Turf is needed “more than ever” because of the soaring cost of heating a home, Fine Gael’s Michael Ring TD has said.
Earlier in the year, Green party leader and Environment Minister Eamon Ryan said a ban on the sale of commercial turf would be introduced in September in order to improve the air quality in Ireland.
“1,300 people a year are dying prematurely in our country [from air pollution] and we can’t ignore that,” he said.
It was an announcement that outraged rural TDs from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that the Government needed to be “to be sensitive to traditional practices".
With the issue seemingly still undecided, Deputy Ring says the Tánaiste has promised his TDs that no decision will be taken during the Dáil recess:
“We’ve been guaranteed by our leader, Leo Varadkar, that there will be no decision made,” he told Newstalk.
“And what we don’t want to happen is a decision to be made during the summer months when there’s no Dáil, when there’s no Parliamentary Party meeting.
"And we have got a commitment from our leader that a full Parliamentary Party meeting with our MEPs, TDs and Senators [will be held] and everyone will be there to discuss this.”
Inflation in Ireland hit 9.6% last month and Deputy Ring said people still need turf to heat their homes affordably:
“Anybody that knows and was ever in the bog with midgets and everything else, [knows] it’s not an easy thing. It’s not something that you do lightly,” he continued.
“You do it out of necessity.
“People want their turf, people need their turf and they now need their turf more than ever with the price of fuel, the price of petrol and diesel and heating oil and briquettes and coal.
“They now need their turf more than ever.”
Main image: A man cutting turf.