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Turf cutters will return to bog despite court case

TURF cutters have vowed to return to restricted bogs within weeks despite an ongoing court case against four of their members.

The protesters will return to the SAC bogs in Galway by the end of the month.

Dermot Moran of the Bog Action Group said they were determined to return this year.

"We should have been out there long ago but the weather was against us. We're at least a month behind because of that. But certainly within two weeks we'll be back," he said.

Mr Moran said protesters were bracing themselves for further stand-offs with the National Parks and Wildlife officers but insisted they would not be deterred.

The men face prosecution for allegedly cutting turf at Clonmoylan Bog, near Killimor, Co Galway, on May 22, 23 and August 21 last year.

They are the first to be prosecuted since the EU habitats directive imposed restrictions on turf cutting on 53 Irish bogs.

An EU directive requires member states to conserve peatland habitats on raised bogs, leading to the closure of 53 designated bogs in Ireland.

Irish Independent