Cllr Sean McGowan has asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltach Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan to revisit the issue of a blanket bank on turf cutting. Speaking at the recent monthly meeting. Cllr McGowan received unanimous support for his notice of motion calling for further amendment of the legislation to “allow bog owners and turf cutters the right to continue to harvest turf as their main source of fuel”.
The Fianna Fail party whip pointed out that there are four National Heritage Area sites (NHAs) in Co Leitrim which will be directly affected by the ban. The areas are Cashel Bog, Corracramph Bog, Cloonageeher Bog and the bogs along the Rinn river; there are a further two NHAs which straddle the Leitrim/Longford border; Aghnamona Bog and Wooddown Bog which will also be affected by the ban.
Addressing the Council Cllr McGowan noted the ban, which is due to come into effect at the end of 2013, would result in an almost total cessation of turf cutting in the south Leitrim area and will cause a lot of anger within communities who have been harvesting turf on their bogs for generations.
“Amendments have to be made as this will be very detrimental for the families affected and with rising heating costs this will also have serious financial implications for those impacted,” he said.