The proposed ban on the sale of turf was a source for much discussion at the recently held Westmeath County Council meeting, emotions to the fore as the divisive issue gave cause for much debate amongst elected representatives present within the council chamber.
Leading the discussion, Cathaoirleach, Cllr Frankie Keena, called for the suspension of standing orders to enable detailed discussion on the matter.
He implored his council colleague to collectively write to the Taoiseach, Deputy Michael Martin, the Tánaiste, Deputy Leo Varadkar and Minister for the Environment, Deputy Eamon Ryan, requesting that the proposal to ban the sale of turf be removed from the Cabinet table until people are suitably positioned to retrofit their homes.
Receiving support for his proposal, fellow councillors noted that the timing was ill judged with the cost of living continuing to increase and a fuel crisis impacting on the finance of households within the county.
Local Green Party members, Cllr Louise Heavin and Cllr Hazel Smyth noted that the letter to government include a counter proposal call for the development of a peatland strategy for the country, highlighting the necessity to cut back on greenhouse emissions and preserve bogs.
The Cathaoirleach’s proposal was unanimously carried courtesy of a 16 vote to two success.