Browne: 17,000 jobs at risk due to ban on intensive peat harvesting

Ciaran Cuddy (Monaghan), Joe Young (Kilfinnane), Martin Browne Tipperary SF TD and Frank Alley (Dundrum Nurseries). Photo courtesy of Martin Browne.

A Tipperary TD was among those supporting horticultural growers at a protest in Dublin, as stocks of horticultural peat plummet.

Sinn Féin TD Martin Browne stressed that horticulture accounts for a very small fraction of peat traditionally harvested.

He said that nurseries and mushroom factories are now facing a crisis following the ban on intensive peat harvesting.

Speaking to Tipp FM News, Deputy Browne said that 17,000 jobs are at risk.

“The sector has fallen victim to the ban on the intensive peat harvesting.

“Even though horticulture accounts for a miniscule amount of peat traditionally harvested, our horticultural sector, which includes nurseries like Dundrum Nurseries have been left to deal with the consequences of the restrictions and they predict that peat reserves could dry up as early as September.

“Three Government departments have responsibility for this issue, yet they have put no realistic plans in place.”

Deputy Browne added that the Heritage, Environment and Agriculture departments all cross over on this issue.

At the moment, peat alternatives are unsuitable and have to be imported, which results in an increased carbon footprint.