One man in hospital & digger burnt out after Galway bog stand off
One man is in hospital and a digger has been burnt out after 150 die-hard turf cutters in Galway had their machinery confiscated last night.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service swooped on a protected bog near Portumna late last night. Supported by large numbers of Gardaí, they seized a digger and hopper which were being used to illegal cut turf as 150 protestors tried to stop them.
However, it happened the digger in question was set ablaze and burnt out. The owner of the machine had to be taken to hospital by ambulance after fearing he was suffering a heart attack.
Since then Gardaí have had up to 20 cars from the locality policing the area to manage the large number of angry protestors.
Just as predictable as rain during an Irish summer, Luke Ming Flanagan was called to the scene and has been their supporting the local turf cutters since the early hours of the morning.
The new law about turf cutting in Ireland is required by the EU's Habitat Directive. The Government are obliged to protect and conserve important peatland and raised bogs.
Both the Gaeltacht Minister, Jimmy Deenihan, and Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, have condemed the protests and said the laws will be enforced no matter what.