Bord na Móna ends all peat harvesting

Company suspended the activity last year following a 2019 High Court decision

Bord na Móna has formally ended all peat harvesting on its lands following a landmark High Court judgment in 2019.

The company suspended peat harvesting last year following the court’s ruling that all peat harvesting on bogs larger than 30 hectares required planning permission. It said that employees previously involved in harvesting have already migrated into other roles, and so the announcement would not impact on staff numbers.

Making the announcement, chief executive Tom Donnellan said: "The brown to green strategy has involved the transformation of Bord na Móna from a traditional peat business into a climate solutions company.

“The progress made over the past two years means we are now fully focused on renewable energy generation, recycling and the development of other low carbon enterprises.


“While there are many advantages to the changes we have made, the key benefits include the high value, sustainable employment we are providing and the significant support we are delivering to Ireland’s objective, to become carbon neutral by 2050.”

Mr Donnellan said the company’s last full peat harvest took place in 2018, followed by a partial harvest in 2019 and a full suspension of harvesting operations last year.

“The company has today decided to make this suspension permanent and cease any remaining harvesting preparations, including planning and substitute consent applications,” he said.

“Today marks the formal end to the company’s association with peat harvesting, as we move on to tackle the critical challenges concerning climate change, energy supply, biodiversity and the circular economy.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter