Smokey coal ban will focus on distributers

A north west environmental awareness officer says a clampdown on the supply and distribution of smokey coal will be a focus of the nationwide ban on the fuel coming into effect next Autumn.

So-called smokey coal is banned already in some areas but continues to be used.

Now, there’s to be a renewed effort to stamp out the availability of such fuel.

At present, the marketing, sale, distribution and use of smokey coal is banned in certain urban areas of the country.

The areas include in and around Sligo town as well as in Letterkenny in County Donegal.

The effort to reduce the use of so-called smokey coal has now been going on for almost a decade and a half.

Originally, the ban in Sligo was brought in about 2003 and covered the old borough council area.

In 2012, because of the increase in the numbers of houses being built, the ban was extended to a much wider area around Sligo town, out as far a Cregg, Scarden, Teesan and Carraroe.

Contrary to some reports, the ban does not include the use of turf.

Sligo Environmental Awareness Officer Peter Murtagh points out the use of smokey fuel can have severe health affects for people with conditions such as asthma and emphysema.

Speaking to Ocean FM News, he says that in implementing the ban, they will be particularly trying to clamp down on the supply and distribution of smokey or bituminous coal.

He says they don’t want to be going after people trying to heat their homes with the only fuel that’s available: