Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Questions (49)

Aindrias Moynihan


49. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the removal of trees at a location (details supplied); if he will report on the investigation into the removal of those trees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5684/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Forestry in Ireland operates within a legal and regulatory framework. This framework exists to protect our forests and also to ensure that forestry operations and activities are carried out in compliance with the principles of sustainable forest management. In this context, my Department is responsible for the administration, evaluation and processing of felling licence applications as required by the Forestry Acts 1946 and 2014. As such, applications for tree felling licences are carefully assessed by my officials to ensure that the proposed tree felling or thinning is suitable for both the management of the trees on site and the care and protection of the land and surrounding environment.

As regards the case in question, a General Felling Licence was issued under the Forestry Act 1946 on the 7th April 2017 to thin a forest area. This licence conferred on the licensee the right to uproot or cut down of trees in the specified area of land in the ordinary course of thinning, in accordance with the general practice of good forestry.

The felling licence on the site was suspended following receipt of reports from third parties. As there is an on-going review into the circumstances surrounding the felling at the location in question, I am unable to comment further on this individual case. I expect this review to be finalised shortly and my Department will then take appropriate action based on the outcome of that report.