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‘Disbelief and anger’ as the ‘sale and marketing of turf is to be prohibited’

Turf

Independent TD for Laois-Offaly Carol Nolan has said there is a sense of disbelief and anger within rural communities following confirmation that the sale and marketing of turf is to be prohibited.

Deputy Nolan was speaking after the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, confirmed to Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin, that a regulatory provision will be in place in September.

This will prohibit the marketing, sale or distribution of sod peat.

Deputy Nolan said: “Last April I explicitly warned that Government was engaged in a process of creeping criminalisation with respect to turf cutting and how rural communities in particular choose to utilise this natural resource.

“We now see that that creeping criminalisation has moved up to full gallop.

“Minister Ryan at the very least has accepted that those with turbary rights will be able to continue to cut and burn sod peat for their own domestic purposes.

“The difficulty here however is that people have absolutely zero faith that this position will be maintained into the future.

“There is a fundamental lack of lack of trust in anything Minister Ryan has to say when it comes to protecting traditional turf cutting practices.

“Are we really at the stage where a rural family with a sign outside their property advertising the sale of a few bags of turf are to be treated as eco-criminals?

“This is grossly disproportionate and unjust, and it needs to be resisted immediately from every rural and indeed every urban TD within the Government,” concluded Deputy Nolan.

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.