Brexit & Ireland, an inside story of the Irish response

Tuesday, 03 September 2019
Need to understand how Ireland helped to shape the EU's response to Brexit? RTÉ's Europe correspondent Tony Connelly tells the dramatic story of the Irish response to this political and economic earthquake. Read More...

Stanhope Forbes, father of Cornwall's Newlyn School of painting

Friday, 16 August 2019
Dublin-born Stanhope Forbes spent time painting Brittany before founding the influential Newlyn School of painters in Cornwall in the late 19th century. Read More...

Lough Derg: the spirit of a holy place

Wednesday, 04 April 2012
A small island in a lake called Lough Derg is one of the most famous of Ireland's places of pilgrimage. About 35,000 pilgrims come to it each year intent on doing penance for their sins or seeking divine intervention in their lives. Read More...

Nantes-Brest Canal, Brittany's popular leisure waterway

Friday, 07 October 2011
The Nantes-Brest Canal is a 364 km long waterway connecting the city of Brest, on the west of Brittany, to the city of Nantes in the south east. Read More...

The shrine of the Cailleach at Glen Lyon

Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Each year, in one of the most remote areas of Scotland, a family of stones are brought out of the house in the spring and returned to the house for the winter. The tradition stretches back thousands of years and the site is believed to be the only surviving shrine to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Read More...

Breton beaches on alert over toxic green algae

Government criticised on plan to fight recurring pollution problem after green algae proliferation on Breton beaches reaches new records.

Government criticised on plan to fight recurring pollution problem after green algae proliferation on Breton beaches reaches new records.

For the past two decades, decomposing seaweed has been a health hazard on many beaches in Brittany.

Every summer, 50,000 to 70,000 m3 of green algae are washed up on Breton beaches. As the algae decay on the sand, they release Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) - a toxic gas that can be fatal to humans and animals.

In 2009, a man and a horse died in different incidents in Brittany after breathing in toxic gases from decomposing green algae. These incidents prompted the French government to launch the Plan National de Lutte contre les Algues Vertes to fight the recurring health hazard on the Breton coast.

However, the €134 million government plan came under criticism after last summer proved to be one on the worst on record for the proliferation of toxic green algae.

Seaweed collection centres struggled to cope with the vast amounts of green algae collected by council workers across the country.

A number of beaches were reported to be less busy than usual and Brittany's tourism sector feared a strong decline in visitors after the media reported the death by gas poisoning of 36 wild boars on a beach in Morieux, in the north of Brittany.

The proliferation of green algae on the Breton seaside is linked to the nitrates and fertilisers used by the country's farming industry, particularly the poultry and pig farms.

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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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