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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Opinion: Turf, and wood logs are public enemy number 1 in rural Ireland

In this article, Independent TD for Laois-Offaly, Carol Nolan, comments on new regulations on solid fuel.

The government has agreed on new draft regulations on solid fuels in Ireland, which will apply from October 31st, 2022.

They include a total ban on the sale of turf online or by any other media, including advertising in local press or from retail premises.

The new regulations also prohibit the sale of wood logs which do not have a moisture content of 25% or less. This will move to 20% with effect from September 1st, 2025.

Fuel regulations

According to a statement from Minister Eamon Ryan’s Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, any wood logs sold in larger volumes will have come with instructions for the purchaser on how to dry this wood.

In my view, most ordinary people in rural Ireland will react with bewildered incredulity at the farcical requirements and the new prohibitions being foisted upon them.

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These new regulations are a complete and utter cave-in by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael party members to a, quite frankly, bizarre nanny-state agenda that appears determined to infantilise rural Ireland.

Indeed, I would go further and suggest that what we are witnessing here is precisely the kind of creeping criminalisation that I predicted would happen over the lifetime of this government.

Turbary rights

The minister can say all he likes that people with turbary rights and all other customary practices in respect of turf will be unaffected by these draft regulations.

However, no one with an ounce of cop-on believes that this position will be maintained now that the principle has been accepted that turf, and even wood logs, for heaven’s sake, are basically public enemy number 1 in rural Ireland.

These regulations are a testament to the gullibility of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael Oireachtas members, who have been captured hook, line and sinker by an extreme Green Party agenda.

Is this really where we are at-banning little notices in shop windows for a few bags of logs or demonising people who might want to advertise their turf on their Facebook or Twitter page?

It would be absolutely laughable if the issue were not so serious.

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