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BrendanGalway
05-04-2010, 01:15 PM
Have a gander :


Also I heard a rumour that Ahern is chairman of a group of foreign investors who will take ownership of Coillte, and its landbank of 2 million acres, when its privatised to plug the budget deficit.

This was taken from the Brian Cowen Traitor (http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=759&highlight=coillte) thread. According to their website, Coillte own over 1 million acres of land(445,000 hectares), roughly 7% of the land surface of the country.

There is already a recommendation to consider selling it off in the McCarthy report from Bord Snip Nua.

Then theres our good friend Bertie Ahern. At the beginning of the year, he was made Chairman of The International Forestry Fund(described as a joint venture of the Irish Forestry fund and Helvetia Wealth AG of Switzerland). What exactly does Bertie Ahern know about Forestry? Why is he being made head of a Forestry Investment fund? Their press release (http://www.ifsam.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56&Itemid=71) thread may provide clues :
- "The International Forestry Fund was born after the original Irish Forestry Funds could not accept further investments simply because the availability of suitable land for forestation in Ireland is finite"
- Ahern is "Known as a dedicated negotiator focused on the end result"

They obviously see out former Taoiseach as a good man to employ. He would have built up a few Connections across the continent, handy for a man whos job it is to open doors for International Money. Its possible the biggest factor in getting him onboard is Coillte. The fund was valued at €100 million late last year, its biggest purchase to date appears to be a forest in Falkirk, Scotland. Getting Coillte and its huge holdings would surely be the jewel in the crown.

Why would we sell it off? Our dire financial situation makes it an easy target. We are already spending around €20Bn more each year than we are taking in through Taxes. We have also just more than doubled the National debt to fund Nama, and with each passing day the Final bill for Anglo grows by another Billion. As more and more of the tax take will be diverted to fund our Interest repayments on our incredible debt, the temptation to sell off the Family Silver becomes too much to ignore. It may even happen simply because with no money for development, money has to come from somewhere to put Tarmac on Primary routes and to keep the heating on in Schools.
It would also be a requirement of the IMF, should we go to them on bended knee like the Greeks, for the government to divest itself of all public assets. ie whatever is not Nailed down or Ablaze. This will include the Esb, Bord Gais,CIE...even the Social Welfare. Coillte would definatley be at the top of that queue.

Why worry? In a time when the Worlds Population is exploding, how much sense does it make to hand over so much of our Arable land to an International fund , effectively putting it beyond our reach ? I see this as the Killer line : "The fund buys existing forests, or land which is then afforested. Key to its strategy is that it will acquire the title to all properties for the benefit and protection of its investors." It was Public land, now its Private land. Trespassers will be prosecuted. 7%. Thats a hell of a lot of Forests, Lakes, Mountain areas that would be closed off to us.

I suggest we use this thread to monitor Developments on Coillte. We have already given away our Gas, Id rather we did not hand over so much of our Land and Forests as well.

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 01:28 PM
Thanks for posting this. It keeps coming up. Fine Gael have been flying the idea that we should sell everything we have left off, as though it was some smart kind of thing to do. It's not only Fianna Fail that needs watching.

DCon
05-04-2010, 01:33 PM
Have a gander :

- Ahern is "Known as a dedicated negotiator focused on the end result"



As long as the end result enriches Ahern.

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 01:36 PM
I just found this Facebook Page made by the Woodland League -

http://sl-si.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=198560882580&topic=14371

I don't think they'll mind me posting their material here...

DCon
05-04-2010, 01:44 PM
FF pushed this Bill through without debate:


AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR AN INCREASE IN THE AGGREGATE
OF THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT COILLTE
TEORANTA MAY BORROW AT ANY ONE TIME, TO
AMEND THE FORESTRY ACT 1988 AND TO PROVIDE
FOR RELATED MATTERS.
10 BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:


1.—Section 24(1)(b) of the Forestry Act 1988 is amended by substituting
“\400,000,000” for “£80 million”.

http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/b...409/b7409d.pdf

Watch Coillte buy land banks from developers at the original bubble price.

The developer will have had half their loan written off through NAMA.

Digout
05-04-2010, 02:01 PM
Anything that involves ahern should set alarm bells ringing. This does not look good at all.

