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File image of turf being stacked in Co Offally. Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Cabinet approves €108 million funding for Bord na Móna rehabilitation plan

Environment and Climate Minister Eamon Ryan described the funding as a “major milestone”.

€108 MILLION IN State funding for a rehabilitation plan of Bord na Móna peatlands in the Midlands was approved by the Cabinet earlier today.

The major restoration project will focus on 80,000 acres of BnM bogs.

It aims to protect the 109 million tonnes of carbon stored in these bogs and sequester a further 3.2 million tonnes of carbon.

The government funding will come from the Climate Action Fund, which was set up to fund projects that will help Ireland reach its climate and energy targets. 

Bord na Móna will also invest a further €18 million in the project. The plan will immediately create 310 operational, engineering and technical jobs. 

Many of the people employed as part of this will be former BnM peat harvesters.

  • Our colleagues at Noteworthy want to find out why authorities have failed to tackle unlicensed industrial peat extraction. See how you can support this project here.

Environment and Climate Minister Eamon Ryan described the funding as a “major milestone”. 

“Bog rehabilitation and remediation is a wonderful example of Just Transition in action, where workers who previously harvested peat for power generation will now be the custodians of our bogs,” he said. 

This project will turn carbon sources into sinks, restore biodiversity and help us meet our climate goals.

The chief executive of Bórd na Móna, Tom Donnellan, said it is a “major win for Ireland’s progress on climate action”. 

Full-scale operations are due to commence from April next year as part of the plan. 

The harvesting of peat stopped in Bórd na Móna bogs in June this year as the company moved towards its rehabilitation plan. 

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice today said farmers in neighbouring bogs must be consulted “to ensure there are no negative impacts on their land as a result of the rehabilitation process”. 

He said the funding announcement is “very welcome”, but added that this “common-sense approach” of consulting farmers could “avoid any potential problems arising down the line”. 

Offers of funding worth a total of €27.8 million were also made today to 47 projects in the Midlands under the Just Transition Fund. 

The offers were made to businesses, local authorities and communities in the region which are focused on creating a green economy.  

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