Green Party bogged down again

De Facto

BACKLASH Green Party leader Eamon Ryan wants to ban the sale of turf under new solid fuel regulations.


De Facto
Liamy MacNally

When will the Green Party stop bullying people? Claiming their daft notions are for the common good and health of the nation are a national joke. They urged us to use our south-facing windows to grow lettuce, arrange village car pools (and use a bicycle to get to the nearest available car), take the foot off the pedal to conserve petrol and have shorter showers to save heat.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan lost the plot completely with his notion of banning the sale of turf. From September people ‘will not be permitted to place it on the market for sale or distribution to others’. When there was a kickback he quickly smart-ass purred that grannies won’t be jailed.
Back-peddling is an art form for the Greens. They became world masters of it during the Corrib Gas shenanigans. They posed with the Rossport Five every chance they could get until they got into Government. They then disappeared, alongside their short-lived loyalty.
The nonsense emanating from the Greens since they entered Government is unbecoming of political leadership. Their careless talk actually causes stress, especially to older people. Such scare tactics are a form of bullying. Eamon Ryan and his cohorts should really think twice about the kind of drivel they pedal.
Ireland has a different relationship and tradition with turf than most EU countries. That must be respected. EU membership is not all about blending into a mix and losing identity but about respecting differences. Ireland can find other ways to become carbon neutral besides turning us into a theme park to please a D4-EU-pleasing mentality with no awareness of ‘a day on the bog’. That FF and FG even allowed this notion to be promulgated is beyond belief.
According to the Farming Independent last October, “Almost 40,000t of peat was imported into Ireland from eight different countries during the first seven months of this year, (2021) new data reveals. The Department of Agriculture data, obtained by this publication, includes peat imported for fuel (peat briquettes) and peat imported for use in the horticulture sector.
“It shows that between January and July this year a total of 39,443t of peat (to the value of €6.7m) was imported into Ireland, this compares to 10,437t of peat (to a value of €3.2m) imported over the 12-month period of 2020 – marking an almost 300pc increase. The countries of origin for the peat imported up to July this year include: Northern Ireland (36,714t), the Netherlands (1,112t), Great Britain (901t), Germany (415t), Lithuania (214t), Ukraine (55t), Belarus (22t), plus 9t imported from an unknown non-EU country.  
“The Department also confirmed that no phytosanitary checks were carried out on the imports to certify that the peat was free from harmful pests and diseases as ‘no such requirement’ on the movement of peat exists within the EU.”
While bogs are great for capturing carbon one must ask the carbon cost of importing tonnes of peat to be delivered by fleets of diesel trucks around the country.
Michael Fitzmaurice, Galway-Roscommon Independent TD, and Chair of the Turfcutters and Contractors Association, said Eamon Ryan’s proposal could see turf-cutters being treated like drug-dealers.
Speaking to Agriland he said: “Are we going down the road where if a person with an elderly neighbour supplies them with a load of turf for free or at cost they could be done for distributing turf? Are we really going to label generous neighbours the same way we do drug dealers: possession with intent to supply? I don’t believe Minister Ryan thinks this move will protect the rights of turf cutters nor can he honestly believe it will save lives. He is being barefaced in his insincerity.”
Laois-Offaly Independent TD, Carol Nolan, said: “Are we really at the stage where a rural family with a sign outside their property advertising the sale of a few bags of turf are to be treated as eco-criminals?”
Current Government policy guarantees increased Sinn Féin membership. Leadership is needed to tackle Government price-gouging, with exorbitant levies and taxes on electricity, fuel and carbon tax. That talk has gone quiet because our attention has been diverted. Stupidity does most damage to the environment.