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Written Answers - Special Areas of Conservation

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 755 No. 1

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 134.  Deputy Frank Feighan Information on Frank Feighan Zoom on Frank Feighan  asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  if an individual has a legal interest in one of the 53 designated sites and had not been extracting turf in the relevant five year period and is anxious to receive compensation rather than relocation will he facilitate such arrangement and pay compensation. [7445/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan In April 2011, the Government announced a redress package for those affected by the cessation of turf cutting on raised bog special areas of conservation. The package offers qualifying turf cutters the option of a financial payment of €1,000 per year, index linked, over 15 years or, where feasible, relocation to non-designated bogs, where they can continue to cut turf. Those wishing to relocate can avail of the financial payment or the delivery of cut turf while relocation sites are identified and prepared. The costs of acquiring and preparing relocation sites will be met by the State.

One of the qualifying criteria for this Cessation of Turf Cutting Compensation Scheme is that the claimant must have been cutting turf on the lands in question in the relevant five year period. If an individual has a legal interest in one of the 53 designated sites and had not been extracting turf in the relevant five year period, my Department is willing to examine the feasibility of relocating such interests to alternative non-designated bogs. It is not proposed to make the financial payment in such cases.


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