Archive for February, 2013


People Before Profit- United Left Alliance denounce Coillte sale plan as a despicable act of cultural, economic and environmental sabotage

IMG_1679At a press conference in Dublin today, People Before Profit-United Left Alliance outlined details of a private members motion which will be put to a vote in the Dáil this week, calling on the government to abandon plans to sell-off the harvesting rights to 1.2 million acres of public forestry currently owned by the state Company, Coillte.

People Before Profit-ULA described the proposal to sell off the harvesting rights to Ireland’s public forests as “nothing short of a despicable act of cultural, economic and environmental sabotage”.

The Press conference was addressed by Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Joan Collins TD and Clare Daly TD, from People Before Profit-ULA, Independent TD, Catherine Murphy, Ken Doyle (Woodland League) and Fergal Mc Loughlin (Keep Ireland Open).

A number of other TD’s from the Dáil Technical group have also signed the Dáil motion. They include: Joan Collins , Clare Daly, Stephen Donnelly , Luke Ming Flanagan, Tom Fleming TD, John Halligan, Joe Higgins, Seamus Healy, Finian McGrath, Mattie McGrath, Catherine Murphy, Maureen O’Sullivan, Thomas Pringle and Mick Wallace.

The private members motion will be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings this week before a vote at 9pm on Wednesday night.

The debate on the Dáil motion will be accompanied by a demonstration opposing the planned sale of Coillte’s harvesting rights on Wednesday February 27th at 5pm outside the Dail.

Richard Boyd Barrett, who drafted the Dáil motion said: “This motion and tomorrow’s protest in is an effort to ring the alarm bells, alert the public and put urgent pressure on the government to halt the plan to sell off one of our most precious natural resources and state assets.

To sell off the harvesting rights to 1.2 million acres of public forestry would be an unspeakable crime against the citizens and the country. It would mean asset-stripping this state of one of its most valuable and precious resources in order to pay off the gambling debts of the bankers and speculators who have brought this country to its knees. To do this would be nothing less than a despicable act of cultural, economic and environmental sabotage”.

Our forests are already a huge economic asset for this state generating thousands of jobs and huge revenue for the state. If we invested in them and managed them properly, as is done elsewhere in Europe, they have the potential to create literally tens of thousands of new jobs.

Incredibly, if this despicable plan were to go ahead, it is very possible that it will be bankers – the very people who helped bankrupt the country – that might gain ownership of our public forests. All the signs are that the value that NewEra has put on the harvesting rights represents a gross under-valuation of these woodland resources. We are literally giving away one of our most valuable assets – quite possibly to the same sort of people who helped ruin this country.

Private for profit interests will have no commitment to the cultural importance of our forests, to maintaining public access, to developing the forests in the interests of the people and our economy or to their sustainable management. They will be interested in short term profit for shareholders – pure and simple.

No other country in Europe has sold-off their public forestry. When it was mooted in Britain recently there was a national outcry and the government were forced to abandon the plans. In Sweden, where some public forests were privatised they were quickly taken back into public ownership.

We need to mobilise urgently to stop this abominable plan to loot this priceless public asset and demand that the government protect and develop our woodlands in the interests of the people.”

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Private members motion presses Dáil vote to halt sale of harvesting rights to public forests

At a press conference in Dublin today, People Before Profit-United Left Alliance outlined details of a private members motion which will be put to a vote in the Dáil this week, calling on the government to abandon plans to sell-off the harvesting rights to 1.2 million acres of public forestry currently owned by the state Company, Coillte.

Richard Boyd Barrett described the proposal to sell off the harvesting rights to Ireland’s public forests as “nothing short of a despicable act of cultural, economic and environmental sabotage”.

The Press conference was addressed by Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Joan Collins TD and Clare Daly TD, from People Before Profit-ULA, Independent TD, Catherine Murphy, Ken Doyle (Woodland League) and Fergal Mc Loughlin (Keep Ireland Open).

A number of other TD’s from the Dáil Technical group have also signed the Dáil motion.

The private members motion will be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings this week before a vote at 9pm on Wednesday night.

The debate on the Dáil motion will be accompanied by a demonstration opposing the planned sale of Coillte’s harvesting rights on Wednesday February 27th at 5pm outside the Dail.

Richard Boyd Barrett, who drafted the Dáil motion said:

“This motion and tomorrow’s protest in is an effort to ring the alarm bells, alert the public and put urgent pressure on the government to halt the plan to sell off one of our most precious natural resources and state assets.

To sell off the harvesting rights to 1.2 million acres of public forestry would be an unspeakable crime against the citizens and the country. It would mean asset-stripping this state of one of its most valuable and precious resources in order to pay off the gambling debts of the bankers and speculators who have brought this country to its knees. To do this would be nothing less than a despicable act of cultural, economic and environmental sabotage”.