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 02:16 PM
From the Woodland League link in my last post




The Woodland League

Please find press release promoting the lie that The Irish and international plantations are managed sustainably, regarding Bertie Aherns new appointment. Bear in mind from the Coillte 2000 report the Millenium project was used to get FSC certification showing Coilltes commitment to high Nature value Native woodlands as they had neglected same during their tenure in charge of the public woods etc, and they were given Public money for this project to get international ecolabel status to benefit Private investors to continue to Privatise the profits and Socialise the Environmental and Social damage, maybe this is what Bertie who launched the Peoples Millenium Woodlands project in Derrygill Millenium woodland,meant when he said he was a socialist.

He also mentions in his FSC spiel that the managers of these plantations merely observe biodiversity, or should that be look for it......Coillte the State Forestry Board are using an Ecolabel to access international plantations on behalf of Private investors, to the detriment of local third world communities and their environment. The word Vultures comes to mind......

The public need to be aware too that Coillte set up the Irish Forestry Unit Trust in 1993 and have been selling off chunks of the public forests to the Trust since then with no public consultation. In effect there has been creeping privatisation of Public assets, and undue influence form the Private financial sector in how our forest estate has been managed. These same investors have availed of huge amounts of EU (Public money) grants that should have been used to invest in a public resource so that we might actually have a Sustainable Forestry Culture by now.....instead this money has gone to faceless investors. What is even more disturbing is the fact that in 2007 the EU finally created environmental criteria to be attached to EU forestry grants,eg; independent water monitoring adjacent to forestry sites. Ireland withdrew forestry from EU money and decided to fund forestry directly. Meaning Private Forestry investors are getting paid 100% grants using Irish peoples money ?See The case for Ireland Funding Forests into the future report on the Woodland league website, for more detail.

The granting of the FSC ecolabel to Coillte in 2002 to such a low standard, that allows Coillte appear Sustainable and operate in the third World, is making a mockery of our commitment to take pressure off developing countries resources, I cant see too many locals having 100,000 Euros to invest in the Trust. It highlights the danger of letting Coillte near our carbon fund of 270 million euros, which must be used to re-establish a new Forestry model in Ireland with multiple benefits for the Public etc etc.

One other issue of significance is we must not allow Plantations to be used for CARBON TRADING and BIOFUELS,(*see the recent letter sent to the EU, signed by the sinister use of FSC to give the lie of sustainability to what are environmental disasters), Plantations rely on huge amounts of pesticides and fertilisers in the form of phosphates and nitrates, these release Nitrous oxide into the atmosphere which adds to Climate change, as well as polluting our water!

(* Please read the letter on our discussion board in a previous entry entitled 'Letter to Mr Karl Falkenberg, the EU’s Director General of Environment, regarding sustainable production of biomass.')

Coillte cannot use PEFC (The Plantation Industry's own weak forestry standard ) continuously mentioned as an excuse by Environment NGOs to continue giving credibility to remaining in the FSC process. FSC is the only Forestry standard that shows on paper a commitment to consulting and involving local communities, and balances Social,Environmental, and Economic concerns, however with the Principle concerning Indigenous peoples rights removed with tacit agreement of environment NGOs in FSC-Ireland, Coillte can comfortably ignore the locals rights in the third World as spectacularly as they continue to do in Ireland.

Not commenting on the many major flaws surrounding Coilltes FSC ecolabel will not help the local communities in the third World, who will suffer the consequences of this fraud. The Woodland league firmly and sincerely believe this is of National and International importance

Bertie Ahern was Minister for finance, the main shareholder in Coillte when the forestry investment funds were set up in 1993 not 1997 as the press release states. Bertie has come full circle with his involvement now at the helm of this major international investment group set to profit from the use of an Irish Publicly owned body, and the public assets transferred quietly over many years.

The Agenda 21 mantra, Act locally and think Globally is very appropriate in this instance whereby a Public owned body is impacting negatively in the third world through their local activities, which is an inverted version.

Regards,
Andrew St Ledger,
PRO The Woodland league.

toxic avenger
05-04-2010, 03:22 PM
Good digging, Brendan and cactus. Youngdan (in another incarnation) posted a tongue-in-cheek thread over yonder last year pointing out the vast amounts of money to be made in a carbon-credit swapping game, 'praising' Ahern for his foresight. The real money was to be made there, in what 'Helvetia' called a 'secondary' role (they don't give a toss about forestry). Also, Helvetia describe themselves as having 'expertise' in offshore banking. Odd that....

http://www.helvetia-wealth.com/English/events-gallery.asp

http://www.politics.ie/economy/121636-bertie-most-successfull-politician-ever.html

BrendanGalway
05-04-2010, 03:53 PM
The public need to be aware too that Coillte set up the Irish Forestry Unit Trust in 1993 and have been selling off chunks of the public forests to the Trust since then with no public consultation. In effect there has been creeping privatisation of Public assets, and undue influence form the Private financial sector in how our forest estate has been managed.

