IFA SAC Project Team Chairman Padraic Divilly has called on the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, to implement fully the agreement reached at this week’s meeting of the Peatland Council on turf cutting.
Mr. Divilly said that central to the agreement is that the Government must provide the required resources to achieve the objectives set out by the Council. These include relocation and adequate compensation for those affected, other options for the supply of fuel, an agreed strategy for the restoration and management of raised bogs and that turf cutting on SAC raised bogs can be allowed for domestic purposes in certain circumstances.
The IFA Chairman was critical that such a package had not been put in place before this and that it was left to the intensive negotiations of a meeting of the Peatlands Council to come to an agreement at the eleventh hour.
Mr. Divilly said that a key element of the agreement is that farmers’ Single Farm Payment and other direct payments will be fully protected in 2011. “No farmer should be penalised this year as they were given misleading information on turf cutting prior to and after the General Election by politicians.”