Government must not renege on Dáil motion on conservation of bogs
Sinn Féin spokesperson on environment, community & local government, Brian Stanley TD, has demanded that the government “keep to the spirit of the motion unanimously passed by the Dáil last month on the national plan for Ireland’s raised bog Special Areas of Conservation.”
He was speaking in reaction to a statement from environment minister, Phil Hogan TD and arts and heritage minister, Jimmy Deenihan TD after their meeting in Brussels with the European Commission yesterday.
Brian Stanley said: “Their statement suggests that the government has reneged on the agreement which was presented to the turfcutters as a basis for progress.”
“Since then turfcutters have kept their side of the bargain and have stopped cutting turf, but disappointingly the Ministers Hogan and Deenihan have yet to engage meaningfully with their representative organisation.
“The Dáil motion and the TCCA response were solution-based, comprehensive and workable and proposed co-location and compensatory bogs resulting in greater conservation.
“Sinn Féin remains committed to protecting our natural habitats and working on a solution which will suit all stakeholders.
“We want to engage with Minister Hogan and Minister Deenihan, but it must in good faith. We cannot engage with the government if its representatives are saying one thing here in the Dáil and directly contradicting themselves in when they go to Brussels.”
In conclusion, Deputy Stanley urged the government to re-engage the process with the same determination that they showed during the recent Dáil debate. Otherwise we will be facing crisis in rural communities, and that is something we all want to avoid.”