The topic of bog cutting has and always will “raise” a lot of eyebrows, pardon the pun. Two Kerry natives this week have failed in their attempt to overturn their prosecution in the High Court.
The two farmers now await their sentence which could see them get a minimum of three years imprisonment and a €500,000 fine.
John O’Conner and Christopher McCarthy of Moyvane, Co Kerry are to appear before a sitting of Kerry district court in breach of Irish Habitats law, with dates back to September 2011 where the alleged cut turf on a protected bog outside of Listowel.
Mr O’Conner only appealed the offence on the grounds that it was within the minister powers to create the offence in the manner he did. The offence was created in September 2011 by way of ministerial regulations, which transposed the regulations into Irish law.
The plaintiff Mr O’Conner barrister felt that his client was unduly treated and that the minister was outside of his power to create the offence.
It looks like a case of ministerial law dictating this instead of ministerial legislation.