They’re not happy bunnies in An Taisce. It attacked Minister Heather Humphreys, accusing her of giving an “early Christmas present to IFA” by announcing limited flexibility on cutoff dates for hedge-cutting and burning. This was a reference to the minister’s brother being the IFA’s north Leinster/Ulster president, Bert Stuart.

On Sunday, An Taisce attacked RTÉ over its Primetime programme on climate change. Two academic specialists refused to appear because “non-expert” Prof Ray Bates was to be interviewed, it said. It acknowledged that Bates’s speciality was the physics of weather and climate but simply doesn’t want his views aired. “Not balance but accuracy”, is its dictate.

And now, horror of horrors, the European Commission has announced that its water and wildlife directives do not forbid dredging of rivers, action An Taisce doesn’t support.

An Taisce has around 3,000 paying members. Subscriptions have declined to a total of €82,000 last year. However, it receives significant bucks from the taxpayer via Government departments, plus the EPA, Fáilte Ireland, Irish Water and Heather Humphreys’ National Parks and Wildlife. Total income is €3.5m.