woeful ignorance of the prevailing scientific and economic data and a imbecilic level of discourse. We are a country not a county.
With so much great about this country revolving around our rural spirit as exemplified by the GAA, it is vital that County Tipperary takes on the mantle and purpose to bring the perpetrators to justice. The bird was shot in County Tipperary and as such the local politicians should vocalise en mass regarding their abhorrence to this event. The cost to farmers is negligible compared to the economic benefit in ecotourism for a local area. Prove me wrong.
A rare eagle has been found shot dead in north County Tipperary.
An x-ray of the male white-tailed eagle showed its body holding between 45-50 shotgun pellets.
A post-mortem examination showed the impact broke one of the bird's legs and wings, but it managed to survive several weeks before dying.
The bird was one of two young, reared by a mating pair at a nest on Lough Derg in County Clare.
It was part of a project aimed at re-introducing the species to Ireland.
It successfully flew from its nest in July 2013 along with its sibling and was last seen at Lough Derg, County Tipperary, in January.
The Irish government said its body was found after information was supplied to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht's National Parks and Wildlife service.
The death has caused outrage amongst conservationists and politicians in the Republic of Ireland.
"I am shocked by this crime," said Fine Gael TD Jimmy Deenihan.
An x-ray of the male white-tailed eagle shows some of the shotgun pellets
"The birth of this bird was a special day for nature conservation in Ireland. So much work has gone into reintroducing this species here, and there has been wonderful cooperation by many different groups to achieve successful breeding."
Reintroduction project manager, Dr Allan Mee, said it was "heart-breaking".
"It is absolutely incomprehensible that someone would shoot one of these magnificent birds, but even more shocking is that one of the first two Irish-bred eagles has been shot only seven months after leaving the nest," he said.
White-tailed eagles are protected under the Republic's Wildlife Act (1976) and it is an offence to shoot or otherwise harm the species.
The Irish white-tailed sea eagle reintroduction programme released 100 of the birds between 2007 to 2011.
Only one pair has bred so far.