Turf cutters object to new bog compensation deal

Kildare Turf Cutters Association Meeting at Newbridge Golf Club with Luke Ming Flanagan, TD. Pro. TCCA.  Eddie Stafford, Chairperson. Francis Johnson, Luke Ming Flanagan, TD. John Dore, Pro. Martin Heydon, TD. John Crofon, Photo. Jimmy Fullam.
Kildare turfcutters have objected to the interim compensation deal offered by the National Parks and Wildlife Services.

Kildare turfcutters have objected to the interim compensation deal offered by the National Parks and Wildlife Services.

The deal is being offered in return for the cessation of turf cutting on local raised bogs, until a relocation or final deal is in place in 2017.

Local raised bogs such as Mouds Bog have been deemed Special Areas of Conservation and plot owners have been ordered to stop cutting their turf there despite generations of families doing so.

The agreement states cutting is an offence and offers compensation to the tune of €1,500 or 15 tonnes of turf per year.

It also asks the cutters to allow ‘full right and liberty’ to the Minister for Environment and his agents to enter onto their land.

According to Kildare Turf Cutters Association (KTCA) PRO John Dore, it does not differentiate between the turf bank holder with acres of raised bog and the holder with just an acre, or those with multiple dependent households.

“Anybody that signs such an agreement is selling themselves very short,” he said.

“The KTCA position has always been to campaign to remove unjust designations and not to cease cutting turf until there is a fair agreed solution in place first.

“It does not recognise the rights of holders without updated titles.

“It is totally unacceptable.”

- Paula Campbell