THE Irish Government is going to Europe to argue the case for turfcutters rather than heritage on a protected bog.

Moanveanlagh Bog is among a handful of remaining Special Area of Conservation (SAC) raised bogs nationwide on which the Government has hit a wall in trying to come to a resolution with turfcutters. They have been offered new plots, but they say they are too far away and too split-up as to be considered seriously.

Now the government is going back to Europe to see “if there is any flexibility on Moanveanlagh and other problematic bogs that remain” (“Flexibility” as in…. “a way the heritage can be destroyed”?)

In an amazing statement the Minister for Arts and Heritage confessed:

My sympathies are first and foremost with the turfcutters, including members of my own extended family* on Moanveanlagh. Part of me wishes that the portfolio had been kept to arts, sports and tourism, but that wasn’t the case and I have to accept responsibility on behalf of the Irish State on this issue.

[* whaaat?!]