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01st Nov 2022

Excessive turf burners could face jail time or €13,000 fines

Fiona Frawley

stack of turf in a field

Picturing the grannies of Ireland in the canteen of Mountjoy taking a slow, purposeful inhale of a woodbine before saying “what am I in for? Lighting a fire in 2022. Don’t cross me”.

Under new laws that came into force yesterday (Monday 31st), people who burn turf excessively could face two years jail time, or a fine of €13,000.

The Turf Ban is now officially in place, meaning that the sale of turf, smoky coal, and wet wood in shops or online is prohibited.

People with turf-cutting rights will still be allowed to cut turf for their own use and can gift or sell turf, once it is not sold through retail premises or online.

However, the new regulations warn that people who burn turf could still be prosecuted.

A document available on gov.ie for households regarding the new solid fuel regulations reads:

If the use of turf or any other substance in your household is creating a significant level of air pollution and causing a nuisance to your neighbours, you can be prosecuted by your Local Authority under the Air Pollution Act.

Local authorities will be tasked with ensuring that those using turf to heat their homes are not creating a ‘significant level of air pollution and causing a nuisance to neighbours’.

The potential for fines of up to €13,000 or jail time of two years contradicts a promise made by Environment Minister Eamon Ryan who said earlier this year: “It’s not, ‘We’re gonna put your granny in prison for burning turf down the road'”. At this time, Mr Ryan stressed that the ban was simply about improving air quality.

Header image via Shutterstock 

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