Latest Laois News: Local TD calls for Laois turf cutters to be protected
Laois/Offaly turf cutters can’t be left in the cold- Stanley
Following a meeting with senior management this week, Sinn Fein TD Brian Stanley said the following:
“Domestic turf cutters must be protected’’.
“We are facing into another turf cutting season with hundreds of households in both counties, who are dependent on fuel from Bord na Mona owned turf banks, are at risk of not being able to cut this year. The 2019 High Court ruling that forced Bord na Mona to cease commercial peat harvesting is also causing problems for small scale domestic turf cutters. Those who owned their turf banks or who have turbary rights are unaffected.
However, hundreds of turf cutters, some of whom are former Bord na Mona workers are now being told they can’t cut as their banks are owned by Bord na Mona and therefore come under court ruling. At the meeting with Bord na Mona management, which included CEO Tom Donnellan, I made the case that solutions must to be found to resolve this issue as most of the households affected cannot afford the €40 – €60K to retrofit their homes. A lot of their homes are not suitable for retrofitting.’’
“I also put it to Tom Donnellan that Bord na Mona where possible should try and relocate cutters to suitable turf banks as some of these moved off other turf banks in the past, which they had rights to, to facilitate Bord na Mona harvesting. I also requested that the companies legal advisors would re-examine the outcome of the 2019 ruling to ascertain if domestic turf cutting can continue under licence or some other means on their bogs.’’
“The CEO committed to revisit this, and also the suggestion that the small scale turf cutters could be facilitated by way of being formed into local groups or associations. The management team are to examine all these options and to engage in a process with turf cutters and representatives to find solutions on each of the relevant to local bogs.”