But you can,t take the bog out of his speculator cronies-unless you drain it first.!
Protection for Bogs Just Lip-Service?
Many important Irish peatland sites are being destroyed although technically they are "protected" under either EU or national legislation,according to "An Taisce" newsletter February 2006. In some cases the damage to the sites has been ongoing for a number of years and yet the relevant Fianna Fail controlled councils have turned a blind eye to the the heritage vandalism by greedy land speculator- cronies of the party. The Irish Peatland Conservation Council (IPCC) is currently conducting a Peatlands Under Threat Campaign in order to tackle the issue and is calling for repairof the damage inflicted on the bogs.
Three sites in particular have been seriously damaged. At Girley Bog Natural Heritage Area (NHA) in County Meath a series of deep drains were inserted into the protected bog affecting an area of 100 acres in December 2005. These drains are seriously affecting the hydrology of the site. Not only did the developers responsible break the law under the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 but they have also breached planning laws. The 100 acres of drainage exceeds the threshold for which planning permission is required (25 acres) and the threshold for which an Environmental Impact Statement is required (74 acres). This selfish disregard for the law and for our natural heritage should not be tolerated by society.
Caroline Hurley, Conservation Officer with Irish Peatland Conservation Council (IPCC) is very concerned about this damage. "I cannot believe
that this is happening to our peatlands which we have fought so hard to protect", said Ms. Hurley. At Girley, it is now essential that these drains are
blocked in order to stop the flow of water off the bog. "Water is what keeps a bog alive", said Ms. Hurley, " but the water on Girley Bog is flowing
into the new drains and the developers responsible for this illegal damage have not been brought to justice. It is disgraceful - a very bad start to 2006 for Irish peatlands."
IPCC have highlighted the urgency of this case to both Meath County Council and the National Parks and Wildlife Service still nothing has occurred to assure IPCC that restoration of the site will occur. The case at Girley is disturbingly similar to a case in Co. Tipperary where extensive drainage of another NHA (Nore Valley Bogs) occurred illegally involving an area of 370 acres. This damage occurred two years ago and still nothing has been done to either restore the damage or to bring the developer responsible to justice. It is not only the plant and animal wildlife of the peatlands that are losing out, it is also our children and our childrenıs children". Girley Bog is also a well-known tourist attraction and educational facility in the county. This development will seriously curtail any enjoyment for visitors to the bog in 2006.
Ballynafagh Bog Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in County Kildare has been utilised by a commercial peat developer for the past few years. This is an illegal activity on any SAC and IPCC say that it is unacceptable. "This is a prime raised bog site in the east of the country to which we are committed to protecting under EU law," said Caroline Hurley of IPCC. "I am totally shocked at the level of peat extraction that is occurring here fresh drains have been dug and the bog is slowly being destroyed. It has to be stopped. No one seems to be taking the responsibility to enforce the protection of this site."
A Fianna Fail Caveman/bogman voter protecting his new building site, on his patch of peat.