Turf cut on protected sites in west and midlands

Saturday 29 June 2013 22.07
Over 30 turf cutters gathered at a bog at Kilteevan near Roscommon town
Over 30 turf cutters gathered at a bog at Kilteevan near Roscommon town

There have been a number of incidents on bogs in the midlands and the west today, with turf cut on protected sites.

Gardaí maintained a presence at Monivea bog in Co Galway all day where around 100 people gathered to cut turf in defiance of the EU Habitats Directive.

Bog owners say more than 70 banks of were cut during the course of the day, but turf-cutting equipment has now been taken away.

Under the 1992 Habitats Directive, the 53 Special Areas of Conservation were designated between 1997 and 2002.

Local bog owners who oppose the ban were joined by supporters from Counties Galway, Clare and Roscommon.

Earlier today, gardaí left a bog at Kilteevan, Co Roscommon where they were denied access to turf cutting on protected sites.

A spokesperson said gardaí had gathered information and their investigation would continue.

Pete Gillooly from the Turf Cutters and Contractors Association told RTÉ the local turf cutters were cutting on the site today because they had been offered no alternative sites to cut turf on despite commitments.

Keywords: turf