European Commission Ramps up its Threat Against Rural Ireland and Turf Cutters

Recreating the days of the Meitheal: Cutting turf on Ennismore Bog near Finuge on a Saturday morning in 2006 were from left: Jack Griffin, Ballyegan, Lisselton; Paul Kennelly, Finuge; Mike Joe Thornton, Irremore and Fr. Pat Moore, PP Duagh and Lyreacrompane.                                                        ©Photograph: John Reidy 8-7-2006

The Irish Times reports today that the European Commission says dialogue with Ireland on the bog issue has been ‘long’, having started in 2011.

The commission has stepped up the pace of its action against Ireland because of the State’s failure to halt the cutting of peat within Special Areas of Conservation.

“The commission has told the Government it must take action within two months to end cutting in such areas, or face a case at the European Court of Justice,” according to the report by Tim O’Brien.

Cost of Electricity Out of Control

The cost of electricity is galloping out of control and the government, it seems, is helpless to halt the shameless gallop of the energy providers.

Households are reverting to solid fuel for cooking and heating purposes and many are left without an option.

For these people the commission’s threats come as yet another blow to the population of rural Ireland.

Few would argue that there is a case to be made for the banning of modern machinery on bogs as a complete incongruity.

A Slean of Turf

There was a time when cutting a bank of turf was a form of rural art and it was something to take pride in.

Isn’t it reported that Patrick O’Keeffe, presumably with a piece of a stick, wrote a few lines of a tune on the face of a bog after a day’s cutting – known locally as a slean of turf.

The bog meitheal is as good as gone now and the pride in the work with it. There’s no suggestion here that we should go on doing blindly what out forefathers did and we must all play our part in maintaining and providing a better environment.

However, this bit of bullying from the EC will not go down well here in the ‘light’ of the fact that so many people will turn to what they always used in times of economic crisis. To be able to boil a kettle and to allow families to feed themselves, people will find ways and means

Mogul Infested Waters

This is a time when we’re being mercilessly herded into energy mogul infested waters where the banks at the opposite side are high and slippery and insurmountable to all but the strongest – and turning back is not an option.

There are people talking about a water charges type of protest and taking to the streets again. It’s the kind of bullying statement like this one from the EC that could just be the tipping point. And the straws in the wind now are that everyone you talk to is worried and wondering why, once they’ve herded us,  we’re being abandoned and left at the mercy of the market and the moguls.

See The Irish Times report in full with a click on the link here:

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