Is de-designation on the cards for your local bog?

The de-designation of raised bog Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs) has recently been passed through the Dail.

Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway, Michael Fitzmaurice, welcomed the legislation relating to the de-designation of raised bog Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs) being passed.

Commenting on the matter, he said: “In 2016, it was announced that 39 NHAs that were put into Category 2 were going to be de-designated following scientific analysis.”

He also outlined that “a lot of work” was carried out by the Turf Cutters and Contractors’ Association (TCCA) in conjunction with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

He explained: “Over the last 18 months, I have pressed for this legislation to be brought forward because these bogs were left in limbo as they were being taken out of designation, but the legal status that they were de-designated wasn’t applied to them.”

Sites proposed for de-designation:
  • Annaghbeg Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Bella Bridge Bog NHA, Co. Roscommon;
  • Black Castle Bog NHA, Co. Offaly;
  • Bunnaruddee Bog NHA, Co. Kerry;
  • Capira/Derrew Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Clonreher Bog NHA, Co. Laois;
  • Cloonageeher Bog NHA, Co. Leitrim/Longford;
  • Clooncullaun Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Cloonloum More Bog NHA, Co. Clare;
  • Cloonoolish Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Cornaveagh Bog NHA, Co. Roscommon;
  • Corracramph Bog NHA, Co. Leitrim;
  • Crit Island West NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Derrycanan Bog NHA, Co. Roscommon;
  • Derrynagran Bog and Esker NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Doon Lough NHA, Co. Clare;
  • Eskerboy Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Forthill Bog NHA, Co. Longford;
  • Funshin Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Hodgestown Bog NHA, Co. Kildare;
  • Jamestown Bog NHA, Co. Meath;
  • Killaclogher Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Killeen Bog NHA, Co. Tipperary;
  • Killure Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Kilmore Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Kilnaborris Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Leaha Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Lisnanarriagh Bog NHA, Co. Roscommon;
  • Lorrha Bog NHA, Co. Tipperary;
  • Lough Namucka Bog NHA, Co. Galway/Roscommon;
  • Meeneen Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Molerick Bog NHA, Co. Meath;
  • Moorfield Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Nore Valley Bogs NHA, Co. Tipperary;
  • Nure Bog NHA, Co. Westmeath;
  • Screggan Bog NHA, Co. Offaly;
  • Slieve Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Suck River Callows NHA, Co. Galway/Roscommon;
  • Tullaghan Bog NHA, Co. Roscommon.

Deputy Fitzmaurice expressed his thanks to other TDs who assisted in pushing the legislation into the Dail over the past few months and to everyone involved in the passing of the legislation.

Continuing, he said: “It was unusual that three TDs from the west of Ireland were involved in the discussion: Minister of State, Sean Kyne; Deputy Eamon O’Cuiv; and myself.”

Sites proposed for partial de-designation:
  • Ballynagrenia and Ballinderry Bog NHA, Co. Westmeath;
  • Carrickynaghtan Bog NHA, Co. Roscommon;
  • Castle French West Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Keeloges Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Lough Tee Bog NHA, Co. Galway;
  • Rinn River NHA, Co. Leitrim/Longford;
  • River Little Brosna Callows NHA, Co. Offaly/Tipperary.

“An amendment brought forward by Deputy O’Cuiv includes a formula that gives the State an opportunity to take out parts of NHA blanket bogs that wouldn’t be functioning properly.”

The independent TD reserved a special word of thanks to Deputy Sean Canney who helped him to get this legislation brought into the Dail and to move it forward.

This legislation will allow farmers to utilise areas which were previously classed as designated.

“We had to keep this issue on the agenda, as it was forced to take a back seat for a while.

“But now the legislation will be in the Seanad in the new year and hopefully it will be signed off in the coming months.”

Concluding, Deputy Fitzmaurice said: “This is a step forward in the right direction. The constructive work carried out between the TCCA and the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) must also be acknowledged.”