IFA Connacht Vice President + SAC Project Chairman Padraic Divilly has criticised the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan for his failure to implement the turf cutting package for farmers and landowners.
Mr. Divilly was speaking following a meeting of the Peatlands Council in Athlone where it was pointed out that other than the Clara bog in Co. Offaly, relocation has not been offered so far to any bog user affected. Turf-cutters are being left in a very uncertain situation as cutting has ceased with no alternative sites being offered.
The IFA man called on Minister Deenihan to implement the only feasible option for this year which must involve the supply of solid fuel for the coming winter for those who have been stopped from cutting and the failure to have an alternative package in place.
Mr. Divilly said that the level of interest, so far, in the €1,000 compensation scheme is very low and it is important that the level of compensation is doubled to €2,000 for the lifetime of the bog rather than for a 15 year period.