Goats may be introduced on Killiney Hill to help control the spread of wildfires in dry weather.
This comes after a gorse fire broke out this week on the hill, which Dublin Fire Brigade named the worst fire this year so far, caused several homes to be evacuated.
Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show today, Hugh Lewis, Councillor for Killiney-Shankill, said: "Killiney is unique in that its landscape is in quite close proximity to people's homes."
"It's a historical threat first of all, but it's an increasing threat because of climate change."
The idea is that goats will eat the gorse on the mountain to make it more difficult for wildfires to spread even if they start.
"Obviously there would need to be a massive amount of consultation and consideration on the habitat and the ecology, but it certainly looks like a potentially very sustainable solution", said Lewis.
Goats in the garden
He added that locals needn't worry about goats ravaging their gardens or the golf course, as the latest technology would be employed.
"They can simply use virtual fencing and put tags on the goats."
"I watched with great interest the situation developing in Howth and the solution that they proposed."
Killiney would not be the first to use this tactic to combat the spread of wildfires.
Last year, following a blaze on Howth Hill, goats were introduced there.
Howard Mahony, Mayor of Fingal County Council, has been overseeing the project.
"We were skeptical when we heard about it first because, similarly to Cllr Lewis, we had concerns around the control of the animal", he said.
Fingal County Council consulted experts from the United Kingdom and Spain and collaborated with the Old Irish Goat Society, which suggested the management system they use now.
Through a simple app, the goat herder can map the areas they want the goats to be contained. Collars on the goats make beeping noises when they are close to the boundary line. Goats the cross the line will feel a small electric shock.
"Goats apparently are very intelligent and they learn quickly that they don't cross the line", said Mahony.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast yesterday, Environmentalist John Gibbons called for stricter penalties on those starting wildfires.
In Ireland, deliberately setting a fire to vegetation is illegal between March 1st and August 31st.
Gibbons said the current penalties are “far too low, considering the damage they can do”.
Gibbons said that the fires can be “devastating” for wildlife.
“Many wildfires happen on peatlands and that causes the peatlands to dry out.”
“Even after the fire has been doused, the underlying soil is damaged and it’s no longer capable of supporting the vast invertebrate life that actually in turn supports all the wildlife.”
Due to rising temperatures in Ireland, Gibbons said the country will need to pivot towards the tactics of hotter countries when tackling fires.
Listen back to the full interview here.