Minister has received report on horticultural peat

‘Considering it carefully’

Sligo News File

Deputy Peader Toibin, TD

Replying to a Dail question from Deputy Peader Tóibín concerning the crisis facing the Irish horticulture industry “owing to the effective ban on indigenous peat harvesting,” Minister of State Malcolm Noonan said he has received a report from the chair of the Working Group set up to assist in addressing issues around horticultural peat for domestic purposes on 20 October. “I am considering the report carefully with a view to publishing it in due course…,” he added.

Last month, the Irish Independent reported that Department of Agriculture data it obtained “shows that between January and July this year a total of 39,443t of peat (to the value of €6.7m) was imported into Ireland, this compares to 10,437t of peat (to a value of €3.2m) imported over the 12-month period of 2020 – marking an almost 300pc increase.

“The countries of origin for the peat imported up to July this year include: Northern Ireland (36,714t), the Netherlands (1,112t), Great Britain (901t), Germany (415t), Lithuania (214t), Ukraine (55t), Belarus (22t), plus 9t imported from an unknown non-EU country.”

It states that the Department “also confirmed that no phytosanitary checks were carried out on the imports to certify that the peat was free from harmful pests and diseases as ‘no such requirement’ on the movement of peat exists within the EU.”