FIE, who brought illegal
turf cutting in protected areas to the attention of the European Commission and
the European Parliament’s Petitions Committee in 2011, issued a short statement ‘deeply regretting’
the decision of the TCCA to withdraw from negotiations on the end to turf
cutting in protected bogs.
‘Any further cutting on
protected bogs will increase the likelihood of an emergency injunction against
the state, which would be a huge political embarrassment. We will join the ranks of Poland, Malta
the only other countries which have been the subject of applications for such
injunctions and we will run the risk of lump sum and daily fines that tax
payers can ill afford. The European Commission will not and cannot allow Ireland to set
a precedent of disregarding EU law in this way.
The Habitats Directive was negotiated and adopted unanimously by all EU
Member States, including Ireland.’