People living in rural Ireland should not be excessively hit by environmental policies when it comes to the climate change debate, according to Jackie Cahill TD.

The chair of the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee made his remarks in response to the proposal by his Government colleague and Environment Minister Eamon Ryan that the sale and distribution of turf should be banned from September.

Cahill said the proposal “could not come at a more inappropriate time” and warned that it has “been met with outrage in certain quarters in Tipperary in recent days”.

The Tipperary TD says he has written to the Taoiseach and all Fianna Fáil cabinet ministers voicing his opposition to this proposed policy.

He said he was “pleased with the conversation I had with the Taoiseach on this matter today” and that he will “ensure that common sense is not abandoned in this debate”.

Rising cost of living

Cahill highlighted that there are “many people in rural Ireland who are really feeling the effects of the rising cost of living, particularly the cost of heating their homes and running their cars”.

“While the Government is doing good work in making historic levels of funding available for the retrofit of homes, with particular focus being aimed at those on lower incomes, there is still much to be done over many years in this regard. Banning the selling or gifting of turf while providing no immediate, viable and cost-effective alternative is simply not on,” he said.

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