Written Answers - Natural Heritage Areas

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 751 No. 1

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  474.  Deputy James Bannon  Information on James Bannon  Zoom on James Bannon   asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht  Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan   when a person (details supplied) in County Longford will receive payment due for the sale of their bog which is outstanding since May 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41034/11]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  The land referred to by the Deputy is located in a Natural Heritage Area (NHA) designated in 2004.

In 2010, the then Government decided that turf-cutting should come to an end on raised bog NHAs at the end of 2013. However, the current Programme for Government contains an undertaking to review the situation with regard to turf cutting on NHAs. On 15 April 2011, the Government made a number of decisions in relation to turf cutting in Ireland, including the putting in place of a compensation package for those who are required to cease cutting, the establishment of a Peatlands Council and the drawing up of a national strategy on peatland conservation and management. In the context of the national strategy, the position regarding raised bog NHAs, which are protected under national legislation, will be examined in advance of the 2014 cutting season in accordance with the Programme for Government.

My Department is giving priority to putting in place the compensation requirements in relation to the cessation of cutting on the 53 raised bog Special Areas of Conservation. In the circumstances, and in light of the decision to review the approach to these areas more generally, the issue of any further purchase of land/rights in NHA bogs, including the land referred to, is being kept under review.


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