Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway Michael Fitzmaurice welcomed the fact that legislation relating to the de-designation of raised bog Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs) was passed through the Dail yesterday (Thursday, December 13).

Commenting on the matter, he said: “In 2016, it was announced that 39 NHAs that were put into Category 2 following scientific analysis were going to be de-designated after a lot of work was carried out by the Turf Cutters and Contractors’ Association (TCCA) in conjunction with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

“Over the last 18 months, I have pressed for this legislation to be brought forward as these bogs were left limbo as they were being taken out of designation, but – at the same time – the legal status that they were de-designated wasn’t applied to them.

“I want to thank other TDs who assisted me in pushing this legislation into the Dail over the past few months.”

Deputy Fitzmaurice explained that the legislation brought into the Dail under the Wildlife Amendment Bill 2016 yesterday evening.

Continuing, he said: “It was unusual that three TDs from the west of Ireland were involved in the discussion – with Minister of State Sean Kyne stepping in for the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltach, Josepha Madigan, while myself and Deputy Eamon O’Cuiv situated on the opposition benches.

“An amendment brought forward by Deputy O’Cuiv includes a formula that gives the State an opportunity to take out parts of NHA blanket bogs – that would be classed as Category 2 – that wouldn’t be functioning properly.”

The independent TD wished to thank everyone involved in the passing of this legislation through the Dail. He reserved a special word of thanks for Deputy Sean Canney who helped him to get this legislation brought into the Dail and to move it forward.

Concluding, Deputy Fitzmaurice said: “This legislation will allow farmers to farm areas which were previously classed as designated.

“We had to keep this issue on the agenda, as unfortunately it was forced to take a back seat for a while. But now the legislation has just passed through the Dail and it will be in the Seanad in the New Year – and hopefully it will be signed off in the coming months.

“This is a step forward in the right direction. The constructive work carried out between the Turf Cutters and Contractors’ Association (TCCA) and the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) must also be acknowledged at this stage,” he said.

Sites Proposed for De-Designation:

  • Annaghbeg Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Bella Bridge Bog NHA, Roscommon;
  • Black Castle Bog NHA, Offaly;
  • Bunnaruddee Bog NHA, Kerry;
  • Capira/Derrew Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Clonreher Bog NHA, Laois;
  • Cloonageeher Bog NHA, Leitrim/Longford;
  • Clooncullaun Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Cloonloum More Bog NHA, Clare;
  • Cloonoolish Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Cornaveagh Bog NHA, Roscommon;
  • Corracramph Bog NHA, Leitrim;
  • Crit Island West NHA, Galway;
  • Derrycanan Bog NHA, Roscommon;
  • Derrynagran Bog and Esker NHA, Galway;
  • Doon Lough NHA, Clare;
  • Eskerboy Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Forthill Bog NHA, Longford;
  • Funshin Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Hodgestown Bog NHA, Kildare;
  • Jamestown Bog NHA, Meath;
  • Killaclogher Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Killeen Bog NHA, Tipperary;
  • Killure Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Kilmore Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Kilnaborris Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Leaha Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Lisnanarriagh Bog NHA, Roscommon;
  • Lorrha Bog NHA, Tipperary;
  • Lough Namucka Bog NHA, Galway/Roscommon;
  • Meeneen Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Molerick Bog NHA, Meath;
  • Moorfield Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Nore Valley Bogs NHA, Tipperary;
  • Nure Bog NHA, Westmeath;
  • Screggan Bog NHA, Offaly;
  • Slieve Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Suck River Callows NHA, Galway/Roscommon;
  • Tullaghan Bog (Roscommon) NHA, Roscommon.

Sites proposed for Partial De-Designation

  • Ballynagrenia and Ballinderry Bog NHA, Westmeath;
  • Carrickynaghtan Bog NHA, Roscommon;
  • Castle Ffrench West Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Keeloges Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Lough Tee Bog NHA, Galway;
  • Rinn River NHA, Leitrim/Longford;
  • River Little Brosna Callows NHA, Offaly/Tipperary.
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