An official announcement is needed not media whispers to calm public concern
The Natural Resources Protection Alliance and the Woodland League today announced that more than twenty “Walks in the Woods” would take place across the country this weekend, Sunday June 9th, in a national day of action opposing the proposed sale of the harvesting rights to Ireland’s public forests and celebrating public forest ownership rights.
Walks will take place in Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Galway, Donegal, Cavan, Galway, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Clare, Wexford, Wicklow, Laois, Limerick, Longford, Roscommon, Westmeath, Wexford (see below full list of locations and contact details).
The call for a national day of action on June 9th in local woods was made at the hugely successful “Walk in the Woods” in Avondale Co. Wicklow in April attended by over 4000 people – also organised by the Natural Resources Protection Alliance and the Woodland League.
The organisers of this weekend’s events say that while the Avondale protest and wider public outrage has clearly shaken the government, the Minister’s responsible, Brendan Howlin and Simon Coveney, had still failed to make any official announcement that the government was now abandoning its previous commitment under the EU-IMF troika programme to sell-off Coillte’s harvesting rights.
The organisers noted that the new junior Minister for Agriculture, Tom Hayes, when asked directly yesterday on RTE about whether the sale plan would go-ahead, gave an entirely non-committal answer – stating only the final decision would be “in the best interests of the country.”
The organisers said their campaign would continue until they forced the government to make a definitive announcement that the privatisation plan was being shelved and called on the public to join the national day of action this Sunday.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD for People Before Profit and one of the organisers of the Natural Resources Protection Alliance said: “It is absolutely essential that we continue to mobilise to demand that our national forests, and the harvesting rights to those forests, remain one hundred per cent in public ownership.”
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