A CRACKDOWN on cross-Border coal smugglers will accompany the nationwide extension of the smoky coal ban, Environment Minister Phil Hogan has pledged.
Speaking after a meeting in Dublin Castle yesterday of EU environment ministers on air quality, Mr Hogan said protection of public health was the driving force behind the move.
As revealed in the Irish Independent yesterday, the ban on burning high-sulphur coal across the State is to be introduced within three years.
The ban on the marketing, sale and distribution of bituminous fuel, or smoky coal, was introduced in Dublin in 1990.
The ban now applies in 20 cities and towns.
Mr Hogan will chair another meeting of the environment ministers today when attempts will be made to reach agreement on EU plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40pc by 2030.