Forest machinery distributor backs call to increase felling licences

Birdhill-based Komatsu Forest equipment distributor, McHale Plant Sales has given backing to efforts aimed at increasing the issue of forest felling licences.

Writing to An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin in what he called his capacity as ‘a leading distributor of timber harvesting machinery to the forestry contracting sector’, company director, Michael McHale referred to the ‘impact’ that the fall-off in the issue of forest felling licences is having on forest harvesting contractors and businesses engaged in the distribution of tree felling equipment.

In his letter, McHale asked that An Taoiseach would join with Ministers Charlie McConalogue, Pippa Hackett and the Forestry Service in ‘tacking and resolving’ issues that have led to the reduction in the number of tree felling licences being issued.

As a company impacted by the reduction in demand for new forest harvesting machinery that has resulted – a situation that he said is shared by his competitors as evidenced in the year gone by – he endorsed the campaign being conducted by the Cork-based Forest Owners Co-operative Society and the Limerick and Tipperary Woodland Owners organisation.

In that regard, he pointed to comments broadcast by a Littleton-based contractor who complained of having expensive machines laid up for want of work for them to do. In addition, he asked that concerns being expressed relating to the spread of Ash Dieback disease would also be addressed. Also recognised are the intensive representations on the issue that are being made by FCI, the Farm Contractors Ireland organisation.