Written answers

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Turf Cutting Compensation Scheme Data

Photo of Denis NaughtenDenis Naughten (Roscommon-Galway, Independent)
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275. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of turf cutters displaced on each designated bog in which turf cutting has ceased in tabular form; the number who took compensation; the number who sought relocation; the number awaiting relocation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50560/19]

Photo of Josepha MadiganJosepha Madigan (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael)
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Significant efforts have been made by the State to resolve the issue of the protection of Ireland’s raised bog special areas of conservation and natural heritage areas within the framework of the EU Habitats Directive. This has included the establishment of the Peatlands Council, intensive and on-going engagement with turf cutting interests, the farming community, non-governmental organisations and with the European Commission, as well as the establishment of a long-term compensation scheme for affected turf cutters.

The cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme was established in 2011 for active turf cutters arising from the cessation of turf cutting on raised bog special areas of conservation and was extended in 2014 to include natural heritage areas. This scheme is applicable to turf cutters who have been affected by the designation of raised bogs as special areas of conservation and natural heritage areas and who fulfil the qualifying criteria of the scheme. It is comprised of a payment of €1,500 per annum, index-linked, for 15 years, or relocation, where feasible, to a non-designated bog, together with a legal agreement payment of €500.

2,569 applicants are regularly receiving annual payments under the scheme. There are other affected turf cutters, who may qualify under the scheme, who have not yet applied, and it remains open for these turf cutters to apply.

While applicants are waiting for relocation sites to be investigated, prepared and developed, they may, on an interim basis, opt for the annual payment of €1,500 (index-linked) or opt to receive an annual supply of up to 15 tonnes of cut turf delivered to their homes. To date, 1,150 deliveries of turf have been made to applicants.

Of the 2,569 applicants regularly receiving annual payments under the scheme, 263 have applied for relocation to a non-designated bog

Relocation of turf cutters is a complex process. Notwithstanding this, progress in relocation has been achieved in a number of cases and 72 turf cutters from 11 raised bog designated sites have been relocated to non-designated bogs. A further 4 relocation sites in counties Galway, Roscommon and Westmeath, which will accommodate up to 54 turf cutters, have been developed by my Department and are scheduled to be operational from 2020. Relocation sites for a further 6 special areas of conservation have been identified by the Department and are at various stages of development. These could accommodate up to approximately 50 turf cutters. The Department is still investigating suitable relocation sites for a further 7 raised bog special areas of conservation.

For certain designated sites, where a suitable relocation site has not been identified or where the identified relocation site cannot accommodate all applicants who have opted for relocation, the 15 year compensation under the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme (less any annual payments or the value of turf deliveries received) has been made available to them in the form of a lump sum to enable them to source and purchase bog plots themselves. 61 turf cutters have availed of this option from 8 special areas of conservation and 3 natural heritage areas.

For a number of the protected sites, the non-designated site identified may not be suitable or may not have the capacity to cater for the number of turf cutters who may wish to relocate there. In such cases and within the framework of the National Raised Bog Special Areas of Conservation Management Plan 2017-2022, the Department, in consultation with turf cutter representatives, is considering the available options in terms of relocation and the provisions of the Habitats Directive to provide for turf cutting with certain areas of raised bog special areas of conservation. 14 sites are under consideration for the possible application of article 6 of the Directive.

Details on the number of applicants regularly receiving annual payments under the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme and the number who have applied for relocation are set out in the following table.

