Anyone with the right to turf on their land can still sell it to their friends and neighbors to burn, Fine Gael TDs and senators have been told.
As part of a compromise plan worked out by coalition leaders in recent weeks, there will be no ban on those with turbary rights from cutting and selling peat as long as it is not sold at retail outlets such as gas stations or online.
Environment Secretary Eamon Ryan has now officially dropped a controversial proposal that turf transactions would only be allowed in communities of 500 residents or less after backbenchers in Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil sparked an outcry earlier this year.
Details of the compromise revealed in the Irish Independent This week the backbenchers of the Fine Gael in the country were introduced at a special meeting today.
The presentation at a meeting chaired by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar was made by Secretary of State Peter Burke, whose Longford-Westmeath constituency is a lawnmower hotspot.
The meeting was told that the proposal to ban the sale of peat in communities of 500 or more residents would now be scrapped and that under regulations, which are expected to be brought forward in the coming weeks, anyone with turbary and common rights on land will continue to cut, sell and burn lawn.
Former Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring said he was happy with the proposals and ready to back the compromise. “I’m very happy with the result, for me it’s a very clear compromise,” said Mayo’s TD.
“Once the regulations are out and they’re like we’ve been told today, I think it’s a good compromise, a fair compromise, it means people can sell to their neighbors.”
Former Attorney General Charlie Flanagan, a TD for Laois, said: “While awaiting formal government decisions, I acknowledge progress and am less concerned than when the original plan was announced.”
The Taoiseach told his group that the government is finalizing regulations, which will be agreed this week, to ensure measures to improve air quality are put in place.
He said they would not interfere with traditional turf-related practices.
Mr Martin said the traditional trade in peat in rural areas will remain the same.
He said the main effect of the proposed solid fuel rules will be to end the sale of smoke charcoal, which is the main contributor to air pollution in Ireland and causes significant damage to health and deaths.
The proposed regulations will not affect the cutting or burning of turf by those with turf cutter rights, he added
Mr Martin said the bill’s key change is the commercial sale of turf, which can no longer be sold in retail outlets such as shops, service stations or gas stations, or online.
https://www.independent.ie/news/turf-can-still-be-sold-to-friends-and-neighbours-fine-gael-and-fianna-fail-tds-and-senators-told-41837945.html Peat can still be sold to friends and neighbors, the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil TDs and Senators said