Our forests are already a huge economic asset for this state generating thousands of jobs and huge revenue for the state. If we invested in them and managed them properly, as is done elsewhere in Europe, they have the potential to create literally tens of thousands of new jobs.

Incredibly, if this despicable plan were to go ahead, it is very possible that it will be bankers – the very people who helped bankrupt the country – that might gain ownership of our public forests. All the signs are that the value that NewEra has put on the harvesting rights represents a gross under-valuation of these woodland resources. We are literally giving away one of our most valuable assets – quite possibly to the same sort of people who helped ruin this country.

Private for profit interests will have no commitment to the cultural importance of our forests, to maintaining public access, to developing the forests in the interests of the people and our economy or to their sustainable management. They will be interested in short term profit for shareholders – pure and simple.

No other country in Europe has sold-off their public forestry. When it was mooted in Britain recently there was a national outcry and the government were forced to abandon the plans. In Sweden, where some public forests were privatised they were quickly taken back into public ownership.

We need to mobilise urgently to stop this abominable plan to loot this priceless public asset and demand that the government protect and develop our woodlands in the interests of the people.”

Croke-ParkIn a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett, Finance spokesperson for People Before Profit/ULA has said that the new “deal” on public sector pay and conditions just agreed between the government and some trade union leaders represented yet another disastrous blow for both the economy and struggling workers.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said that unions that had walked out of the talks were quite right to do so as further cuts in public sector pay and conditions for low and middle income public servants would do further damage to the economy and would drive many households into an unsustainable financial position.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said that it was in the interest of all workers – public and private sector – that this plan was resisted as further pay cuts for public sector workers would do further damage to the domestic economy and further accelerate the race to the bottom in pay and conditions for all workers.

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “It is quite amazing that any union leader could describe these proposals for further cuts in pay as “fair.” How can it be fair that workers, who have already suffered 15-20% cuts in income over recent years, should suffer further pay cuts purely to pay-off the gambling debts run-up by private bankers and speculators?

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front coillte leaflet

Read test of the motion click on image below:

back coillte leaflet

Facebook Event:

http://www.facebook.com/events/484001754997330/

nat resources posterIrelandʼs Natural Resources

NOT FOR SALE Conference Sun 10 March, 11.30 – 6pm, Gresham Hotel, Dublin

Hosted By Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit

Leinster House, Kildare St, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 6183366

Speakers Include: Dr Helge Ryggvik (Norwegian Economic Historian), Catherine Murphy TD, Jessica Ernst (Canadian Scientist Living Fracked), Frank Connolly (Author of SIPTU produced Optimising Ireland’s Natural Resources), Stein Bredal (Norwegian former Oil Worker), Andrew St Leger (Woodlands League), Cllr Brid Smith (People Before Profit),Padraing Campbell (Former Oil Rig Worker), Paul Murphy MEP (Socialist Party), Maura Harrington (Shell to Sea), Pat “The Chief” O Donnell (Fisherman Porturlin Co Mayo)

View Conference Timetable here: PBP Nat Recources Timetable

Full Leaflet here: PBP Nat Resources Conference

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/452984951434692/

The Irish government is giving away our natural resources. Oil and Gas exploration licences have been handed out to big multi nationals under terms that mean the Irish people do not gain jobs, a revenue stream or security of supply. Practices with serious environmental consequences, such as fracking, are not ruled out under law. The harvesting rights to our forests are about to be sold to the highest bidder. This threatens access rights of the Irish people to walk in our forests and endangers the sustainability of our woodlands as they will be exploited for quick sale of timber. Our water is about to be privatised. The rst move has been to transfer the administration of the water services to a new semi state Irish Water and next year water charges will be introduced. When water was privatised in the north of England, the area experienced its first ever water shortages!

Fishing in Ireland has been destroyed by huge multi-national trawlers, aided and abetted by EU quota regulations, plundering our waters. What we need is a sustainable sheries policy that protects the livelihoods of small shermen and allows local shing industry to ourish creating jobs and protecting a valuable natural resource.

The mismanagement and privatisation of our natural resources has a detrimental impact on the environment, jobs and our economy. Decisions are regularly made with regards to our natural resources without any public consultations, which are required under EU law. There is no serious plan for a programme of major public investment to develop renewable energies.

Ireland is in an unprecedented economic crisis. Our natural resources have enormous potential for jobs and economic growth as would a national project to develop renewable energies.

We must act now to change the policy of facilitating multi nationals in their pursuit of prots which is undermining our economy and the environment.

Come along to our conference on Sun 10 March 11.30 – 18.00 in The Gresham Hotel, O Connell Street, Dublin 1

Booking Tel: 01 618 3366 Email: NaturalResourcesConference@gmail.com