Category Archives: Turf cutters
On Wednesday 2nd May 2012, a meeting took place entitled “The EU Permanent Austerity Treaty: is it economic suicide?” at the Liffey Studio in Newbridge, County Kildare . A standing room only crowd came to hear artist and veteran activist Robert Ballagh of the People’s Movement and John Dore, PRO Kildare Turf Cutters Association. The large turnout from the people of Kildare seemed to reflect the concerns about the Austerity Treaty.
Robert Ballagh explained that the Treaty would turn Ireland into a regime of economic austerity, involving deeper and deeper cuts in public expenditure, the privatisation of public services with more unemployment and emigration. The Treaty will make a permanent feature of that external interference in our economic affairs that was obnoxious when Fianna Fail surrendered sovereignty to the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Ballagh noted, “if it’s bad in the short term – and it is – it’s even worse when made permanent.”
John Dore spoke of the turf cutters experience in dealing with the EU, explaining that the EU Habitats Directive will prevent families and domestic turf cutters from cutting turf as they have done for hundreds of years. He noted, “Turf cutters, their families, friends and supporters may wish to take this into consideration when they vote in the referendum on the Austerity Treaty.”
Having previously rejected the turf cutters’ case, the government promised a delegation to travel to Brussels to meet the EU Commission. However, this approach floundered in Brussels, the EU insisting that turf cutting must stop.
by Mick Healy
One of the most important developments in the last 18 months in the twenty-six counties has to be the resistance of turf cutters to the EU directive that banned turf cutting. On March 9, several thousand people took part in a protest outside Leinster House organised by the Turf Cutters and Contractors Association, some travelling from as far away as Kerry, Clare and Cavan. They carried placards saying “No to EU bog evictions and no to EU dictatorship”.
As a result the Dublin parliament Read the rest of this entry