'Mixed messages' over turf ban criticised

Plans are in place to ban its sale in the coming months.

The Government has been criticised for sending "mixed messages" over a proposed ban on the sale of turf.

Green Party leader and Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications announced this month that the sale of the fuel would be outlawed from September.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar later said the proposal had been shelved, before Minister Ryan then saying no such discussions had taken place.

Sinn Féin TD for Cavan-Monaghan Pauline Tully has criticised what she described as "mixed messages".

In a statement she described it as "yet another sign that they [the Government] are out of touch with rural communities and the cost of living crisis that is hitting people".

“Many rural communities rely on turf, including here in Cavan-Monaghan, which has been one of the only forms of heating not to see prices spiral in recent months. The Government’s plan punishes communities who rely on turf, instead of introducing measures to support communities in transitioning away from this form of heating in a way that is fair and sustainable."

The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to an increase in fuel prices in recent months, with some measures introduced to reduce the burden on households. A cut in VAT on home heating oil however was not included.

Deputy Tully is critical of that decision:

“The refusal of Government to take any action on assisting households with rising home heating oil only leaves rural households even more vulnerable.

“Like the unfair carbon tax, it hits those on lowest incomes and in rural areas hardest while failing to go after the major polluters."