Over 4,000 people turned out for the “A Walk in the Woods” today (Sunday April 28th) in Avondale Forest Park, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow. The event featured songs, poems and readings from prominent musicians, actors and poets including: Christy Moore, Paddy Casey, Jeremy Irons, Sinead Cusack, Dave Lordan (Award winning poet), Brid Ni Neachtain (Actor), Denis Conway (Actor & Director, Oroboros Theatre Co.), Landless (Folk Musicians), Larry Beau (Singer), Madu (North African Singers) & more.

Speaking at the protest Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “We are getting an enormous response from across the country for this event and expect a large turn-out for our “walk in the woods.” People are utterly shocked when they hear of the government’s intention to sell-off this priceless piece our natural heritage to pay off the gambling debts of bankers. The purpose of this event is to urgently ring the alarm bells and alert the wider public of the imminent threat to our public forest estate – an absolutely precious cultural, historical and economic asset. We are delighted that so many, prominent musicians, actors and poets are taking part to highlight that this proposal to privatise our public forests is not just an act of economic theft but it is also a shameful betrayal of our culture, our heritage and our history. It is beyond belief that we are being forced to sell our forests to pay the debts of bankers and bankers may end up owing our forests. It is an act of cultural and economic sabotage and must be stopped.”

Andrew St Ledger, PRO The Woodland League said, Irelands Public forests belong to the grandchildren of Ireland and their grand-children, they should be managed wisely using a new community oriented model to ensure a future for the generations to come. This underhanded short-sighted plan to sell Public Forests must be stopped.

The “Walk in the Woods” is also supported by: Sebastian Barry (Author), Stephen Rea, Catherine Murphy TD, Clare Daly TD, Joan Collins TD, John Halligan TD, Thomas Pringle TD, Paul Murphy MEP, Martin Ferris TD, Patrick Nulty TD, People Before Profit Alliance, Keep Ireland Open, Friends of the Earth, Unite Trade Union, SIPTU, United Left, Socialist Workers Party, Sinn Fein.

(Photos: nmcgabhann/wbyl- (c) All rights reserved copyright)