Cessation of Turf Cutting Compensation Scheme

Site Code
Site Name
County of Bog
Number of applicants regularly receiving annual payments
Number of applicants regularly receiving annual payments who have applied for relocation
000006 Killyconny Bog (Cloghbally) cSAC Roscommon
000221 Moorfield Bog/Farm Cottage NHA Galway 13 0
000229 Ballygar Bog NHA Galway
000231 Barroughter Bog cSAC Galway 94 25
000235 Bracklagh Bog NHA Galway
000248 Cloonmoylan Bog cSAC Galway 101 0
000280 Castle Ffrench West Bog NHA Galway
000281 Keeloges Bog NHA Galway 20 0
000285 Kilsallagh Bog cSAC Galway 61 7
000296 Lisnageeragh Bog and Ballinstack Turlough cSAC Galway 15 2
000297 Lough Corrib cSAC Galway 111 0
000301 Lough Lurgeen Bog/Glenamaddy Turlough cSAC Galway 23 4
000307 Lough Tee Bog NHA Galway
000321 Raford River Bog NHA Galway 25 1
000326 Shankill West Bog cSAC Galway
000333 Anna More Bog NHA Kerry 12 0
000391 Ballynafagh Bog cSAC Kildare 21 6
000422 Aghnamona Bog NHA Leitrim
000440 Lough Ree cSAC Roscommon 336 63
000497 Flughany Bog cSAC Mayo/Sligo 11 0
000565 Clonydonnin Bog NHA Westmeath 30 0
000566 All Saints Bog and Esker cSAC Offaly
000572 Clara Bog cSAC Offaly 45 2
000580 Mongan Bog cSAC Offaly
000581 Moyclare Bog cSAC Offaly 15 0
000585 Sharavogue Bog cSAC Offaly
000592 Bellanagare Bog cSAC Roscommon 182 10
000595 Callow Bog cSAC Roscommon 92 5
000597 Carrowbehy/Caher Bog cSAC Roscommon
000600 Cloonchambers Bog cSAC Roscommon 21 1
000604 Derrinea Bog cSAC Roscommon
000614 Cloonshanville Bog cSAC Roscommon
000640 Arragh More Bog NHA Tipperary 27 0
000641 Ballyduff/Clonfinane Bog cSAC Tipperary
000642 Ballymacegan Bog NHA Tipperary
000647 Kilcarren-Firville Bog cSAC Tipperary
000674 Ballynagrenia and Ballinderry Bog NHA Westmeath 63 2
000677 Cloncrow Bog (New Forest) NHA Westmeath
000684 Lough Derravaragh NHA Westmeath 12 0
000694 Wooddown Bog NHA Westmeath 18 0
000937 Scohaboy Bog NHA Tipperary 50 3
000993 Ayle Lower Bog NHA Clare
001227 Aughrim Bog NHA Galway 13 0
001242 Carrownagappul Bog cSAC Galway 59 3
001244 Castle Ffrench East Bog NHA Galway
001254 Derrinlough Bog NHA Galway 17 1
001405 Cashel Bog (Leitrim) NHA Leitrim 11 0
001450 Mount Jessop Bog NHA Longford
001580 Girley Bog NHA Meath 16 0
001623 Carrickynaghtan Bog NHA Roscommon 38 0
001812 Lough Garr NHA Westmeath
001818 Lough Forbes Complex cSAC Longford
002033 Daingean Bog NHA Offaly 13 0
002110 Corliskea/Trien/Cloonfelliv Bog cSAC Galway/Roscommon 80 7
002298 River Moy cSAC Mayo/Ros/Sligo 21 0
002331 Mouds Bog cSAC Kildare 139 62
002332 Coolrain Bog cSAC Laois 55 13
002333 Knockacoller Bog cSAC Laois 18 5
002336 Carn Park Bog cSAC Westmeath 45 2
002337 Crosswood Bog cSAC Westmeath 59 2
002338 Drumalough Bog cSAC Roscommon 18 1
002339 Ballynamona Bog and Corkip Lough cSAC Roscommon 60 1
002340 Moneybeg and Clareisland Bogs cSAC Westmeath 69 2
002341 Ardagullion Bog cSAC Longford 23 0
002342 Mount Hevey Bog cSAC Meath/Westmeath 38 2
002343 Tullaher Lough and Bog cSAC Clare 31 0
002346 Brown Bog cSAC Longford
002347 Camderry Bog cSAC Galway 14 6
002348 Clooneen Bog cSAC Longford 12 1
002349 Corbo Bog cSAC Roscommon 49 6
002350 Curraghlehanagh Bog cSAC Galway 33 5
002351 Moanveanlagh Bog cSAC Kerry 28 0
002352 Monivea Bog cSAC Galway 49 4
002353 Redwood Bog cSAC Tipperary 73 0
002355 Hawkswood Bog NHA Offaly
002356 Ardgraigue Bog cSAC Galway 22 0
Grand Total 2569 263

Please note that where sites have small numbers of applicants, detailed information has not been shown as doing so risks disclosing personal information relating to the applicants. However, this data has been included in the total figures.


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