Coillte merger plan
Sir, – Now that it has been decided not to go ahead with the sale of harvesting rights in State forests there has been mention of a possible merger with Bord na Móna. Such a merger would be a serious mistake. The two organisations involved are diametrical opposites in their basic philosophies. Bord na Móna was created to exploit an existing natural resource, our bogs. The function of the State forest enterprise (Coillte, formerly the Forestry Division of the Department of Lands, initially the Forestry Branch!) was set up to create a new resource to replace a natural one which had been exploited to almost total annihilation, our forests.
Bord na Móna was beneficial in terms of energy production and domestic fuel, but its activity has now become unfashionable and it could well be terminated.
When this proposal first emerged some years ago it was described by the late Garret FitzGerald as “cynical”. – Yours, etc,
Dr NIALL O’CARROLL,
(Former Chief Inspector,
State Forest Service,
Ballinrobe, Co Mayo.