The Irish Peatland Council has said agreement has been reached with its members that no further turf will be cut on any of the 31 designated EU habitat sites on the bogs of Ireland after 2pm tomorrow.

The agreement means no more turf can be cut, but they can remove turf that has already been cut in contravention of the habitat legislation.

However, Luke 'Ming' Flanagan, TD, said there is no guarantee that that turf cutters will not be cutting on the designated bogs next year.

Mr Flanagan said alternative bogs still need to be found or a small number of the designated bogs would have to be re-designated.

Talks will continue between landowners and all other interested parties.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan TD said he welcomed the statement from the Peatland Council, which he described as a significant breakthrough in resolving the issue of turf cutting.

The Irish Turf Cutters and Contractors Association said they would not be bullied into stopping the cutting of turf on EU habitat-designated areas.