Does Andrew St Ledger have any proof of this, he needs to start phoning up Papers and Radio if its true. This is a terrible scandal, granted not as bad as whats come out so far in 2010. But it amounts to our country being sold of underneath us piece by piece.

The Irish Forestry Unit Trust was founded by Coillte along with.....AIB and Irish life. Its seems to have been created with Pension funds and Charities in mind. The idea is to pour this money into forest acquired from Coillte. The fund now stands at €165 millions and is almost all Irish Forests. See Here (http://www.iforut.ie/iforut.html) It looks as if you have to go though Revenue to get access to this fund.

Heres a question : Would it be worth an FOI to see who is involved in that fund? Or would it be better served to Coillte to see what Acreage is being sold and where it is going?

Good point also on the "Green" aspect of their operations. Their Sitka spruce tree is not indigenous to Ireland as seems to require a fair amount of Chemicals to help it along. Im sure if someone is putting their money into a Green portfolio they are expecting their investment to at least conform to the most basic Environmental standards and Philosophies. Coilltes operations are not particularity Green in that respect.

And Ahern was involved in the beginning. Its like a Cream bun he put aside to treat himself to later. This is getting Interesting.

toxic avenger
05-04-2010, 04:21 PM
Good point also on the "Green" aspect of their operations. Their Sitka spruce tree is not indigenous to Ireland as seems to require a fair amount of Chemicals to help it along. Im sure if someone is putting their money into a Green portfolio they are expecting their investment to at least conform to the most basic Environmental standards and Philosophies. Coilltes operations are not particularity Green in that respect.


It's something I have been banging on about for years - the Sitka monoculture - miles and miles of silent, wildlife-free, dark forests of non-native conifer. There are the beginnings of moves, still really at 'token' level, towards more native broadleaf (and there is a place for Sitka too), but, in the end, money talks. Sitka grows quickly, needs little in the way of good soil, is suited to mountainside conditions, and sells on. Coillte have been very slow to move towards mixed woodland. Ahern, of course, and whatever hedge-fund parasite outfit he is heading, won't give a toss about such considerations...

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 04:31 PM
Does Andrew St Ledger have any proof of this, he needs to start phoning up Papers and Radio if its true. This is a terrible scandal, granted not as bad as whats come out so far in 2010. But it amounts to our country being sold of underneath us piece by piece.

The Irish Forestry Unit Trust was founded by Coillte along with.....AIB and Irish life. Its seems to have been created with Pension funds and Charities in mind. The idea is to pour this money into forest acquired from Coillte. The fund now stands at €165 millions and is almost all Irish Forests. See Here (http://www.iforut.ie/iforut.html) It looks as if you have to go though Revenue to get access to this fund.

Heres a question : Would it be worth an FOI to see who is involved in that fund? Or would it be better served to Coillte to see what Acreage is being sold and where it is going?

Good point also on the "Green" aspect of their operations. Their Sitka spruce tree is not indigenous to Ireland as seems to require a fair amount of Chemicals to help it along. Im sure if someone is putting their money into a Green portfolio they are expecting their investment to at least conform to the most basic Environmental standards and Philosophies. Coilltes operations are not particularity Green in that respect.

And Ahern was involved in the beginning. Its like a Cream bun he put aside to treat himself to later. This is getting Interesting.


Youngdan has posted about this before. He says its a Carbon Offset scam with enormous tax write offs. I'll try to find the thread.

toxic avenger
05-04-2010, 04:49 PM
Youngdan has posted about this before. He says its a Carbon Offset scam with enormous tax write offs. I'll try to find the thread.

I've linked to his thread above, the one he posted as PigPustheTruthteller...

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 04:54 PM
I've linked to his thread above, the one he posted as PigPustheTruthteller...

Thanks very much, toxic - perhaps that's the thread I was thinking of. If I posted on it, it probably was.

Can't see the thread though - IP barred :).

Perhaps youngdan might turn up and post on this again. He was the only one I know of who had spotted the tax write off aspect.

I remember seeing the legislation change on Coillte borrowing too.

