Over the last five years, there has been huge engagement between turf cutters on protected bogs and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and great progress has been made and now needs to continue. That’s the view of the Chairperson of the Turf Cutters and Contractors Association and Independent Roscommon / Galway deputy Michael Fitzmaurice.

Yesterday the case against two men for cutting turf on protected bogs on the Galway/Roscommon border nine years ago was thrown out at Galway Circuit Criminal Court.

The court heard that the State wished to enter a nolle prosequi in the case against Patrick Lavin of Frenchpark, Co Roscommon, and Thomas Ward of Gort an tSléibhe, Claregalway.

Counsel for the DPP Conal McCarthy told the court that the State would not be putting forward any witnesses.

Both men pleaded not guilty in 2015 to cutting turf on Ballymoe Bog on the Galway/Roscommon border in June 2013.

Deputy Fitzmaurice has welcomed the State’s decision to drop the proceedings. But insists it’s not about winners or losers. The clear message to Europe, and nationally now, he says, is to build on the constructive engagement between turf cutters and NPWS.

Deputy Fitzmaurice has been speaking to Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley...



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