Turf cutters in Galway vow to continue until neighbours have fuel for winter

Wed, Aug 22, 2012, 01:00

TURF CUTTERS in Co Galway have vowed to continue to cut turf until everyone in their area without fuel is supplied, after they returned to Clonmoylan bog yesterday and defied an EU directive not to cut turf there.

Between 50 and 60 locals restarted their turf cutting yesterday morning as they claim “six or seven” local families do not have sufficient fuel to last the winter.

Already, enough turf for four or five of those families has been cut, and, according to Dermot Moran, spokesman for the Barroughter and Clonmoylan Bog Action Group, they will be back at the first chance to cut the remainder.

“As this week is heritage week, we were determined to mark our heritage by cutting this turf,” said Mr Moran.

Clonmoylan bog in south Galway, near the town of Woodford, is one of 53 raised bogs that was designated for protection under the EU habitats directive.

Already, more than 1,000 turf cutters nationwide have received compensation for the loss of their turf-cutting rights, but the Clonmoylan natives insist they are not breaking any laws.

Members of the Barroughter and Clonmoylan Bog Action Group were involved in an 18-hour stand-off with gardaí and the National Parks and Wildlife Services two months ago after a row over the seizure of turf-cutting machinery on the site.

A Garda spokesperson confirmed they are investigating reports of illegal turf cutting in the area.