Europe

County Galway turf protest comes to an end

Stacks of turf
Image caption The Irish government says the country risks a daily 25,000 euros fine if cutting does not cease

The 24 hour stand-off between turf-cutters and the gardaĆ­ in Co Galway has ended.

An agreement was brokered to allow representatives of the Turf Cutting Contractors' Association to remove machinery.

It had been seized on Wednesday by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

More than 150 turfcutters from all over the country had gathered in support of the demonstration near Clonmoylan bog.

The dispute began on Wednesday when representatives of the NPWS attempted to seize peat-cutting machinery, to prevent the cutting of turf on protected bogs.

Ireland is required to protect and conserve 53 raised bogs under the EU Habitats Directive.

The Irish government said the country risked a 25,000 euros fine from the European Commission every day if turf cutting did not cease on the bogs.

The Republic of Ireland is required to protect and conserve important peatland habitats on raised bogs under the EU Habitats Directive.

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