Credit: Pablo Nidam / Scopio

“Clueless”: Anger as 200 truckloads of peat imported from Latvia 

The Green madness continues. 

In January, the government – seeking to please the real bosses in the EU – put a sudden stop to peat harvesting in Ireland, throwing workers and local communities under the bus in a supposed bid to save the planet.

It was quickly realised  however, that we would need to import peat, not just as fuel, but for use as peat moss crucial to horticulture. Rural groups expressed outrage as peat moss was almost immediately imported from Estonia, Germany and elsewhere .

Now, Independent TD Carol Nolan says news of 200 truckloads of peat being imported from Latvia shows just how “clueless” government policy is.

Some 3,600 tonnes of horticultural peat arrived from Latvia into Drogheda Port on Saturday, where the imported product was loaded onto 200 lorries. According to Growing Media Ireland (GMI), the “huge shipment” of horticultural peat totaling “almost 4,000 tons” had travelled over 3,000km to Ireland from Latvia”.

“This compares to an average of 10km when peat was harvested locally in a Westmeath factory prior to its effective banning in Ireland,” GMI said.

The irony of a Green policy which bans peat harvesting – and then racks up transportation costs and increases our supposedly all-important carbon footprint to bring peat to a country that already has lots of it, hasn’t been lost on furious rural communities.

“Bord na Móna ended all peat harvesting from Irish bogs despite prior assurances that it – and the jobs it provides – would continue until 2030. Now the same Irish workers are watching in frustration as peat moss is being imported in vast quantities,” Nolan said.

“This episode proves yet again that huge sectors of rural Ireland is being run into the ground by detached and incompetent policy makers who seem not to have the slightest clue about the damage they are causing and the jobs they are threatening to annihilate,” she said.

Even the IFA, sometimes criticised for being slow to stand up to the government, described the situation as a “total travesty”.

IFA president Tim Cullinan described the government’s “inaction” on the issue as “totally unacceptable”, adding: “The three ministers need to get together and sort this out. We need political leadership here.

“We are sick of everyone blaming everyone while small growers and businesses which provide employment in rural Ireland are being put out of business by government inaction. It’s a total travesty.”

Independent commentators on social media have previously pointed to the solution.

“You really couldn’t make this up – (they’re) running the rural community into the ground,” wrote one “It is time to get Bord na Mona up and running again. Get rid of the Greens and FF/FG for allowing this. You have rural Ireland destroyed”.

 

 

 

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