In this case, I think 1 and 1 and 1 really make three.

toxic avenger
05-04-2010, 05:01 PM
Thanks very much, toxic - perhaps that's the thread I was thinking of. If I posted on it, it probably was.

Can't see the thread though - IP barred :).

Perhaps youngdan might turn up and post on this again. He was the only one I know of who had spotted the tax write off aspect.

I remember seeing the legislation change on Coillte borrowing too.

In this case, I think 1 and 1 and 1 really make three.

Sorry, of course, should have realised that a fair number of posters here would have trouble seeing it. You're not on this particular thread, which he posted under a different name, I'll have a look for the one you're talking about. I'll post one post of his(with apologies to youngdan - I'm sure he'll not sue for copyright being a libertarian and all), which I think is a good one:


Events Gallery | Helvetia Wealth

This here is the best report that I have seen with regard to the launch of the fund. It has the usual gobbledegook and begining at 100 million etc etc and expecting a 7-10% annual return. This sort of chat is just for the yahoos. The big investers can read a press release and draw the real conclusions from reading between the lines. My 2nd mosy favourite piece is.
"Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is a broad based approach to investing that now encompasses an estimated $2.71 trillion out of $25.1 trillion in the U.S. investment market place today"

Now we are getting to the real meat and potato mash. How can a man go wrong by Socially Responsible Investing SRI. Why it describes me to a tee. I am nothing if not socialble, sure responsible and do enjoy investing. But best of all look at that figure, 2.71 trillion, not billion mind you.

2,710 000 000 000.

Fair play to the Bert.

It goes on talking rubbish about timber and such like nonsense. Again for the yahoos. It is only in the notes that what is described "secondary income" (no laughing please as this is a serious matter) is even mentioned

"Japan’s establishment of a forest carbon credit system has signalled a significant benefit for secondary income for forestry investors. The Japanese system is based on the J-ver (Japan Verified Emissions reduction) system launched in November 2008 and will help calculate forest carbon absorption and is the first of its kind. The absorption will be calculated and estimated in credits which can then be sold to carbon dioxide emitting companies already registered in the J-ver system."

This of course is the only piece of the many reports I have read that is worth reading. That is all DaBert and any savy investor with a couple of spare pound needs to know



But, I had better give the REAL good news here to make everyone happy.

It says that the return will likely be 10%. Again this is for the yahoos.

The real return is likely to be a quick 300%. It could be described as a Capital Market Digout. A CMD for short. Let me explain how this miracle works.

As I said the market will be rigged and a 10% return will be assured to those who buy in early. Seeing that it issocially responsible investing to save the planet from a fever, it should definitely be tax free. DaBert and me are putting ourmoney to a good cause here, don't forget. Now a 10% yield with almost zeo risk will be an anomaly and everyone will want a piece of the pie. As an investment it will be compared against the US 10 year treasury bond which is the global benchmark against which every yield is compared.

In a free market the rush of new investers would pressurise the carbon credits down in price, despite the compulsory buying by the sucker/victims who face jail if they refuse to buy the carbon credits. The last thing anyone wants is cheap credits. After all it is not about the money but if our credits were cheap it would not cut down on the suckers polluting and then we would all roast. Go outside and think about it if you are having difficulty seeing reality. Or missing the forest through the trees if you will.

What will happen is what always happens. The regulators will make it impossible for new scamps to join the gravy train, I mean fight global warming, a little slip there. We will have what John D Rockafeller insisted upon. A Monopoly. Happy Days.


So we will have an asset yielding 10% whereas the Treasury yields 3.6%. This is where the inverse relationship between bond price and bond yield comes into play. If the shares,for want of a better word, of the investment fund are sold in the secondary market the yield will be the same as the yield on the bond. As the coupon is fixed at the dollar amount which gave a 10% return it means that the value on the investment fund must rise almost 300% in order for the 2 investments to align.

This may be difficult for many to grasp but that is how bond markets work on a daily basis.

That is how the investment could in fact triple in jig time.

After all 10 trillion over 25 years is a hell of a lot of cash. But to save the world is it not a small price to pay. Especially when an Irishman is so selflessly leading the way.

