€2.4m in forestry premiums paid out to Leitrim farmers in 2016

The Forest Service says nearly a thousand people are now employed in the sector in Leitrim and that over €2.4m in forestry premiums was paid out to farmers in 2016.

Senior Inspector Seamus Dunne was before Leitrim County Council this week to answer questions on why so many private plantations are being approved in the county.

Mr. Dunne defended the licensing of such plantations as part of government policy and confirmed that Leitrim has in fact generated the most jobs in the country from forestry after Wicklow.

He also said that €2.4m in forest premiums were paid out to 374 farmers in 2016 and that while the over 430 hectares planted that year were by private landowners, most of them had addresses in Leitrim.

But Fianna Fail Councillor Justin Warnock disputes some of the figures he heard at yesterday’s meeting and says he says the local community are coming together now to fight this issue: