Following a case study in County Westmeath which involved an extraction area of approximately 200ha with no planning permissions the need for a national assessment became apparent. To assess current knowledge of the extent of peat extraction in the Republic of Ireland FIE wrote to 26 county councils. Offaly County Council had planning records of peat extraction by Bord na Mona. Other than this all replies to date show no records are held by the County Councils. FIE campaigned at a National Level for controls to be put in place but have had no success.
Therefore in June of 2010 FIE lodged an Infrignement Complaint and a Petition. This petition was heard by the E.U. Petitions Committee in Brussels on 22nd November 2011 and FIE made a presentation (11.4 Mb). We also provided information to the E.U. Commision in relation to peat extraction in designated sites. This information is being used in proceedings against Ireland.
In March of 2011, FIE requested that the European Court apply Interim Measures against Ireland for its ongoing failure to protect bogs designated under the Habitats Directive. Only 1% of Ireland's raised bogs remain, and 1⁄3 rd of them have been destroyed in the last 10 years. FIE is in the process (May 2011) of gathering further information on these ongoing destructions.