Bog railway near Derrygreenagh, Co. Tipperary.
Courtesy of Arnold Horner 2006.

Bord na Mona, the turf development board, was formed in 1946 as a semi-state agency. Its main concern remit was the economic development of bogland areas, especially the extensive raised bogs of the midlands. During the 1950s and 1960s, Bord na Mona established sod peat and ‘milled peat’ oerations in most midlands counties (Kildare, Laois, Offaly, Tipperary, Meath, Westmeath, Longford, Galway, Roscommon).

Many of these operations involved supplying peat to turf-burning power stations established by the Electricity Supply Board. Other activities included the establishment of peat briquette factories (the first was at Lullymore, Co. Kildare) and peat moss facilities for horticulture. The scale of operations included the establishment of at least one new village (Coill Dubh, Co. Kildare) and the renewal of others (e.g. Rochfortbridge, Co. Westmeath).

Littleton Peat Briquette Factory, Co. Tipperary
Courtesy of Arnold Horner 2006.

Over the last sixty years, Bord na Mona has been the most important single agent transforming landscapes across midlands Ireland. In 1999, Bord na Mona was re-structured as a public liability company. To-day, according to the web-site (, it owns 85,000 hectares of peatland, employs 2000 people and operates out of 30 localities.