Four Co Galway men, who were accused of cutting turf illegally, have been found not guilty by direction of a judge at Galway Circuit Court.

The four were accused of breaking EU law regarding natural habitats on raised bogs during the summer of 2012.

Michael D'Arcy, from Killimor in Co Galway; Pat McDonagh from Portumna, Tony Porter from Woodford - all in their 50's - and 64- year old Padraic Byrne from Killimor had denied the charges.

Speaking outside court afterwards, Mr D'Arcy said he was "delighted it was all over" and described it as a "great day for rural Ireland".

Independent Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice welcomed the verdict, saying the dispute regarding turf cutting on protected bogs can be "settled in an amicable way rather than bringing people to court".

 

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