Mountbellew bog relocation can be replicated – Connaughton

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Fine Gael TD for Galway East, Paul J Connaughton, has welcomed the successful relocation of bog plots from a closed SAC bog near Mountbellew to a new bog also in Killasolan near Mountbellew. Deputy Connaughton, whose family is among the bog owners affected, met with other families on the turf bank that they are relocating to earlier today (Thursday).

“This afternoon, turf bank owners from Carrownagappul and Rushestown bogs met at their new bog at Killasolan, Mountbellew. Work is currently underway on the Bord na Móna owned bog to ensure that it is ready for turf cutting next year. Earlier today the local turf bank owners went along to view the work and see the area where they will be spreading their turf in 2013.

“They were joined on the bank by Conor Skehan, Chairperson of the Irish Peatlands Council, and Gerry McNally from Bord na Móna. Also present were Conor O’Raghallaigh, Director of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and other members of his staff. Their co-operation was invaluable in getting the contracts signed.

“What happened in terms of relocation in the Mountbellew area can be replicated in many areas around the country, although there are cases, such as the Barroughter/Clonmoylan bog in south Galway, where bog is not available in the immediate locality. Those who took up the offer of relocating enjoy the right to cut turf on the Bord na Móna owned bog for 65 years.

“While many people have opted for the compensation package, many more with turf banks on closed bogs want to keep cutting turf and the relocation option is a viable option that should be explored in more cases.

“We regard today’s events as a bittersweet occasion. Nobody likes leaving their own bog, but in the circumstances, this relocation project has become a viable option for us.”