Ó Domhnaill Raises Serious concerns at plans to sell Coillte Assets

Fianna Fáil  Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture Brian Ó Domhnaill has criticized the Minister for Agriculture, and the Government for pursuing the nonsensiele agenda to sell Coillte State Assets.


Moving an adjournment debate motion on the subject in the Seanad last night the Donegal Senator called on the Government to refrain from the sale of any Coillte State assets whatsoever, which included the Government plan  to sell the Coillte harvesting rights and also the sale of 1,109 acres of forestry land outside Ballybofey in County Donegal. The Government made the announcement last June to sell off the harvesting rights.


Addressing the Seanad Ó Domhnaill said; “The proposed sale of viable forest lands in Donegal should be blocked by the market and clearly the agenda of selling off a perfectly viable State asset is completely unjustified on economic grounds, and indeed this point has been vindicated by an independent report on the forestry section by economist Peter Bacon.”


“In the Bacon Report which was commissioned by the Coillte branch of the Trade Union Impact, it outlines that the State would be liable for costs of €1.3 billion following a sale of harvesting rights. To cover these costs, Coillte would need to sell at €78 a square metre, which is well above current or recent prices.”


The Donegal Senator went on to say; “The report highlights that the average recent price for Coillte supplies to saw mills has been just over €43 a square metre. This therefore shows clearly that the sale of Coillte harvesting rights would not generate State income, but would in fact cost the exchequer.”


“The funding of the report therefore totally undermines the only rationale the Government has put forward for the Sale.”


“Unfortunately the response provided in the Seanad by the Minister for Agriculture does not show a change of direction in the decision to sell of a State asset in light of the published report, referred to above.”


“My call to the Minister is quite clear – refrain from the proposed sale on the basis that it simply does not make any economic logic and will only serve to cost the taxpayer extra money.”

Copy of the Report Available here

Posted: Feb 6, 2013     |     Categories: Uncategorized