Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice was left frustrated following a meeting with Bord na Mona officials and other public representatives to discuss potential solutions to allow people who traditionally cut turf on Bord na Mona bogs – but who don’t have a turbary rights – to continue doing so this year.

The follow-up meeting included public representatives from across the midlands and western region and included personnel from across all the major parties.

Speaking in the wake of the meeting, the Roscommon-Galway representative said: “During the initial meeting just over two weeks ago to discuss this matter, a number of valid proposals were put forward in an effort to come to a satisfactory resolution for all concerned.

“However, it is regrettable that Bord na Mona and its hierarchy are seemingly uninterested in finding a workable solution for the people affected.

“They prefer to highlight the supposed insignificance of the quantity of turf cut on Bord na Mona bogs, to downplay the number of households this decision will impact and to reiterate that people with turbary rights will not be unaffected.

“But the fact of the matter is that a couple of thousand households cut turf on Bord na Mona bogs each year who do not have a turbary right, many of whom have done so for years.

“It is not acceptable that these people are being left high and dry this year with very little notice.

“While Bord na Mona continue to indicate their hands are tied from a legal standpoint, I still believe there is a workable solution to be found and it is something I will be following up on.

“I am of the opinion that it would be possible for Bord na Mona to sell portions of bog to community groups in order to allow people who traditionally cut turf there to continue, even just for a few short years.

“We must remember that many farmers and landowners had to sell bog to Bord na Mona historically as a result of compulsory purchase orders. It is time now for Bord na Mona to return the favour,” Fitzmaurice concluded.

For further information contact Michael Fitzmaurice on 086-1914565

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