Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Adams calls for government plan to resolve turf dispute

6 March, 2013 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has called on the government to sit down with the Turf Cutters and agree a resolution to this issue.
The Sinn Féin leader made his call in Leaders Questions in the Dáil this morning.
Speaking after the Dáil debate Teachta Adams said:
“Exactly one year ago an all-party motion committed the government to engage actively with the EU and the Turf Cutters to agree a National Raised Bog Restoration Plan. There is a need for a comprehensive and credible plan to deal with the 53 bogs designated as Special Areas of Conversation (SAC) and which have been used for turf cutting.
There has been no real progress since then and today four turf cutters are in court in Loughrea. They are accused, in the first case of its kind, of cutting turf on protected bogs in defiance of EU law.
If the four men are convicted they could face a fine of up to €1,500 or a six-month jail sentence. It seems that the government has chosen confrontation over compromise.
This is a deeply emotional issue for those men and their families who have been cutting turf for generations. It is a part of the history and culture and way of life of communities across this island but mainly in the west.
Last November a Sinn Féin delegation went to Brussels and met with the EU Commission. The EU acknowledged that the Turf Cutters and Contractors Association proposals offer a possible solution. I believe that the TCCA want a solution.
The turf cutters understand the value of our unique habitat and the necessity to protect it. They also understand that has a balance has to be struck between conservation and right of people to earn a livelihood.
I believe that the EU directive offers the flexibility required to resolve this issue.
There is an onus on the government to find a solution. There is no need for a confrontation between communities who cut turf and the state.
The Government should sit down with the Turf cutters and address the issues and their concerns.
This can be a win for the environment, a win for raised bogs, a win for the government and a win for turf cutters.
What is needed is political will by the government to resolve this.”

Below is the text of Teachta Adams remarks in the Dáil at Leaders Questions this morning:

Check against Delivery:
A Thaoisigh, bliain amháin ó shoin go díreach, ghlac achan páirtí sa Dáil seo le rún chun dualgas a chuir ar an Rialtas comhoibriú go gníomhach leis an AE chun Plean Cosanta do na Portaigh Ardaithe a réiteach.
Cad atá déanta ag an Rialtas ó shoin?
A Thaoisigh, maidin inniu tá ceathrar bainteoir móna os comhair na cúirte i mBaile Locha Riach.
Tá sé curtha ina leith gur bhain siad móin ar phortaigh coanta in aghaidh dlí na hEorpa.
Seo an chéad cás dá leithéad.
Má fhaightear ciontach iad is féidir fíneáil de míle cúig chéad euro, nó téarma príosúin de sé mhí, a ghearradh ar na fir.
Is cosúil gur shocraigh an Rialtas ar raic, seachas réiteach, sa chás seo.
Is cúis iontach goilliúnach í seo do na fir agus na mná atá ag baint móna leis na glúnta.
Is cuid de stair agus cultúr agus slí bheatha pobail é ar fud an oileán, ach go háirithe san Iarthar.
Mí na Samhna seo caite chuaigh ionadaithe ó Shinn Féin go dtí an Bhruiséal chun bualadh le Coimisiún an AE.
Dúirt an AE go raibh moltaí an TCCA mar bhunús don réiteach.
Creidimse go bhfuil an TCCA ag lorg réiteach.
Tuigeann siad an tábhacht atá leis an dúlra agus an gá chun sin a chosaint.
Tuigeann siad fosta go gcaithfear aire a thabhairt don dúlra, chomh maith leis na daoine atá ag iaraidh slí bheatha a bhaint amach.
Creidimse go bhfuil go leor solúbthacht sa treoir ón AE chun an cás seo a réiteach.
An aontaíonn tú leis sin?
Má aontaionn, cá bhfuil an Plean cosanta do na Portaigh Ardaithe?


Supplementary
A Thaoisigh, tá an cás seo préamhaithe ins an easpa gníomhaíochta ó Rialtais éagsúla ó na naoi déag seachtóidí ar aghaidh.
Anois tá ceathrar bainteoir móna sa chúirt.
Tá dualgas ar an Rialtas réiteach a fháil.
Níl aon gá le raic idir an stát agus daoine a bhíonn ag baint na móna.
Tá na bainteoirí móna sásta Teachta ar réiteach.
Caithfidh an Rialtas suí síos leis na bainteoirí móna agus díriú ar na ceisteanna agus cúiseanna atá acu.
Bua a bheadh ansin don dúlra, bua do na portaigh ardaithe, bua don rialtas agus bua do na bainteoirí móna.
An rud atá de dhíth na toil polaitiúil ón rialtas chun seo a réiteach.
A Thaoisigh, cén plean atá ag an rialtas leis an gceist seo a réiteach?

Connect with Sinn Féin