Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan has said there will be further court cases if turf cutters continue to defy a European Union directive in relation to designated bogs.

On RTÉ's Prime Time Mr Deenihan said the European Commission has issued a letter saying it had run out of patience and would injunct Ireland.

He said it was European law transposed into Irish law and that Ireland could be fined €9m a year.

Asked about sanctions Mr Dennihan said: "This matter will be decided in the courts, not on the bogs and the guards were out there collecting evidence.”

“Obviously if there are further infringements of this law, there will be further cases."

On the same programme, Michael Fitzmaurice, chairperson of the Turf Cutters and Contractors Association said there had been no relocation of bogs as promised by the Government and that an unjust law had to be opposed.