Gallagher's Peat Bill to signal the end of Irish horticultural growers’ reliance on expensive imported peat
23 November 2021
Fianna Fail Senator in Cavan-Monaghan, Robbie Gallagher, will today introduce a Bill in the Seanad which would see the end of Irish horticultural growers’ reliance on expensive imported peat.
The Horticultural Peat (Temporary Measures) Bill 2021 makes exceptional provisions for peat extraction for the purpose of horticulture for a temporary period in the public interest in order to mitigate the adverse consequences resulting from an interruption to supply.
Senator Gallager commented, "Due to a Supreme Court decision last year, there has been no harvesting on bogs over 30ha. This decision has impacted greatly on the mushroom industry in particular, which is heavily reliant on high-grade peat.
"The reality is that we now find ourselves in an utterly bizarre situation whereby the production of something that is needed for the production of other goods has been stopped and has to be imported from thousands of miles away, which makes no sense, especially given the ongoing debate regarding carbon leakage.
"It is clear that we need a solution that will allow the industry to operate, while also respecting the requirements of environmental law and the need to protect our peatlands as important resources for biodiversity and carbon storage. I have worked with my Seanad colleagues, in particular Senator Regina Doherty, on this cross-party Bill which allows for peat extraction for the horticultural industry on a temporary basis until we secure a viable alternative to peat.
“I hope that this Bill will provide our growers with the clarity and comfort that they need to continue producing our fine fresh Irish food,” concluded Senator Gallagher.