Traditionally peat (or turf) is used in a lot of households in Ireland. The first time we went to Ireland we stayed in a B&B in Moate and there we smelled burning peat for the first time. It is not an unpleasant smell, a bit smokey it is.
A lot of families have a small piece of ground to cut peat and use it at home. It provides warmth and was used for cooking. A burning stove gave security in this often harsh climate. To keep the fire going was very important even in summer when days can be chilly. The best is when the fire stayes on during the night and in the morning all you have to do is to put some peat on it.
In our little cottage used to be a big stove which runned on peat. It was Bram's task to keep it running. The stove was massive and took a lot of space.
Peat is provided to us by Pat who has a piece of land to cut peat. Everyday he fills a bucket.
Peat needs to be dryed after cutting and Pat does it in a traditional way. It is a big "mountain" of peat next to the house. Straw on top so rain can't come in. Netting and rope with stones to keep everything in place. There is a plan to stop the cutting of peat by law but I guess that won't happen soon. Ireland and peat go so well together already for centuries. It is part of the Irish identity.
The huge stove in our cottage is gone and a small burner is placed. We make fire everyday and it is always a challenge to keep the fire going. I am not very good in it which is strange because they say that only men can make fire. I don't believe this cause I know quite a few women who are very good in making fire.