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Tipperary Displaced Turf Cutters Compensation Doubled

Machined Turf Cutting

The deadline for compensation for displaced turf cutters has been extended and the money being offered has doubled, after fewer than half of the 1,500 people affected by an EU directive on Special Environmental Conservation Areas, had applied to join the scheme.

Three areas affected by this EU directive here in Co. Tipperary include Ballyduff/Clonfinane Bog, latter found to be of International importance for nature conservation, Barroughter Bog situated on the shores of Lough Derg, a few kilometres east of Woodford, and Kilcarren-Firville Bog situated approximately 2 km east of the village of Carrigahorig in North Tipperary.

Yesterday, Arts and Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan doubled the compensation on offer for the turf cutters, thus avoiding the prospect of Ireland having to pay a €25,000 daily fine to the European Commission.

To date, less than half of the turf cutters affected have applied for State compensation nationally, which was set up last year, and approximately 63 bog owners only have been paid.

Turf cutters from 14 different counties are now being offered €2,000 in compensation this year, a once-off payment of €500 and €1,500 per year for the next 15 years. The new changes come about following pressure by the Irish Farmers Association who claim that the level of compensation being offered to turf cutters was too low. Following protests by bog owners and turf cutters in Portumna, IFA Connacht Vice President Padraic Divilly stated last July that people need to be compensated fairly if they can’t cut turf.

Mr Deenihan also extended the deadline for applications for this compensation process to the end of next month.

The compensation on offer in these identified special conservation areas is now expected to encourage bog land owners to stop cutting with immediate effect. This year alone, the enhanced compensation is expected to cost the taxpayer another €2.5million.

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