Farmers are “losing patience” as their concerns around bog rewetting and flooding remain unanswered, independent TD for Laois-Offaly, Carol Nolan has said.

Deputy Nolan said farmers need to be guaranteed that their farms and livelihoods will be protected and supported in the event of flooding from the rewetting process.

Bord na Móna (BNM) plans to rewet 33,000ha in over 80 bogs, after having ceased peat production on all their bogs, by creating soggy peatland conditions.

The company said that, “generally, drains shared with landowners will not be altered”, and that where blocking of a shared drain causes an adjoining land to flood, this will be “avoided”.

However, the deputy believes farmers are “losing patience” at the “unwillingness or inability” of BNM and Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan to provide written guarantees.


The deputy was speaking after engaging with farmers in Co. Offaly, and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) following a decision by Minster Ryan to not attend a public meeting on the issue in Tullamore.

The bogs subject to BNM’s rewetting programme are located at a number of sites throughout the midlands region, according to Deputy Nolan.

Having requested the company’s CEO Tom Donnellan to provide a written agreement to farmers who have land adjacent to or within the vicinity of any bog subject to rewetting almost two years ago, she said:

“That has not happened despite the ongoing potential for flooding which may emerge as part of the rewetting process. Farmers in Offaly and beyond are, quite rightly, extremely annoyed about that.

“I accept that there has been some degree of consultation and that some hydrological risk assessments have been undertaken.

“But the fact remains that these gestures will offer no comfort to farmers who will remain personally and financially liable when it comes to addressing flood damage to their property and land.”

Environment minister debate farm permit proposal Eamon Ryan COP27
Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan

Minister Ryan previously said he wishes to increase rewetting targets to 80,000ha. The Climate Action Plan 2023 provides for the rehabilitation of 33,000ha of peatlands by 2025, with a further target of around 70,000ha by 2030.

Ireland’s Territorial Just Transition Plan will enable the rehabilitation of degraded wetlands across multiple sites, including raised and blanket bogs, and fens mostly in the Natura 2000 sites in the midlands region, the minister said.