Any future decisions made by Government on turf must be fully supported by Fine Gael Ministers, TDs and Senators, Deputy Michael Ring has said.
“Fine Gael is working across Government to ensure a fair resolution on the proposals for the sale and distribution of turf.
“We are working to protect the rights of people who cut and use turf across the country where it is heavily relied on as a fuel source.”
The Mayo TD dismissed suggestions that future Government decisions on turf would be rushed through by Transport Minister Eamon Ryan during the Summer.
“There will be no decision agreed by Fine Gael on this issue until our parliamentary party, our Ministers, TDs, Senators and MEPs, have an opportunity to meet in person and discuss it. This is the position of our party leader, Leo Varadkar and we fully back him on it,” Deputy Ring said.
“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.
“Turf use is on the decline and those who rely on it should not face any obstacles in sourcing or supplying it. Anyone who has spent a day in a bog with the midges knows, to cut, foot, collect, store and distribute sods of turf is back breaking as it is. Let’s not make it any harder.
“But let’s face facts too and facts spell out the reality here. The use of turf is needed now and will be needed into the future. There are no alternatives sources readily available to replace turf”, said Deputy Ring.