People need “more information and clarity on rewetting”, Sinn Féin’s Claire Kerrane believes, even if the medium length targets can be met by Bord na Móna lands.

“Land is sacred,” she says. “They’re saying rewetting won’t be mandatory, but if Johnny next door to you is rewetting, what are the implications for you?

“We’ve seen this already in the midlands where Bord na Móna are rewetting. They’re only at the early stages, we don’t know the consequences yet, but farmers are very concerned.

“We need the economic assessment that the Department of Housing is doing – they should have done this before now, but haven’t,” she says.

‘Huge’ competition

Kerrane says that dairy farmers are looking to buy or lease more land due to the derogation, and that there’s huge competition.

“The nature restoration law will bring changes that will only increase the pressure.

“I would see this issue going to a commission on family farms. When it comes to land policy, whether it’s forestry or renewables, we need that joined-up approach.”