26 Jan 2011
IFA WANT WIDE RANGING PACKAGE FOR TURF CUTTERS TO PROTECT RIGHTSSACs
IFA SAC Project Chairman and Connacht Vice President Padraic Divilly has called for a wide ranging package for turf cutters this year on 31 SAC raised bogs. The rights of bog owners must be protected and a new Government must address this serious issue.
Mr. Divilly has set out a number of options which must be taken on board by a new Government. These include;
– Farmers and landowners must be allowed to continue to cut turf on SAC bogs for domestic purposes,
– Relocation, where agreeable, to other bogs in the locality with compensation,
– A 100% grant for the installation of alternative domestic heating systems and on going annual payments for heating,
– And the purchase of bogs by the NPWS at a realistic price where landowners wish to sell.
Mr. Divilly said the €1,000 package which was available to some landowners who did not cut in 2010, must be doubled for 2011 and extended for a period of the turf cutting potential of the bog with a minimum of 30 years.
The IFA SAC Project Chairman also said that contractors who lose business as a result of unavailability of bogs to cut in the future must also be eligible for the compensation package.
Concluding, Mr. Divilly said that in the upcoming General Election, IFA will be making a major issue of the proposed NPWS turf cutting restrictions in the areas affected and he called on farmers to raise their serious concerns that the restrictions will have with the candidates in the election campaign.
Niall Madigan (01) 450 1931/ 086 822 8635
Morag Devins (01) 426 0344/ 086 263 3940