Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (3038)

Robert Troy

Question:

3038. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the person who can claim compensation on turbary rights; if it is only the landowner; and if it is a situation in which the bog was left to one son under the condition the other siblings had rights to cut turf on the bog. [34415/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

The cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme was established in 2011 for active turf cutters arising from the cessation of turf cutting on 53 raised bog special areas of conservation. This scheme is comprised of a payment of €1,500 per annum, index-linked, for 15 years, or relocation, where feasible, to a non-designated bog, together with a once off incentive payment of €500. In 2014, the scheme was extended to active turf cutters from 36 raised bog natural heritage areas. The qualifying criteria of the scheme are that: The applicant must have had a legal interest (ownership or a turbary right (right to cut turf)) in one of these sites on 25 May 2010 and must have had the right to cut and remove turf from the property on that date;

- The applicant must have been cutting turf on the land in question during the relevant five year period (up to 25 May 2010 in respect of the 29 raised bog special areas of conservation nominated for designation between 1997 and 1999, up to 31 December 2011 in respect of the 24 raised bog special areas of conservation nominated for designation in 2002 and up to 14 January 2014 in respect of the 36 raised bog natural heritage areas);

- The turf resource on the site has not been exhausted; and

- No turf cutting or associated activity is ongoing on the property.

Where an applicant does not have the required legal interest or is not in a position to provide written evidence of such an interest, my Department will consider the application taking the circumstances of the case into account. Such an applicant must provide in writing specific details of his/her claim for compensation to the Department, for example, relationship with the individual with the legal interest, the number of years turf was cut for the applicant on the bog plot in question and the estimated quantity of turf cut for him/her on the bog plot per year.

The applicant should complete the application form for the scheme (available on request from the Department) and provide the specific details to the Department. All information provided will be assessed by the Department and a decision taken as to whether or not the applicant is considered eligible for compensation under the scheme.