Mattie McGrath: Plight of forestry sector must be addressed urgently

Mattie McGrath TD. Photo © Houses of the Oireachtas.

The plight of the forestry sector needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency according to Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath.

He says the delay in issuing licences has had a major impact on the sector.

The Independent TD has refuted claims by Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity Pippa Hackett that efforts to resolve the issue have worked.

However Deputy McGrath says there are thousands of licences held up and warned that the Government will ultimately pay the price.

“Literally to cut as much as to make a handle for a sweeping brush now you have to be able to get a licence.

“We need to have a situation where obviously there’s licences granted when you plant afforestation – I’m talking about anything under 50 hectares. I believe the farmers must have the right to harvest that the same as they would potatoes or indeed wheat or corn.

“You must be able to reap what you sow and I’ll tell you one thing this government are going to reap what they sow when they go back to the electorate in two or three years’ time or whenever when people really know the full extent of the way they have been blackguarded.”