Connaughton welcomes decision on Coillte harvesting rights


East Galway T.D. Paul Connaughton has welcomed the decision by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney not to sell Coillte’s harvesting rights.
‘This is something that I have fought hard for over many months and I very much welcome this decision. I have always believed that the harvesting rights for Coillte should not be sold. I believed that the cost benefit analysis showed that there was no significant economic basis for the sale and I was concerned at the difficulties that this could cause for the sawmilling industry in the region and the many jobs that depend on that industry. The decision could also have had a negative effect on the amenity value of local forests, which are used on a daily and weekly basis by people for recreational purposes.
‘I believe that this is a sensible decision. The sale did not make sense economically, environmentally or ecologically and I believe that today’s decision is a win-win situation for the employees of the timber industry, recreational forest walkers and all those who want to see unrestricted access to our forests in years to come.’