Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Developing and Testing an Environmental Sensitivity Mapping Webtool to Support Strategic Environmental Assessment in Ireland
    Environmental sensitivity is a critical consideration in natural resource management. In the context of the legislative requirements for impact assessment, environmental sensitivity (or vulnerability) assessments present a framework for systematically determining the potential for significant adverse impacts. This is reflected in the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive’s requirement to take account of the vulnerability of the area likely to be affected when identifying and characterising potential impacts (EC, 2001, Annex II, 2), as well as in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive’s cautioning on the potential for significant effects when proposing developments in environmentally sensitive locations (EC, 2014, Article 28). Assessing environmental sensitivity provides further insight into the baseline environment by contributing an additional dimension to the purely technical consideration of environmental characteristics. It can serve as an empirical and systematic approach, and as a more objective critical foundation to promote evidence-based impact assessment and environmental planning.
  • Publication
    Population Mobility Trends, Deprivation Index and the Spatio-Temporal Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Ireland
    Like most countries worldwide, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has adversely affected Ireland. The aim of this study was to (i) investigate the spatio-temporal trend of COVID-19 incidence; (ii) describe mobility trends as measured by aggregated mobile phone records; and (iii) investigate the association between deprivation index, population density and COVID-19 cases while accounting for spatial and temporal correlation. Standardised incidence ratios of cases were calculated and mapped at a high spatial resolution (electoral division level) over time. Trends in the percentage change in mobility compared to a pre-COVID-19 period were plotted to investigate the impact of lockdown restrictions. We implemented a hierarchical Bayesian spatio-temporal model (Besag, York and Mollié (BYM)), commonly used for disease mapping, to investigate the association between covariates and the number of cases. There have been three distinct “waves” of COVID-19 cases in Ireland to date. Lockdown restrictions led to a substantial reduction in human movement, particularly during the 1st and 3rd wave. Despite adjustment for population density (incidence ratio (IR) = 1.985 (1.915–2.058)) and the average number of persons per room (IR = 10.411 (5.264–22.533)), we found an association between deprivation index and COVID-19 incidence (IR = 1.210 (CI: 1.077–1.357) for the most deprived quintile compared to the least deprived). There is a large range of spatial heterogeneity in COVID-19 cases in Ireland. The methods presented can be used to explore locally intensive surveillance with the possibility of localised lockdown measures to curb the transmission of infection, while keeping other, low-incidence areas open. Our results suggest that prioritising densely populated deprived areas (that are at increased risk of comorbidities) during vaccination rollout may capture people that are at risk of infection and, potentially, also those at increased risk of hospitalisation.
      207Scopus© Citations 6