A Fine Gael TD said that his party is fully committed to ensuring there will be no end to traditional turf practices.

Following a meeting with Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, Deputy Michael Ring said that Fine Gael is “doing everything” to ensure families and communities which rely on turf to heat their homes are respected and protected.

A spokesperson for Minister Ryan said that under planned restrictions, there will be no ban on the gifting or sharing of turf for those with harvesting rights.

The minister is proposing to sign off on the changes, which he said are required to reduce the air pollution caused by the burning of solid fuel, from September.

However, it remains unclear if the Green Party leader’s government partners will agree to this timeline.


Fine Gael TD Michael Ring said that his party is working for “a fair resolution” on the proposals that will protect the rights of people in rural Ireland.

“I fully understand the stress and worry this issue has caused many people, and we are doing everything we can to resolve it. Myself and my colleagues are fully committed to ensuring there will be no end to traditional turf practices.

“Fine Gael has, and will continue to, protect the rights of people in rural Ireland while also ensuring all communities play their part in responding to the climate challenge,” the Mayo TD stated

Deputy Ring said that retrofitting of homes will be a key measure in reducing energy use but noted the National Retrofitting Scheme only began in February of this year.

“The immense scale of the works required to retrofit homes inevitably means time is needed for the transition.

“Solutions such as fast-tracking the provision of retrofitting solutions to certain communities that have a higher level of peat use should be examined.

“But let’s face facts too and facts spell out the reality here. The use of turf is needed now and will be needed long into the future. There are no alternatives sources readily available to replace turf,” Ring continued.


“People have been cutting, selling, and buying turf for generations. It is an integral part of our way of life in many areas of rural Ireland.

“While we need to improve our air quality and protect public health, we must acknowledge the reality that the use of turf only contributes to a very small proportion of air quality problems.

“Any decision made by government on this issue must have the backing of Fine Gael ministers, TDs and senators. We will be meeting with Minister Ryan again to discuss the issue over the coming weeks,” the TD said.

The Fine Gael TD also hit out at Sinn Féin politicians whom he claimed are “continuing to speak out both sides of their mouths”.

“They’re trying to please everyone by both opposing carbon tax increases yet calling for more action and investment in the fight against climate change.

“They want it every way apart from having to make hard decisions. They are the definition of hypocrites,” Deputy Ring said.