Workers’ Party research officer stated: “The government u-turn on plans to privatise Coillte, the state forestry
company, is for once a victory for the people, a victory for common sense, a victory for job creation, and a victory for the
original privatisation plan for Coillte” continued Mr Mannion “introduced under cover of a Troika diktat, but
completely in tune with the coalition’s privatisation philosophy, could only be described as national economic sabotage.
It would have handed control of a 110 year national investment in our afforestation policy to the very bankers and speculators
that brought this country to economic ruin”.
forestry service was created 110 years ago in Avondale in Co Wicklow. It is a profitable company paying an annual dividend
to the state. It employs almost 1,000 people directly, and hundreds more indirectly through subcontractors. Over 2,700 people
employed in the timber processing industry rely directly on Coillte for continuity of supply and guaranteed pricing of raw
timber. Many thousands of people in bars, cafes and hotels throughout the country rely on business generated by visitors to
our publicly owned forestry. Privatisation put all those jobs in jeopardy”.
is a long term industry. From planting to harvest can take forty years for softwoods and obviously much longer for hardwoods.
As the owners of the company the public demands, and is entitled to, access to our woodlands for many different recreational
pursuits. The public also demands high environmental standards, and appropriate replanting of felled timber. The proposed
sell-off of an 80-year harvesting franchise, effectively emasculating Coillte as a commercial enterprise, put a huge public
investment at risk.”
of forces that opposed the sell-off of Coillte was unprecedented and shows the stupidity and anti-people nature of the original
proposal. We congratulate all those who campaigned against privatisation. However, as the government’s underlying anti-public
sector philosophy has not changed one iota, we caution the public to beware of government attempts at a covert and creeping
privatisation process over the next couple of years”.