Turf cutters’ briefing in Leinster House
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Community & Local Government, Brian Stanley TD, held a successful cross party briefing with Turf Cutters & Contractors Association in Leinster House today.
Speaking after the meeting Deputy Stanley said:
"Consecutive governments have failed to resolve the issue on a number of the bogs that are designated Special Area of Conservation by the European Commission. The turf cutting season commences in a couple of weeks. It is vital that progress is made on this issue.
“Today was one of a number of initiatives taken by Sinn Féin to try and progress this issue, including a productive meeting with Alan Seatter, Deputy Director General of the European Commission.
“We must and can avoid a repeat of last year’s events. Four turf cutters are facing court hearing in Loughrea on March the 6th. This is a result of an incident in Clonmoylan bog in summer 2012.
“What is required is a concerted effort by government to have meaningful engagement with the Turf Cutter & Contractors Association to work through all the issues.
“This is recognised by the Deputy Director General, who acknowledged the situation is, ‘now entering a particularly sensitive and difficult period for many people’.”
“Tom Ward and Michael Fitzmaurice, chairperson of the TCCA presentation today left TDs in no doubt that it is only by working together can this government and turf cutters find a sustainable long lasting solution.”