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€108m Bord na Mona rehabilitation questioned in East Galway bog video

category national | environment | press release author Monday June 06, 2022 23:25author by foie - Friends of the Irish Environment Report this post to the editors

Press Release - Friends of the Irish Environment - 3rd June 2022

Video urges Bord na Mona to ‘do better’ on bog restoration
€108m Bord na Mona rehabilitation questioned in East Galway bog video

A video of a bog restored last year by Bord na Móna in East Galway published by the environmental defenders Friends of the Irish Environment [FIE] urges Bord na Móna to ‘Do Better’ in its bog restoration program.

Bord na Móna was given €108m in November 2020 for 'Restoring Raised Bogs for a Greener Future' program. The site in East Galway in the video is part of the 7, 200 hectares that Bord na Móna claims to have restored. The scheme will cover an area of approximately 33,000 hectares of Bord Na Móna peatlands previously harvested for peat extraction for electricity generation and create 310 jobs.

The video of a bog near Clonfort in East Galway shows a landscape ‘more like Africa’s Sahel than Ireland’ and photographs drainage pipes ‘sticking up like chimneys’, eroding banks, and unconnected pipes. The video also highlights deep water easily accessible beside the road which local fear may lead to drownings in the summer. There are no warning signs and no safety equipment, according to the video.

While Bord na Mona’s remit for this project includes ‘more intensive management of water levels through drain-blocking and bunding’ and ‘re-profiling that will deliver suitable hydrological conditions for development of wetlands, fens and bog habitats’, ‘the video appears to paint a very different picture’, according to FIE.

In an introduction to the video released today on Facebook, FIE said it is expanding its monitoring with drone investigations of ‘what appears to be wide-spread engineering incompetence, sub-standard workmanship and dangers to the public’.

The 108m scheme is administered by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) and regulated by the newly funded National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). A notice on the Government’s website announcing the scheme said ‘It will involve many other diverse stakeholders including Bord na Móna, the EPA, relevant NGOs, local authorities, representative organisations and importantly, the local community.’

FIE is appealing to communities in the midlands to report similar failures in rehabilitation on their website Hotline.

ENDS

Contact: Tony Lowes, 353 (0)87 2176316 / 353 (0)27 74771

Video DO BETTER BORD NA MONA:
https://youtu.be/l7GxXlfLTSE

Government Announcement of Scheme
https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/136a7-bord-na-mona-bog-rehabilitation-scheme/

This Press release
https://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/press-releases/18179-video-urges-bord-na-mona-to-do-better-on-bog-restoration

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