The Environment Minister will face calls this evening to scrap his controversial ban on the sale of turf when he meets coalition colleagues.

The ban is due to take effect in September, and has caused anger among rural backbenchers in both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.

Eamon Ryan insists the ban will only target retail outlets and has indicated that communities of under 500 people will be exempt.

The issue is up for debate in the Dail this evening with Sinn Fein calling on the government to scrap the ban on the commercial sale of turf.

Minister Ryan is looking to shore up support for the ban by meeting members of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail throughout this afternoon.

Galway Green Senator Pauline O’Reilly says 1300 people a year are dying in Ireland due to the burning of smokey coal and turf and she insists it’s not just the Green Party or the Minister for the Environment that is set to change the regulations around the sale and distribution of turf.

She says the three parties in government - Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Greens have all adopted a Clear Air Strategy to address the estimated 1300 deaths due to poor air quality in Ireland annually.

Senator O’Reilly told Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley that the new regulation will give enhanced clarity around turbary rights..




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