Proposed EU legislation regarding the rewetting of drained farm peatlands in Ireland will incite people to protest and fight the agenda being pushed upon them, if it is given the green light, according to independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.
The Roscommon-Galway representative was reacting to media reports that draft legislation outlined that drained peatland which is being farmed would be subject to restoration measures, including rewetting.
It’s alleged that 30% of that type of land would be affected by the measures by 2030, with at least a quarter of that rewetted. This would grow to 70% by 2050, with at least half rewetted supposedly. Meaning over 100,000ha of drained farmland would have to be rewetted in the next three decades.
Commenting on the matter, Fitzmaurice said: “Cromwell once said to hell or to Connacht, but now it appears as if Europe is just sending those in the west to hell.
“These measures if brought in, will heavily impact land, communities, businesses and families all along the western seaboard and out as far as the midlands.
“If farmers are curtailed from ploughing ground, which is essential for reseeding grassland, as well as potentially stopping the use of chemical inputs such as fertiliser, it will dramatically reduce the profitability of farms in those areas.
“I once visited dairy farmers around Listowel in Co. Kerry farming on drained peatland. This land was idyllic and it was running an impressive dairy operation very well. But this legislation, if it gets the go ahead, will drive these people out of business. Similar scenarios will be evident up and down the west coast.
“It is time for the people to wake up and realise the agenda which is being forced upon us by Europe.
“Efforts were made not too long ago to force people from their bogs and the people of Ireland stood their ground without wilting.
“And if Europe pushes ahead with this legislation, similar action will have to be taken. Otherwise, those of us left in rural Ireland will be left looking out a half door at a wilderness with no communities left,” he concluded.
For further information contact Michael Fitzmaurice at 086-1914565