Council angered over banning of turf cutting on some Mayo bogs

Mayo County Council has agreed to invite a delegation from the Turf Cutters Association to address it at the next meeting of the local authority, after a number of councillors expressed their disgust at the recent Department of Environment directive banning turf cutting on a number of Mayo bogs. Fine Gael councillor Seamus Weir proposed the invitation, saying: “I’m asking the council to invite the members to allow the Turf Cutters Association to address us in relation to how this new legislation is going to effect them and their tradition.” His party colleague Cllr Patsy O’Brien told the members: “We need the support of all the councillors on this, the amount of natural resources being stripped away at the stroke of a pen is crazy. I’d say cutting turf is the most natural thing for the people of Mayo to do, there is going to be a revolution if this isn’t stopped.”

Independent councillor Michael Holmes alleged, “Minister of Environment John Gormley had mislead the public in relation to this. He gave totally misleading information about this, he said that raised bogs wouldn’t be affected in these areas, he said it on three occasions, you are looking at the end of turbary rights. I challenged him about this in Ballycroy and again on local radio, but he didn’t answer the questions.”

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