Michael Healy-Rae has confirmed that he is opposing a nationwide ban the government is reportedly planning to introduce on the sale of all smoky fuels.
The government is set to ban coal, peat briquettes, sod turf and wet wood, on a phased basis, according to the Business Post.
The proposed ban will be contained in the government’s Clean Air Strategy. This is due to be published in early 2021.
The publication reports that the government is considering the ban “amid ongoing concerns about the health effects of air pollution”.
Michael Healy-Rae on proposed smoky fuel ban
Reacting the news, a member of the Healy-Rae family, Jackie Healy-Rae, has created a petition. The councillor is urging the public to “be active in protesting any new proposed changes to the non-burning of turf”.
Shedding light on the matter on Facebook, his father, Michael Healy-Rae, said:
“The government are moving ahead with trying to ban the sale of all coal, briquettes, turf and what they call wet timber. I am totally opposed to this and will fight this in the Dáil and I’m asking everyone to oppose it too.”
“I want the people of Kerry and beyond to know and understand this is what the government want to ban and make it illegal to sell, bales of briquettes, bags of coal and turf.”
Oppose proposed ban
“Firstly, there are many people who rely on this fuel to keep themselves and their homes warm. There are also people who make a living out of delivering coal, briquettes and coal to houses.”
“They are the people, remember, who horse bags of coal upstairs, out into backyards, into homes in housing estates and out in the countryside. They take care of people, particularly older people.”
“Now, if we are going to be stopped from selling these products, just remember, you’re not very far away then from saying to people ‘it will be illegal for you to go into a bog and to cut turf, it will be illegal for you to cut timber’. As it is, as well, they don’t want people in the future to sell what they call wet timber.”
“I want people to know this. I want people to realise this will be like the water charges, in my opinion.”
Concluding, he said that every politician and person in the state should “completely and absolutely” oppose the proposed ban.