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Minister of State Connick Announces Payment of Annual Forestry Premiums

Mr Sean Connick TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with responsibility for forestry, today announced the payment of annual forestry premiums of almost €53 million to over 11,000 forest owners.  

This is the bulk payment run of the annual forestry premium under the Forestry Programme, which is payable each year for twenty years in the case of farmers and for fifteen years in the case of non-farmers.  The vast majority of recipients are farmers.  It is estimated that the total paid out in forest premium payments will exceed €60 million by year-end. 

Minister of State Connick said that he looked forward to working with the industry and the farming community for the development of a sustainable forestry sector, given its importance to farmers, to the economy, to the environment and to society generally and added "I believe that we need to work together to foster this invaluable indigenous industry in order to derive its full potential". 

Speaking at the announcement of the payments, the Minister of State emphasised that the importance of forestry was underlined by the Government's commitments in the renewed Programme for Government and the allocation of almost €120 million to Forestry for 2010.  

Referring to the Forest Policy review currently being undertaken in fulfilment of a commitment in the Programme for Government to review all aspects of the forestry programme, Minister of State Connick said that "it was encouraging to note the level of participation by interested parties and stakeholders evident from the significant number of submissions received in response to the consultation element of the review".

Date Released: 12 April 2010