Almost a year after FIE began to investigate the felling of protected trees during the bird nesting season at Ireland’s largest private estate, the Minister for Agriculture has confirmed the felling of at least 9 specimen oak trees between 60 and 80 years old – with some even older – even though the Department had tried to specifically protect them with a cover letter to the licence. The cover letter proved invalid and while procedures have been changed, there is no way to enforce existing licences with these kinds of conditions. Even worse, when Minister for Heritage Heather Humphries had a report prepared by her Parks and Wildlife Service confirming the felling in response to a Parliamentary Question from James Bannon about the felling in December 2015, she told neither the Guards nor the Forest Service – nor did she ever answer the Deputy as promised. As a result, no prosecution can be undertaken of Lady Georgiana Forbes because of the passage of time.

 FIE is following up – read today’s letter

 

 

 

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