January 20, 2019

What will happen when peat harvesting ceases?

Iona Nichol, 24

Peat harvesting and the burning of fossil fuels have had a detrimental effect on the environment. For hundreds years, it was a main energy source for thousands of households, with “cutting turf” and working the bog being an integral part of rural life. However, this practice has destroyed beautiful landscape and used up valuable resources.
By 2027, Bord na Móna shall cease working the bogs. Whilst this is more environmentally responsible, it’s immediate impact will mean a loss of 2000 jobs and the end of a long history of peat production in rural Ireland, particularly the counties where I grew up, Laois and Offaly.

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This photograph was taken at Lough Boora, County Offaly on a recent trip home. Lough Boora Boglands were cut away for peat production from 1950-1970 but have since been reclaimed and rehabilitated