SUPPORTERS of four men accused of illegally cutting turf in protected bogs have vowed to continue to stage protests outside court sittings.
A crowd of around 350 people demonstrated outside Loughrea District Court when the four men from south Co Galway made their first appearance.
Michael D'Arcy (43), from Ballycahill, Killimor; Padraic Byrne (57), from Main Street, Killimor; Pat McDonagh (43), from Portumna; and Tony Parker (44), from Woodford, appeared before Judge Geoffrey Browne.
They are the first to be summonsed since an EU directive imposed restrictions over a year ago on turf cutting at 53 designated bogs. The men will appear again before Loughrea District Court on April 10 for service of the books of evidence.