God Bless the Bert and the man that thought up carbon credits

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 05:09 PM
I found the Tok thread, called "Bertie Does A Blair" -



When Blair left office he made some serious money quickly. He got a job a job in The City and he got a job on Wall Street at a million each. No experience necessary we will train I guess.
Da Bert has landed a a job which conceiveably net him a 100 million euro.
The poster PigPus the Truthteller deals with the issue in a taunting fashion back on P.ie. Whoever this Pigpus is, he understands markets and explains how the investment could on fact triple. I will post verbatum the crucial last post from the thread
http://www.politics.ie/economy/121636-bertie-most-successfull-politician-ever.html


(Youngdan)

Continues -



"Events Gallery | Helvetia Wealth
This here is the best report that I have seen with regard to the launch of the fund. It has the usual gobbledegook and begining at 100 million etc etc and expecting a 7-10% annual return. This sort of chat is just for the yahoos. The big investers can read a press release and draw the real conclusions from reading between the lines. My 2nd mosy favourite piece is.
"Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is a broad based approach to investing that now encompasses an estimated $2.71 trillion out of $25.1 trillion in the U.S. investment market place today"
Now we are getting to the real meat and potato mash. How can a man go wrong by Socially Responsible Investing SRI. Why it describes me to a tee. I am nothing if not socialble, sure responsible and do enjoy investing. But best of all look at that figure, 2.71 trillion, not billion mind you.
2,710 000 000 000.
Fair play to the Bert.
It goes on talking rubbish about timber and such like nonsense. Again for the yahoos. It is only in the notes that what is described "secondary income" (no laughing please as this is a serious matter) is even mentioned
"Japan’s establishment of a forest carbon credit system has signalled a significant benefit for secondary income for forestry investors. The Japanese system is based on the J-ver (Japan Verified Emissions reduction) system launched in November 2008 and will help calculate forest carbon absorption and is the first of its kind. The absorption will be calculated and estimated in credits which can then be sold to carbon dioxide emitting companies already registered in the J-ver system."
This of course is the only piece of the many reports I have read that is worth reading. That is all DaBert and any savy investor with a couple of spare pound needs to know

But, I had better give the REAL good news here to make everyone happy.
It says that the return will likely be 10%. Again this is for the yahoos.
The real return is likely to be a quick 300%. It could be described as a Capital Market Digout. A CMD for short. Let me explain how this miracle works.
As I said the market will be rigged and a 10% return will be assured to those who buy in early. Seeing that it issocially responsible investing to save the planet from a fever, it should definitely be tax free. DaBert and me are putting ourmoney to a good cause here, don't forget. Now a 10% yield with almost zeo risk will be an anomaly and everyone will want a piece of the pie. As an investment it will be compared against the US 10 year treasury bond which is the global benchmark against which every yield is compared.
In a free market the rush of new investers would pressurise the carbon credits down in price, despite the compulsory buying by the sucker/victims who face jail if they refuse to buy the carbon credits. The last thing anyone wants is cheap credits. After all it is not about the money but if our credits were cheap it would not cut down on the suckers polluting and then we would all roast. Go outside and think about it if you are having difficulty seeing reality. Or missing the forest through the trees if you will.
What will happen is what always happens. The regulators will make it impossible for new scamps to join the gravy train, I mean fight global warming, a little slip there. We will have what John D Rockafeller insisted upon. A Monopoly. Happy Days.
So we will have an asset yielding 10% whereas the Treasury yields 3.6%. This is where the inverse relationship between bond price and bond yield comes into play. If the shares,for want of a better word, of the investment fund are sold in the secondary market the yield will be the same as the yield on the bond. As the coupon is fixed at the dollar amount which gave a 10% return it means that the value on the investment fund must rise almost 300% in order for the 2 investments to align.
This may be difficult for many to grasp but that is how bond markets work on a daily basis.
That is how the investment could in fact triple in jig time.
After all 10 trillion over 25 years is a hell of a lot of cash. But to save the world is it not a small price to pay. Especially when an Irishman is so selflessly leading the way.
God Bless the Bert and the man that thought up carbon credits"

It may be a bit hard to grasp why it would triple but just consider, an asset paying 9% is clearly worth 3 times more than an asset paying 3%
As with water finding it's own level. Bertie'sfund could triple easily

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 05:11 PM
The Tribunals taught Bertie that its better to get the money over the table than under it.

And of course, these guys become owners of an enormous amount of land, too.

Bertie is earning himself a reputation as a man to deal with "peace making" while natural resources are ripped off and spoke at a conference in Nigeria last year aimed at dealing with the little local problems of extracting oil from the delta.

With the money printing going on, and lending still constrained, provided there is demand the price for any commodity will go up.

