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Written Answers - Turbary Rights

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 325. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton Information on Paul Connaughton Zoom on Paul Connaughton  asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  [420] the reason a person (details supplied) in County Galway has not received compensation to cease cutting turf on their bog; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24105/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan The land referred to by the Deputy is located in a natural heritage area designated in 2003. In 2010, the then Government decided that turf cutting should come to an end on raised bog natural heritage areas at the end of 2013. However, the current Programme for Government contains an undertaking to review the situation with regard to turf cutting on natural heritage areas. On 15 April 2011, the Government made a number of decisions in relation to turf cutting in Ireland, including the putting in place of a compensation package for those who are required to cease cutting, the establishment of a Peatlands Council and the drawing up of a national strategy on peatland conservation and management. In the context of the national strategy, the position regarding raised bog natural heritage areas, which are designated under national legislation, will be examined in advance of the 2014 cutting season in accordance with the Programme for Government. My Department is giving priority to putting in place the compensation requirements in relation to the cessation of cutting on the 53 raised bog special areas of conservation. In the circumstances, and in light of the decision to review the approach to these areas more generally, the issue of any further purchase of land or rights in natural heritage area bogs, including the land referred to, is being kept under review.

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