News that the Just Transition Commissioner Kieran Mulvey is to engage with peat harvesting contractors, with recommendations due to be sent back to government, has been welcomed by Offaly TD Barry Cowen.

Commenting on the matter, deputy Cowen said: “I had asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications [Eamon Ryan] to meet with the industry to allow them make recommendations for a fair and equitable Just Transition which adequately compensates and offers financial incentives to provide alternatives for this industry.

“The Just Transition Commissioner has been charged with working to develop, mobilise, and deliver opportunities for the midlands for both those directly affected by the move away from peat harvesting and the wider community.

I have been informed that as part of his role, the commissioner has been asked to meet with those affected and to make recommendations on actions or measures that he believes could assist in the Just Transition.

Continuing, the Fianna Fáil TD said: “The Just Transition concept was always one which included the willingness to support, compensate and assist those impacted greatest with tools, incentives and supports to fund access and innovate in efforts to provide alternatives.

“The horticulture sector is one such sector which falls into this category and I am relieved to see my suggestion of immediate engagement to initiate solution-based recommendations reverting back to government as soon as possible,” deputy Cowen concluded.