Local TD says forestry deal 'wholesale land grab' on rural Ireland

Jan 26, 2023 17:01 By News Northern Sound
Local TD says forestry deal 'wholesale land grab' on rural Ireland Local TD says forestry deal 'wholesale land grab' on rural Ireland
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Our forestry policy needs to be much better

Hundreds of people from across the country gathered outside Leinster House this afternoon to protest over Coillte's deal with UK asset management firm, Gresham House. Speaking to Northern Sound from the event, Sinn Fein's spokesperson on agriculture, Deputy Matt Carthy said the move amounts to nothing less than a 'wholesale land grab' on rural Ireland.

He highlighted how the Government's failure to engage with farmers, landowners, and communities, in an effort to provide an effective tree planting programme, lead to this deal coming to fruition.

Deputy Carthy says the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue now needs to show 'real leadership' so that the deal can be "scuppered". He added that these latest developments are about corporate profits and not about climate action or the State's obligations to afforestation.


"Our forestry policy needs to be much better. We know the negative experiences that people in places like West Cavan and Co Leitrim have had where there was a domination of Sitka Spruce plantation and subsequent clear-felling with very little engagement from the local community.

"We need to have much more balance - both in terms of the regions that are expected to see afforestation happen, and also in the types of trees that are planted. And of course we need to see much more broadleaves and natural forests taking place.

"And those who are best placed to do that are Coillte and other public bodies," the local TD said.

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