Wednesday, April 07, 2021

‘I think at this stage turf cutters and indeed their families and supporters right across the constituency are just weary of the apparent indifference and disregard being displayed by Bord na Mona at every turn’ – Deputy Carol Nolan.

By Joe Barrett

Independent TD in the Laois/Offaly constituency Carol Nolan is to speak with the Chief Executive of Bord na Mona Tom Donnellan to seek a review of the company’s decision to deny turf cutting rights to those who had previously extracted turf on Bord na Mona bogs.

Deputy Nolan said that there is a sense of frustration and disappointment growing among turf cutters in Laois following Bord na Mona’s notification of prohibition to all those who were previously granted a licence to extract peat on Bord na Mona lands.

She said: “I think at this stage turf cutters and indeed their families and supporters right across the constituency are just weary of the apparent indifference and disregard being displayed by Bord na Mona at every turn.

This latest decision is causing real hurt to many families who for a long time have been engaged in a traditional and cherished past time. They want to see the practice retained and their rights respected, and this is what I feel Bord na Mona should be doing with its time instead of sending curt, legalistic and blunt letters. It is the very least the company could do in terms of extending a meaningful gesture of goodwill to the turf cutters.”

Deputy Nolan said: “Offering them an email address to contact if they had any problem with the denial of rights to access the bogs was not the way to go about building up understanding or positive engagement. For many it is yet another instance of the inability of Bord na Mona to fully appreciate the kind of emotional and cultural investment that many families have in the bogs; an investment that goes way beyond the financial or legal aspects of this entire debate.”

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