A Parliamentary Question seeking information about felling in an ancient woodland in Castleforbes demesne in County Longford confirmed the felling of Oak trees between 60 and 80 years old in spite of a specific condition in the felling licence protecting the trees.
The information was contained in a Report prepared by the Parks and Wildlife Service to inform a reply to a written Parliamentary Question tabled on 1 December, 2015. The question, by then Longford/Westmeath TD James Bannon, FG, asked Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht ‘the action she will take to save the oak woodlands (details supplied) in County Longford; and if she will make a statement on the matter.’ The Minister replied that ‘My Department is investigating this matter and I will write to the Deputy when I have received a report.’
The license which was restricted to ‘firewood’ identified approximately 30 mature oaks which were to be protected, stating: ‘Leave all Oak, Holly, and Rowan standing”. The Report confirmed the recent felling of all the Oaks.
The Deputy never received the promised reply. An investigation by FIE which discovered the Report also revealed further felling this Spring of California Redwoods which the contractor had assured the Forest Service ‘would not be felled’.