Limerick shop tackles turf ban by selling ‘decorative, hardened Irish mud’

A Limerick petrol station is selling peat as ‘decorative, hardened Irish mud’ in protest at the government’s ban on the sale of turf.

McNulty Fuels at the hospital in County Limerick is selling the turf logs for ‘ornamental use only’ and warning customers they are ‘not to be burned in a fire’.

The store also sells wood and charcoal under ‘The Eamon Ryan Winter Trolley’ and encourages customers to buy their fuel now ‘before he bans it’.

On Moncrieff this afternoon, shop owner Eric McNulty said he had put up the signs as a ‘sarcastic little advertisement’ – but insisted there was a serious point behind the joke.

The ‘Eamon Ryan Winter Trolley’ at McNulty Fuels in Hospital, County Limerick. Image: McNulty FuelsHe said the upcoming ban on smoky coals and the sale of turf leaves people without the means to heat their homes, especially if the country experiences power outages during the winter.

“They ban what we use but they don’t give us an alternative,” he said.

“They don’t give us an option; they don’t incite people.

“It’s a real concern for people and that’s why my placards resonated with people and got so much publicity. People are really worried.

“There is no option for people. On the one hand they are banning fuels and on the other hand they are saying there could be power shortages this year.

The 'Eamon Ryan Winter Trolley' at McNulty Fuels in Hospital, County Limerick.  Image: McNulty Fuels The ‘Eamon Ryan Winter Trolley’ at McNulty Fuels in Hospital, County Limerick. Image: McNulty Fuels

He said the new rules will also mean that shops will only be allowed to sell kiln-dried timber – standard forestry timber being subject to humidity checks to ensure it does not give off too much smoke.

He said homeowners were facing a very worrying winter with no grass to fall back on.

“Wood and turf has always been a very self-sufficient option,” he said. “People didn’t even have to go to stores to buy them.

“They were able to get it or their own land and trade with each other and stuff.

“It is also trying to be stopped at the moment, which will put pressure on the market.

“When you factor in briquettes and charcoal, that leads to price hikes in what’s left and it could be a very worrying winter for a lot of people.”

Mr McNulty said he understood the need for tough climate change targets – but accused the government of targeting households instead of insect businesses.

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