18 April 2013: The ‘natural environment’ has been added to the list of good causes that can receive National Lottery funds.
‘This is a huge win for all Irish communities who now have access to a new resource to help them protect their natural environment and to safeguard their economies, health and wellbeing,’ said Michael Ewing, Coordinator of the Irish Environmental Network, a network of 32 national environmental groups.
This follows the passing of an amendment to the National Lottery Bill 2012 in the Dáil yesterday afternoon, proposed by Deputies Maureen O’Sullivan and Mary Lou McDonald. During the debate, both they and Deputies Joe O’Reilly and Michael McNamara spoke of the importance of our natural environment to Ireland’s tourism, food exports, job creation and cultural heritage.
In her speech, Deputy O’Sullivan referred to the environmental sector as ‘the least resourced area’. Up until this environmental groups had been excluded from National Lottery funds.
Deputy McDonald said, ‘It is highly important to recognise the work of community based organisations that care for the environment.’
‘Our wellbeing and economic sustainability are entirely dependent on services provided by the natural environment. These services are public goods, and non-profit groups work with great resolve and dedication to preserve them,’ said Mr Ewing. ‘Having access to Lottery funds will be a great help.’
Mr Ewing thanked the many members of the public who contacted their TDs and Senators in the lead-up to the Dáil debate.