Smokeless Coal Areas

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The following are the areas in the Republic of Ireland where the sale and burning of smoky coal is banned:


City Of Dublin          
Dun Laoghaire- Rathdown
South Dublin

Rest of Ireland:


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The ban on the sale and burning of smoky coal will come into effect from May 1st 2013 for the following areas:

 Newbridge Portlaoise
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There has always been a tradition of burning coal in Ireland. We even mined coal in Ireland, in the not too distant past. And the person who delivered our fuel to our door, has long been called the "coal man". However due to the increase in concerns for health risks and air quality issues from "winter smog" (smoke and sulphur dioxide emissions)in the 1980's, the Department of Environment introduced legislation to control the sale and supply of 'smokey' coal.

The ban on the marketing, sale and distribution of bituminous fuel (or ‘smoky coal ban’) was first introduced in Dublin in 1990 in response to severe episodes of winter smog that resulted from the widespread use of smoky coal for residential heating. The ban proved effective in reducing smoke and sulphur dioxide levels and was subsequently extended to other areas. The ban now applies in twenty cities and towns.

Research indicated that the ban in Dublin resulted in over 350 fewer annual deaths. An estimate of these benefits in monetary terms put the value at over 20 million euro. Additional benefits of the regulations have also been identified through the stimulation for householders to switch from using solid fuels, which generally are less efficient and more polluting, to more efficient and less polluting gas and oil. The associated reduced fuel costs to consumers were estimated at 184 million euro per year.

Following the improvement of air quality in Dublin, the ban was rolled out to other cities and large towns as follows:

     - Cork City since 1995

     - Arklow, Drogheda, Dundalk, Limerick City and Wexford Town since 1998

     - Celbridge, Galway City, Leixlip, Naas and Waterford City since 2000

     - Bray, Kilkenny, Sligo and Tralee since 2003

     - Athlone, Carlow, Clonmel and Ennis since 2011.

 Ban on Burning


A ban on the burning of smoky coal and other prohibited fuels now applies in all smoky coal ban specified areas to complement the ban on the marketing, sale and distribution.

There is a range of innovative smokeless solid fuel products, including smokeless coal products, available on the market. Smokeless solid fuel is cleaner as well as more carbon and can deliver climate benefits as well as improved air quality and human health benefits.

Under the Regulations all smokeless solid fuel products must be clearly labeled as “SMOKELESS FUEL”. This allows householders to make an informed choice concerning the products they purchase.