Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan is reported to have told councillors in Sligo that there was no possibility of turf cutting continuing within the existing boundaries of the SACs. ‘The SACs are gone', he is reported to have said.
FIE has called on the Government to use new powers to take immediate action to block the drainage network which is currently degrading these bog lands. Immediately, after drain closure, the natural water table of the bogs will begin to rise and the habitat be gradually be restored to its natural state.
‘If this drainage is stopped, not only will the conservation process begin but by next spring most of the affected bogs will be so wet that it will be impossible to bring heavy machinery into them. Not to begin the blocking of drains now will only allow the damage to continue but will facilitate the cutters proposed illegal actions.'