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Our Forests Are Safe – For Now
The Irish Government has announced it will no longer proceed with the sale of Coillte harvesting rights. It had originally wanted to sell the rights as part of its plan to sell state assets. Now is “not the appropriate time to proceed with the sale”, according to Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney who also said that the focus will now be on restructuring Coillte and evaluating a possible merger with Bord na Móna might take place.Mr Coveney said the decision had been reached after extensive analysis of the financial implications of the sale as well as consideration of the possible impact on the timber industry, public access to recreational land and environmental and social impacts.Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin told an Oireachtas Committee this afternoon that it is not appropriate to sell the harvesting rights of Coillte. He said that the significant number of vacancies on the Coillte board would be filled by people with relevant experience who can drive a possible merger with Bord na Móna forward.