Turf-cutters in Galway and Roscommon defy ban
Dispute ongoing between bog owners and Government
Turf Cutters and Contractors Association has vowed to continue cutting turf in accordance with tradition.
Turf-cutters are working on protected bogs in the west and midlands today in defiance of a ban on such activity contained in the EU Habitats Directive.
At Monivea bog in Co Galway around 80 people gathered to cut turf from around 5am. Approximately a dozen machines including cutters and hoppers were used to cut and lay out the turf.
The turf being cut is part of a commonage owned by 80 people.
Gardaí are at the scene but there are no reports of disturbances or arrests.
Turf-cutting also took place on a protected bog in Kilteevan, Co Roscommon, today. Gardaí also attended this scene but no arrests were made.
Monivea and Kilteevan are among 53 bogs designated a special area of conservation, where turf cutting restrictions were imposed in September 2011.
Today’s turf-cutting is part of an escalating dispute between bog owners, many of whom have rejected compensation packages offered by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and the government
The Turf Cutters and Contractors Association has vowed to continue cutting turf in accordance with tradition.