IFA has said that the decision of the Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan to allow turf-cutting to continue on 45 NHA raised bogs in 2014 is a step in the right direction and must be followed by the continued implementation of a comprehensive package for farmers who may be restricted in other areas.
IFA SAC Project Chairman Tom Turley said the approach now being taken by Minister Deenihan is one that has been pursued by IFA for some time as the problems on the SAC raised bogs which have emerged over the last number of years could have been avoided if such a strategy had been put in place at that time.
Tom Turley said that turf-cutting should be allowed to continue in these 45 NHA areas into the future without any further planning stipulations. “The remaining 36 NHA bogs should be allowed to continue to cut. Turf-cutters who wish to avail of the compensation package and other measures should be allowed to do so if they consider this the best option for them.”
He said the reduction in the number of turf-cutters affected, from over 3,000 to around 500, is important as it significantly minimises the effect of designations. It is also important that the compensation package is available to this group of turf-cutters if they wish to avail of it.