Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue has said that the traditional rights and activity of turf cutting must continue to be respected in light of the proposed ban.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan is retreating on aspects of his controversial ban on the selling and gifting of turf, after revealing that small rural communities of under 500 people will be exempt. The ban in September, Mr Ryan said, is designed to restrict the commercial sale of turf.
Speaking today, Donegal Minister Charlie McConalogue said that a common sense approach must be taken on the issue.
He told Newstalk FM that turf was an important in many parts of rural Ireland, particuarly with high fuel prices.
“I have no doubt in the years ahead we will see less turf cut – that has been the trend over recent years,” Minister McConalogue said.
“But it’s important that we respect the traditional rights and activity, and importance of turf to those communities that still use it – particularly in parts of rural Ireland.”
The Minister said he expects the significant drop in turf fuel to continue.
“It’s important we keep this in context: turf is only used in a very minimal amount of instances now. But it is important for those who still use it and I think we need to focus on the bigger picture, we need to focus on making real progress.
“We need to focus on that transition from fossil fuel to clean energy”.