More options sought for farmers forced to stop turf cutting

IFA has called for more options for farmers who are being forced to cease turf cutting on designated SAC raised bogs.

IFA has called for more options for farmers who are being forced to cease turf cutting on designated SAC raised bogs.

Speaking following a meeting with the Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan, IFA SAC Project Chairman Padraig Divilly said that every effort must be made to ensure that those who have been denied their turf cutting rights, are given various options to deal with their situation.

Mr Divilly told Minister Deenihan that the compensation package of €1,000 must be increased to €2,000 for the lifetime of the bog, and not 15 years, as currently proposed.

He added that relocation should be put in place in certain instances however he acknowledged that it was likely to be limited as farmers will have to travel long distances in some cases.

The IFA welcomed the option of a turf purchase scheme but this must also be seen as a long term measure and not for a three or four period as mentioned by the Minister last week.

IFA has secured a commitment that the closing date for the bog compensation package will be extended and applications will still be accepted after October 31, 2011