The TCCA have learned that the Government have earmarked 5 bogs for flooding or “rewetting” as they are calling it. Turf cutters from Lisnageeragh in Galway, Cloonchambers in West Roscommon, Moanveanlough in Kerry, Clara in Offally and Mouds bog in Kildare met in Athlone on Monday night, 9th Sept, to discuss a plan of action. It is the TCCAs understanding, from letters received by turf cutters, that consultants will in the next 6 weeks be attempting to speak to landowners and turbary right holders about their plan. It is, we understand, part of a process to acquire further EU life funding.
The TCCA believe that such plans are premature at best and downright dangerous at worst. No agreement has been reached with the majority of affected turf cutters on relocation or otherwise. The NPWS are putting the cart before the horse. In fact the horse hasn’t even been born yet. It is clear from the documentation which was signed up to by those who took the final compensation package that they have also signed away the right to even be consulted with. Those who signed up must now face the uncertain future of the possibility of being liable for damage caused to neighbouring turf banks, neighbouring lands and livestock. They have also seriously devalued their property. Those who advised them to sign up to this package now have some serious questions to answer.
TCCA members at the meeting in Athlone were unanimous in their opinion that they will not be engaging with the consultants and that if any attempt is made to flood their lands then they will be resisted. We have long warned that there are serious and significant consequences to signing up to the compensation scheme. It is a good thing that many have resisted. If they hadn’t, the battle we now face on the attempted flooding of our lands would have been lost. The TCCA will update people as the situation develops.