I have called on the Irish Government to defend the rights of people to cut turf for their own use.
The European Union has announced that they are taking the Irish Government to the European Court of Justice over their failure to apply the habitat directive to protect raised bogs.
“The Irish Government need to put Irish citizens first and protect them and their right to cut turf for their own use.
At present people who are cutting turf are doing so as the only way of heating their homes, providing hot water, washing clothes and cooking meals for their families. The alternative form of heating is too expensive for most people to install, and the running cost are not affordable to most families.
The habitats directive requires member states to protect their most precious natural habitats but where does the Irish citizen fit in, and rights of a citizen to live and provide heat and food for their family. Surely human life is more precious than a bog.
The European Commission have stated that Ireland has failed to protect its bogs, but I contend our people need to be protected first.
It is time for Ireland to stand up and be counted and take serious rural Ireland and the long-standing tradition of cutting turf in bogs for use in our homes”.