ICSA rural development chairman Tim Farrell has slated proposals to ban the burning of turf and timber in every fireplace in the country.
He said, “It is totally insane to say that people in the country would be banned from burning wood from trees that are blown down in a storm, or that are thinned from forestry plantations. Many people in rural areas are dependent on lighting a fire to keep warm or need the solid fuel cooker for both cooking and powering the other heaters.
“Instead of Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin, it will be a case of Ní bheidh aon tinteán ar bith.” he fumed.
Continuing Mr Farrell stated, “Burning timber to create warmth in family homes across the country is a real example of exemplary recycling in many cases. Trees blow down or have to be trimmed. Most of this fuel requires little or no transport, compared to importing oil from the Middle East.
“If you do not allow wood burning, you are undermining the case for forestry because that is the main outlet for first thinnings. Given that the Government has targets to increase forestry, it would be totally incoherent to undermine the sector by eliminating the first source of benefit to those who plant.”
Mr Farrell, who is the current ICSA rural development chairman, says this is another example of 'urban elites' trying to put all the blame for climate change on the ordinary people of rural Ireland while they continue jet setting lifestyles.
“A new runway is being constructed in Dublin airport as passenger numbers have increased some 60% since 2011 to 30 million.
“Yet the Government is thinking about leaving the poor people of rural Ireland to perish with the cold and prevent them from lighting a fire on nights like we are having at the moment.”