Coillte-Bord na Móna merger a mistake

 

Sir, – The Society of Irish Foresters is strongly opposed to this proposed merger. We believe it has the potential to seriously damage the development of Ireland’s forestry industry.

Coillte and Bord na Móna are engaged in fundamentally different industries. Bord na Móna is involved in the industrial exploitation of peat resources and in developing a renewable energy portfolio. However, it is not in Ireland’s interest that this development should be underpinned by the exploitation of forests for low-priced fuel to generate electricity when the peat supply is exhausted. Coillte, on the other hand, produces timber from sustainably managed forests for use in manufacturing added value products, predominantly for export markets.

Coillte, together with private growers and the wider forestry industry, can create the economies of scale required to build a viable world-class forestry and forest products industry in Ireland which will provide sustainable employment in rural Ireland. The best way to achieve this is through a clearly focused Coillte which can optimise the multiple values of its forests for all our people. – Yours, etc,

PACELLI BREATHNACH,

President, Society of Irish

Foresters, Glenealy,

Co Wicklow.