Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Donegal Timber Processing Industry.

60.

asked the Minister for Fisheries and Forestry if he has any plans to establish a timber processing industry in Donegal, in view of the amount of mature timber available there.

There are no such proposals at present.

In the light of recent major developments in the pulpwood processing sector — about which I fully informed the House when introducing the Estimates for my Department on 26 March last — the timber production forecasts would not, in the short term at any rate, warrant the establishment of a further processing industry in County Donegal, or elsewhere in the country for that matter.

In so far as the sawmilling industry is concerned, the establishment or expansion of mills is, of course, a matter for private enterprise. My understanding is that, with the implementation of the IDA strategy for this sector, capacity is broadly in balance with output from State and private forests.

Now, where is the Minister?

I am anxious to receive a reply to Question No. 63.