Management of Ireland’s bogs and peatlands has always been a sticky subject. Politicians such as MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan and TD Michael Fitzmaurice have risen to prominence on the back of their stout defence of turf cutters’ rights.

Between 1997 and 2004 a total of 128 raised bogs were deemed Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) or National Heritage Areas (NHA) by state agencies. These designations prohibited turf cutting and peat extraction, but a series of derogations and compensation packages were designed to ease the blow to those working on the bogs.