Elaine Dromey 0

Save Ireland's Protected Raised Bogs

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Under the EU habitats directive, adopted in 1992, Ireland was required to designate special areas of conservation (SACs) for protection – and one of the mandatory categories included raised bogs of European importance. Located mainly in the midlands, raised bogs once covered an area of more than 300,000 hectares (720,000 acres). But due to decades of “harvesting” for electricity production, household fuel and compost, only 18,000 hectares (43,200 acres) still remain – amounting to half of all the surviving raised bogs in Europe. It was not until May 2010 that then minister for the environment John Gormley finally banned turf-cutting on 31 raised bogs, amid an outcry from farming interests and a declaration of defiance by Luke “Ming” Flanagan, PRO of the Turf Cutters and Contractors Association and newly elected Independent TD for Roscommon. Source: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2011/0416/1224294798900.html Luke 'Ming' Flanagan and the Turf Cutters and Contractors Association (TCCA) still do not accept the ban on Turf Cutting on these protected sites. They are doing their best to persuade Europe to allow turf cutting to continue in various guises on these protected habitats. It is time that Irish people concerned about the environment and protection of these habitats stood up to Ming & TCCA and asked Europe to stop this destruction.

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