Midlands Rewetting – ICMSA welcome Bord na Mona clarifications but note “inescapable contradiction” in semi-state’s position.
Speaking after a meeting with Bord na Mona and what he described as “a detailed and comprehensive presentation” of the reasons and procedures around the proposed Bord na Mona rewetting project, ICMSA President, Pat McCormack, said that a lot of matters had been clarified as far as his Association is concerned. Mr. McCormack he acknowledged Bord na Mona’s commitment to work with adjoining landowners, but he pointed to what he said was an “inescapable contradiction” in the Bord na Mona position.
“We accept that Bord na Mona think that there won’t be a problem with adjoining lands and that they sincerely want us all to proceed on that basis. But the inescapable contradiction in their position is this: If there isn’t going to be a problem at some future stage, and if Bord na Mona are certain that there isn’t going to be a problem, then they won’t mind putting that certainty in writing along with a commitment to make good any damage that will result if they are proved wrong”, said Mr McCormack.
“Nobody’s doubting their good faith here or indeed their expertise. All ICMSA and its members are saying is that if Bord na Mona are so certain about their project then they won’t – they can’t – object to signing an agreement based on that certainty. That’s needed because I’m going to repeat what we said the very first day this was mooted: the day is long gone when farmers are going to take someone’s word on something as potentially significant as this project. I’m afraid we’re well past that now. We’re not going to be fools for anyone anymore. If Bord na Mona are as certain as they say, then they won’t mind putting their opinion in writing”, said Mr McCormack.
The ICMSA President said that the Bord na Mona project is a hugely significant change of land in the Midlands and a flagship project like this deserves clear written commitments to adjoining landowners that will stand the test of time and that will protect future generations of farmers. Mr. McCormack welcomed the commitment from the Bord na Mona delegation to consider this matter internally and he expressed hope that Bord na Mona will react positively to this proposal.
Ends 3 March 2021
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