Mouds and Ballynafagh Turf cutters vow no surrender

Turfcutters protest at Mauds bog in silence: Annie Burke(92) reads a letter addressing the rights of the turfcutters in Kildare to Padraic Comerford of the NPWS at Rosberry, Newbridge. Photo:Michael Donnelly.
Local turf cutters have vowed not to surrender their right to cut turf on the raised bogs of Mouds and Ballynafagh due to their status as areas of special conservation, at a meeting held in Sarsfield GAA club on Wednesday, May 1.

Local turf cutters have vowed not to surrender their right to cut turf on the raised bogs of Mouds and Ballynafagh due to their status as areas of special conservation, at a meeting held in Sarsfield GAA club on Wednesday, May 1.

The turfcutters attended the meeting ‘under protest’ with the Minsister for Arts, Hertitage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD and three executives of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to discuss plot relocation issues and compensation agreements.

“Many members did not see any merit in the meeting,” said PRO John Dore.

“The turfcutters agreed that a relocation will not be considered unless there is at least ‘like for like’ quantity and quality of turf offered.” They requested that this matter be verified independently of Bord na Mona.

“There was also an understanding last year that Mouds Bog was a bog where there was little or no feasible options for relocation and that there was a possibility that limited turf cutting could be allowed on it.

The NPWS agreed to pursue this matter again.”

Clarification was also outstanding on whether payments made in 2012 of e1,500, to turf cutters for 15 tonnes of turf for the year, could in the future be deducted from compenstaion owed.

- Paula Campbell