Dáil debates

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation


12:40 pm

Photo of Marian HarkinMarian Harkin (Sligo-Leitrim, Independent) | Oireachtas source

Apology accepted.

In recent weeks, 50 townlands in or near Lough Melvin, County Leitrim and 69 townlands near Templehouse in the Ox Mountains, County Sligo, were finally officially designated special areas of conservation, SACs.

That means there are approximately 37 different constraints on these lands. For example, they apply to any construction, alteration or removal of stone walls, hedgerows or fences; any widening or blocking of drains; any significant changes in livestock density or type; or any felling or planting of trees. Crucially, the carrying out of any of these activities without consent is an offence.

Initially there was reasonable compensation and up to 2008 we had the rural environment protection scheme, REPS. Austerity policies cut that and compensation under the green, low-carbon, agri-environment scheme, GLAS, and the agri-environment options scheme, AEOS, diminished. It is now virtually nothing. Will the Tánaiste reassure those affected in Sligo and Leitrim that they will be compensated for State-enforced costs?


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