The Just Transition Commissioner, Kieran Mulvey, needs to be given a much more active role by the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, Michael Fitzmaurice TD has said.

Given the number of issues that have arisen when it comes to the milling of peat, the bog rehabilitation project and people who traditionally take plots of turf on Bord na Mona bogs in recent months, the Roscommon-Galway TD has called for Commissioner Mulvey to become more involved.

Speaking on the matter, Fitzmaurice said: “One would have to wonder has the Government side lined the Just Transition Commissioner, because we rarely get to hear what he is working on.

“Can Minister Ryan clarify exactly what he is supposed to be doing? Is the commissioner going to get a just transition for the ordinary people who have for years taken plots of turf on BNM bogs, or the peat operators who supply the horticultural sector – which will be craving peat in the coming months.

“As I understand it, there is a peat consultation group which has been established. One would imagine that the Just Transition Commissioner would potentially be chairing this group; but he is not even involved.

“The Just Transition Commissioner should be dealing with all of the fallout from BNM’s decision to distance itself from harvesting peat.

“As it stands, BNM is trying to drop the hatchet on up to 4,000 households who have traditionally taken plots of turf on BNM bogs around the country.

“Given Commissioner Mulvey’s experience of dealing with conflict in the Workplace Relations Commission, he is ideally qualified to assist in resolving the current standoff between BNM and the ordinary people who take plots of turf on BNM bogs.

“Everyone keeps talking about a ‘just transition’; but funnily enough, the only ones to have benefitted so far are BNM – who got in excess of €100 million – but the ordinary people have been left high and dry.

“Minister Ryan must direct the Just Transition Commissioner to become more involved in resolving these issues and real results must soon be evident,” he concluded.

For further information contact Michael Fitzmaurice at 086-1914565

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