On the subject of state assets, the government are hungrily eyeing up Coillte’s 1.2 million acres of public forest as easy prey in the Great Irish State Asset Fire Sale (everything must go, at knock down prices).
While I’ve no objection to the money pit that’s what’s left of Aer Lingus being shunted off to auction, the wonderful public amenity that our forestland represents is a very different matter.
The Woodland League notes that “since it was created in 1989 by Bertie Ahern, Ray Burke and co, Coillte has sold over 40,000 acres of Public Forest lands, into private ownership, with zero accountability. Most of the sales have gone to IFORUT (Irish Forest Unit Trust) an umbrella body for most pension funds in Ireland, of which, Coillte happen to be partners, with the failed banks, AIB, and Bank of Ireland. Coillte bought into IFORUT using 15 million punts worth of Public forests as equity, in 1994. Incidentally, IFORUT’s forest portfolio consists of approx 40,000 acres, matching what Coillte have sold”.
Sounds fishy to me.
Check out their worthy website and recent press release here: http://www.woodlandleague.org