Turf cutters are being relocated and sometimes compensated this summer as new cutting areas are being allocated.

In a Parlimentary Question, Deputy Jimmy Deenihan TD said: “Relocation is a very complex process, in terms of investigating suitable sites for turf quality and quantity, the infrastructure/drainage works required, establishing the number who can be accommodated on the site, the cost and feasibility of land purchase or lease, and possible planning and Environmental Impact Assessment requirements. In that regard, Bord na Móna has assessed in the region of 50 potential relocation sites at the request of my Department. Bord na Móna is proceeding to negotiate with landowners in relation to the purchase or long-term lease of sites.”

“Arrangements for the relocation of turf cutters to non-designated bogs have been made as regards a group from Clara Bog special area of conservation in County Offaly and a group from Carrownagappul Bog and Curraghlehanagh Bog special areas of conservation in County Galway. The group from Clara Bog commenced turf cutting at the relocation site in Killeranny, County Offaly, in June 2012, where 23 qualifying turf cutters have now been accommodated. Turf cutting for the 2013 season took place on this site in April last.”

He contends that “progress has been made” relocating turfcutters from Ballynafagh Bog special area of conservation in County Kildare to Timahoe North, County Kildare, which is in the ownership of Bord na Móna; and in moving cutters from Ballynamona Bog and Corkip Lough special area of conservation in County Roscommon to Togher, County Roscommon (also in the ownership of Bord na Móna).

A payment of €1,500, index-linked, or a supply of 15 tonnes of cut turf per annum is available for some under the cessation of turfcutting compensation scheme to applicants while awaiting relocation to non-designated bogs. More information can be found here.