A reasonable solution has been found on the turf issue, a Fine Gael senator has said.
Senator Garret Ahearn said, “Today the government found a reasonable solution to the land issue. I am pleased that the revised bylaw protects traditional turf cutting practices and allows those who have traditionally cut, shared and sold turf to continue to do so. It is so important to many communities in Tipperary.
“I recognize the effect of poor air quality on people’s health and well-being and look forward to the role these regulations will play in helping to improve air quality and public health.
“However, we have to make sure that we don’t stop customs that go back centuries, when people have no other alternatives.
“The revised regulations allow those with land rights and all ‘customary rights’ to cut, burn, share and sell turf, as long as it is not sold in a retail setting, public place , through the media or online. There is no ban on burning grass by anyone in the country. The previously discussed restriction on use only in towns or villages with 500 inhabitants has also been removed.
“I am happy that we were able to reach this agreement with our government partners. We are confident that this solution will protect and extend the current ban on smoked charcoal, while allowing traditional practices to continue.
“The government has also put in place a series of policies and measures to support households at risk of fuel poverty. These measures supplement low-income households through the fuel allowance, household benefits package and other payments, as well as free energy efficiency upgrades through the the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and the social housing renovation programme. This year, 58% (€203 million) of the government’s total renovation budget of €352 million will be spent on dedicated aid for energy poverty renovation and local authority renovations,” the senator concluded. Garret Ahearn.
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