INTERNET sales of turf will be banned under proposals to be brought to the three party leaders next week.
Eamon Ryan wants to stop the sale of the traditional fuel continuing in cyberspace after it is banned at retail level.
Buying turf on the web will be impossible, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan indicated to the Dáil – while again vowing to protect the low-level exchange, donation and consumption of the fuel.
Mr Ryan was attacked by Sinn Féin for his impending restrictions -- which will see regulations introduced in the Autumn.
Matt Carthy TD said the Central Bank had just pointed out that inflation would reach 10pc – yet the energy minister wanted to eliminate the use of low-cost fuel.
Inflation has been driven by soaring energy costs, Mr Carthy pointed out. “Many families will simply be unable to heat their homes come the Autumn. They're actually in despair with worry as to how they will make ends meet.
“In that context, it is bizarre that you plan to bring forward proposals to ban the sale of turf -- considering that such a ban would remove the only viable source of heating and for many families,” he said.
“Do you not recognize how hare-brained a proposal that is? People want and need the Government to wise up and bring forward proposals that will support them -- rather than make their lives even harder.”
Minister Ryan said his proposals were being misrepresented. “The traditional arrangements – as when someone has turbary rights, selling to a neighbour -- that will not be restricted.
“Where the restrictions will be introduced is on retail and the internet,” he said.
They would be targeted at commercial operations, he said, whereas “the vast majority of turf sales” were done through traditional, neighbourly mechanisms.
But he added: “This is about all sorts of fuels. This is about regulating, first and foremost, smoky coal.
“It will not affect those who are relying on traditional persons selling [turf] to them for their heating or their own use. That’s the case.”