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“Is money for Just Transition funding used to import peat?” asks Nolan 

A TD for Laois Offaly has said she has written to the Minister for the Environment Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan and the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, seeking immediate clarification around concerns that funding allocated to the Just Transition process is being used to subsidise the importation of peat and peat moss. 

Deputy Carol Nolan said that the issue had been brought to her attention by a number of people who were alarmed by the possible use of Just Transition funding to import peat while communities in Offaly, Laois and across the Midlands struggle to access matching funding for their own transition related projects:

“If it is confirmed that Just Transition funding is being used to import peat then the entire process will be shown to have descended to the level of farce and insult,” Deputy Nolan said.

“We need urgent clarification on this issue, and what’s more, we need an immediate revision of the inability of traders within the Irish market to access indigenous peat products.”

“I will be pursuing this matter until we have clarity on what exactly is going on and until we can finally bring a dose of common sense to a process that is lurching from one incomprehensible absurdity to the next,” concluded Deputy Nolan.

The importation of peat and peat moss has become a significant source of controversy after Bord na Móna unexpectedly halted processing ahead of schedule, in a closure of peat harvesting aimed to meet Green targets.

Recently, the news that 200 truckloads of peat were being imported from Latvia shows was described by Deputy Nolan as showing  how “clueless” government policy is.

Some 3,600 tonnes of horticultural peat arrived from Latvia into Drogheda Port, 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”.

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