A Dáil vote will take place tonight on a Sinn Fein motion to scrap plans to ban the sale and distribution of turf from September.

Environment Minister Eamon Ryan has been under fire from his coalition colleagues over the proposal, which he insists will not impact those who cut their own turf, or gift or sell it onto neighbours in small rural communities of less than 500 people.

Yesterday evening, Minister Ryan met with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael TDs and Senators to seek their support for the ban, which is due to come into effect from September as part of efforts to reduce air pollution.

Roscommon- based Fianna Fail Senator Eugene Murphy said the exemption for those living in areas of under 500 people is unworkable, and he said the retrofit programme, to move homes away from solid fuels, is too slow.

He also told Midwest News that, while Fianna Fail could accept a ban on selling turf on garage forecourts, the gifting of turf to family and neighbours must be protected.

Senator Murphy said he believes Minister Eamon Ryan may accept amendments to the proposed legislation, and he hopes a solution can be found to this issue which is dominating the news for the past number of days.

He admitted that there were some robust exchanges in their meeting with the Minister yesterday evening.....

However, Roscommon Sinn Fein TD  Claire Kerrane says those same Government backbenchers who want the ban on the sale of turf to be crapped were not so vocal during last night Dail debate on the matter....

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