End of peat harvesting major loss for Midlands: Stanley
Cessation of peat harvesting a major loss to the Midlands
Sinn Fein TD Brian Stanley says the announcement made by Bord na Mona of a total cessation on peat harvesting provides new challenges for Laois and Offaly.
Deputy Stanley said:
“Today marks the end of an era of over 8 decades of peat extraction and a period when thousands of jobs were created from this in the Midlands. As a former employee of the company I know how important those jobs were for many families.
“There now needs to be a scaled up effort by Government and the semi state companies such as Bord na Mona and the ESB in terms of the diversification and moving to a Just Transition.
“Jobs in Retrofitting Homes, Bog Rehabilitation (re wetting bogs) and in Renewal Power Regeneration must be advanced.
“A lot of homes in the Midlands that depend on solid fuel and mainly peat are not retro fitted at the moment and won’t be in the short term. It is important therefore that domestic turf cutting for private homes is protected and this is allowed to continue.
“A renewed focus needs to put on finding an alternative purpose for the Bord na Mona plant at Togher Portlaoise. This is in an excellent location for a new employment project, and I have been raising this matter on a continuous basis with the Manager of Bord na Mona and will continue to do so’’