A protest near a bog designated as a Special Area of Conservation in Co Galway has ended without incident.

Around 50 people gathered at a roadway leading to the bog amid concerns that machinery used to cut turf may be seized.

Ardgraigue bog near Killimor is one of 53 bogs where a ban on turf cutting is in place.

Yesterday, turf was cut on banks belonging to more than 50 local people.

The process began at 5am and was completed by early afternoon and four machines were used.

It is the first time turf has been cut on the bog this year.

Gardaí said they were maintaining a presence in the area and monitoring the situation.

There were no incidents at the scene and no arrests were made.

Under the terms of the European Habitats Directive, a number of raised bogs have been declared as Special Areas of Conservation and a turf-cutting ban on these bogs was introduced in 2011.

Compensation is available for those who abide by the ban.

Thirteen of the bogs in question are located in Co Galway.