A robin pictured at Bord na Mona's Mount Lucas wind farm in Offaly.

Landmark day for Midlands as Bord na Móna formally ends all peat harvesting

In a landmark moment for the Midlands region, Bord na Móna has today (Friday) announced that it has formally ended all peat harvesting on its lands.

The company, which has been a key pillar in the industrial life of the region for decades said the ending of its peat harvesting was "a key milestone in its transformation into Ireland's leading climate solutions company."

Bord na Móna's last full peat harvest took place in 2018, followed by a partial harvest in 2019, and a full suspension of harvesting operations last year.

"The company has today decided to make this (peat harvesting) suspension permanent and cease any remaining harvesting preparations, including planning and substitute consent applications," said the Bord na Móna's CEO, Tom Donnellan.

"Today marks the formal end to the company’s association with peat harvesting, as we move on to tackle the critical challenges concerning climate change, energy supply, biodiversity and the circular economy."

He said Bord na Móna was "now fully focused on renewable energy generation, recycling and the development of other low carbon enterprises."

By 2030, the company expects to have developed wind, solar and other assets capable of supplying in the region of one-third of all Irish homes with renewable energy. It also plans to be the leading collection and recycling business in Ireland by 2030.

A Peatland Restoration Plan was also announced recently. The initiative, which involves an investment of €115 million, will harness the natural power of peatlands to secure a store of over 100m tonnes of carbon in perpetuity, cut emissions, and capture millions of tonnes more in the coming years.

The restoration plan also secures employment for 350 employees previously engaged in peat harvesting activities.

As peat harvesting employees have already migrated into rehabilitation roles, today's announcement does not impact on any current employment.

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