Fitzmaurice is not the only ‘bog man’ in the Dáil says Sinn Féin’s Martin Kenny
Speaking in the Dáil tonight, Sinn Féin’s agriculture spokesman, Martin Kenny TD, said the bill to deal with turf cutting on raised bogs was welcome and his party would support it, but drew attention to the beginnings of a dispute between those cutting turf on blanket bogs.
Deputy Kenny said:
“This bill is welcome, but we must be sure that a similar dispute does not start again on the blanket bogs,” adding that Deputy Fitzmaurice was not the “only bog man in the Dáil”, as he too has cut turf.
“There are domestic turf cutters in Connemara who, thinking that they were permitted to cut turf on blanket bogs, received a letter from the department in the last week or so, telling them that they would have to carry out an Environmental Impact Statement in order to cut turf on their bogs.
“It does not seem to make sense that local people, engaged in domestic turf cutting, and more and more people are dependent on their own turf due to financial pressure in these times of non-recovery in the West, are being asked to fork out, up to maybe €5,000 for an environmental impact statement when the department has already done one of its own.
“I hope that this is not the start of another conflictive and highly-charged dispute between the state and turf-cutters.
“The Minister should take time to meet and come to a resolution with these people and avoid another debacle which might take years and a heavy toll on people’s lives to resolve.”