Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has welcomed news that legislation relating to the de-designation of raised bog Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs) was passed through the Dáil on Thursday, December 13th.
“Over the last 18 months, I have pressed for this legislation to be brought forward as bogs were left in limbo as they were taken out of designation, but the legal status wasn’t applied to them.
“I want to thank other TDs who assisted me in pushing this legislation into the Dáil over the past few months.
“An amendment brought forward by Deputy Éamon 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 thanked everyone involved in the passing of the legislation but reserved a special word of thanks for Deputy Sean Canney who helped him to introduce the legislation into the Dáil.
Concluding, Deputy Fitzmaurice said: “This legislation will allow farmers to farm areas which were previously classed as designated.
“We had to keep this issue on the agenda, as unfortunately it was forced to take a back seat for a while. But now the legislation has just passed through the Dáil and it will be in the Seanad in the New Year – and hopefully it will be signed off in the coming months.
“This is a step forward in the right direction. The constructive work carried out between the Turf Cutters and Contractors’ Association (TCCA) and the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) must also be acknowledged at this stage,” he said.
The local sites proposed for de-designation are Bella Bridge Bog, Roscommon; Cornaveagh Bog, Roscommon; Derrycanan Bog, Roscommon; Lisnanarriagh Bog, Roscommon; Lough Namucka Bog, Galway/Roscommon; Suck River Callows, Galway/Roscommon and Tullaghan Bog, Roscommon. Carrickynaghtan Bog in Co. Roscommon has been proposed for partial de-designation.