Scaling back of small-scale turf sale in 2022 a step too far
- Minister announces ban from September 1st on sale of turf
- Damaging to rural counties like Clare
Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe has labelled the decision to ban the sale of turf from September as a step too far.
Minister for the Environment and Climate Action Eamon Ryan has disclosed that turf-selling will be banned from September 1st this year.
“As a west of Ireland TD, representing a very rural county, I fundamentally disagree with Minister Eamon Ryan’s proposals to further restrict turf sale,” said Deputy Crowe.
“In recent years, we have seen a huge scaling back of large-scale commercial turf cutting in the Midlands, but a continuance of small-scale turf harvesting has been permitted and bags of turf could be purchased in rural counties like Clare in shops and from local fuel merchants.
“This is a relatively small industry but an important one nonetheless in a county like Clare and with fuel poverty now very much on the increase, people should not have the option of burning turf sods taken from them this year.
“The majority of people I interact with understand climate change and the acute need to collectively, as a population, take mitigating measures to reduce their carbon output.
“People are already making huge sacrifices and I feel that Minister Ryan’s proposal, without any consultation with partners in government including Fianna Fáil is, for now, a step too far.
“We are now in the middle of April and temperatures have yet to pick up and many homes are still lighting fires at night to keep warm but the real worries for families lie in the autumn and winter months ahead when many will struggle to purchase fuels to heat their homes.
“The government has some very progressive plans to retrofit homes and improve insultation, but the surface is only being scratched here and the stark reality is hundreds of thousands of homes, particularly in the west of Ireland, will be without insulation and modern low-carbon heating systems for the next number of years.
“The move away from fossil fuels needs to be always considered in terms of where we’re at as a country in terms of developing renewal capacity and retrofitting homes.
“I’m of the firm belief that 2022 is not the time to start a further scaling back of turf cutting and I’m resolute in this opinion.”