Coillte sell-off plan dropped


Sir, – The members of Mountaineering Ireland will be relieved by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney’s statement regarding the future of Coillte.

The proposed sale of Coillte’s harvesting rights exposed the lack of any certainty regarding public access to Coillte’s estate. There is a clear lesson from this near miss. We must ensure that responsible recreational enjoyment of publicly-owned land in Ireland becomes a right, and not simply the gift of the owner. –Yours etc.


Chief Executive Officer,

Mountaineering Ireland,

National Sports Campus,

Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

Sir, – I shrieked with joy and I laughed till I cried when, amid all the bad news, something good was announced this week. In fact, I could not believe my ears.

For some time now it has seemed to me that our Government would do anything for money, that it would sell its soul, and ours too, if it would save a few bob.

Walking through the beautiful woodlands at Glen of the Downs recently I felt helpless and deeply saddened that even our sacred forests could be taken away from us. That the Government could sell them to private investors who might fence them off, chop them down, use the land for fracking and prevent us from walking in them. But this week, the Government announced that the forests would not be sold.

I wish to thank it for making this inspired decision. May it make many more. – Yours, etc,


Pearse Villas,

Sallynoggin, Co Dublin.