Peatlands Council

The Peatlands Council was established by Government on the 07th April 2011. 14 meetings of the Council have been held since 14 April 2011, the latest on 9 July 2013.  The Council was established to respond to commitments set out in the Programme for Government and to assist Ireland in responding in a strategic way to the requirements of the EU Habitat’s Directive which require Ireland to protect and conserve important peatland habitats.

The Press Release establishing the Council can be viewed below, as well as the Terms of Reference of the Council.

Peatlands Council - Press Release  [31kb]

Peatlands Council - Terms of Reference  [40kb]

The Council is independently Chaired by Mr. Seamus Boland, Chief Executive of Irish Rural Link and Chair of the social inclusion agency Pobal. Mr. Boland succeeded Mr. Conor Skehan as chair of the Peatlands Council on 5 November 2012. The Council is made up of representatives from the following groups:

  1. Irish Peatland Conservation Council
  2. Irish Farmers Association
  3. Irish Environmental Network
  4. Irish Rural Link
  5. Bord na Móna
  6. National Parks and Wildlife Service

 The Council is tasked with advising the Government on a number of key actions, including

  1. the drawing up of a national strategy on Peatlands conservation and management within 12 months, in consultation with bog owners and other stakeholders, to deal with long-term issues such as land management, restoration, conservation, tourism potential, carbon accounting and community participation in managing this resource.
  2. in the context of the national strategy, to draw up an agreed national code of environmental practice in regard to turf-extraction in designated sites, including a re-examination of the position regarding raised bog Natural Heritage Areas, which are protected under national legislation and the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, in advance of the 2014 cutting season.

In addition, the Peatlands Council has established an Appeals Sub-Group to hear appeals in relation to applications that are deemed by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to not meet the criteria for eligibility under the Cessation of Turf Cutting Compensation Scheme.