11 June 2022
By Tom Collins
The Cork North Central based MEP Billy Kelleher has urged the Agriculture Commissioner to launch an investigation into the Irish forestry industry due to significant failures in planting and felling in recent years.
Kelleher, a Fianna Fáil MEP for Ireland South, made the request during a debate on forestry in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
“We have seen for the past number of years significant difficulties in terms of forest owners securing felling licenses.
“These landowners, in many cases farmers who planted trees at the behest of the governments, are simply being blocked at every turn from realising the value of their investment by a planning system bedevilled by bureaucratic obstacles.
“I invited the Commissioner to come to Ireland, to observe our practices and to investigate what is going wrong in our forestry industry.
“This situation cannot continue as it is. Managed forestry is a sustainable economic practice that provides important income for farmers and landowners. We must get to the bottom of why our industry is failing to live up to its potential,” concluded Kelleher.