The details of the fund are here -

http://www.ifsam.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56&Itemid=71 (http://www.ifsam.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56&Itemid=71)

The original Irish fund made money because it was heavily incentivised, and people had plenty of money to invest. Most of the incentives have been shut down or reduced at this stage. I'm not so sure there will be Irish tax incentives for this.

What I would like to know is, if this fund is based in Switzerland and cutting and trading timber outside Ireland, where would the tax be paid by an Irish investor ?


"The Office of Bertie Ahern". Drumcondra, seems to be a grand place:-


http://bertieahernoffice.org/ (http://bertieahernoffice.org/)

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 05:12 PM
youngdan wrote:The fund is based in Liechenstein. The money is not in the timber. The money is in the carbon credits and the tripling potential of the fund



The carbon credits are a scam all right. But would the fund be worth anything if it didn't own/trade in assets ?

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 05:14 PM
It is a fund. It begins by being worth the money the investors put in. It is not a trading fund. To expect exciting returns from forestry is silly. The product are the carbon credits as described in the Pigpus post and the possibility of it tripling.

(Youngdan)


http://www.hostingphpbb.com/forum/images/avatars/tok/8586052884b48b2eb4b8aa.gif

Joined: 09 Jan 2010
Posts: 30


http://www.hostingphpbb.com/forum/templates/subSilver/images/icon_minipost.gif (http://www.hostingphpbb.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1025&mforum=tok#1025)Posted: 11 Jan 2010 -Amhran Nua
So you can plant forests anywhere and get a return not from forestry but from carbon credit trading, which is being artificially propped up? Would this not bode well for the broadleafs in Ireland as they, like Amazonian rain forests, deal with more carbon than pine and the like? More details I think.

Own Arris
05-04-2010, 05:16 PM
Thanks BrendanGalway. Shocking stuff, these guys will have the eye out of your head!


Thanks for posting this. It keeps coming up. Fine Gael have been flying the idea that we should sell everything we have left off, as though it was some smart kind of thing to do. It's not only Fianna Fail that needs watching.


Good point, I fear that those under the impression that getting rid of FF will herald an end to our woes will be in for a shock when FG take the reigns. FF/FG are two sides of the same coin. The state elitist, circle jerk gravy train will keep on rolling.

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 05:16 PM
So part of their profit will be paid over in the form of the tax paid by polluting industries/countries ?

When carbon credits started in the EU, I think I remember outrage, as Government got an "alllowance" of carbon credits, that instead of being used to incentivise environmentally friendly business like wind farms, was given free to our old friends CRH et al who were among the biggest carbon polluters in the state.

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 05:19 PM
You grow credits, it is in the opening post. After regulation, only the favoured will be alloted the credits and the monopoly will be set. That is what regulation is used for. To confuse the ignorant and enrich the insiders. Happy days forBertie and PigPus



Pigpus is a fine poster.

We saw already how the tax incentives were given to the developers and where it lead. Will we get a tree bubble ??


No, entrance to the gravy train will not be for the plebs

Youngdan.

toxic avenger
05-04-2010, 05:19 PM
youngdan wrote:The fund is based in Liechenstein. The money is not in the timber. The money is in the carbon credits and the tripling potential of the fund



One of the allegations made against Ahern at the Tribunal which he ridiculed, and which formed a part of an attempt to discredit the allegations in his Dobson interview, was that he had money stashed in Liechtenstein. Hmmmmm.......

Fraxinus
05-04-2010, 05:44 PM
It's something I have been banging on about for years - the Sitka monoculture - miles and miles of silent, wildlife-free, dark forests of non-native conifer. There are the beginnings of moves, still really at 'token' level, towards more native broadleaf (and there is a place for Sitka too), but, in the end, money talks. Sitka grows quickly, needs little in the way of good soil, is suited to mountainside conditions, and sells on. Coillte have been very slow to move towards mixed woodland. Ahern, of course, and whatever hedge-fund parasite outfit he is heading, won't give a toss about such considerations...

Also because it is semi-state, it means that most if not all are opened to the public. Now I know some of the real conifer monocultures aren't of much interest to people but Coillte do have some very good forests for recreation, Ballyhoura in Limerick, Oughterard and Portumna in Galway and Lough Key in Roscommon to name a few. If this goes private there is a possibilty that hundreds of hectares of forest will no longer be open to the public.

RighteousAnger
05-04-2010, 06:35 PM
Coillte as it exists today is not a very well managed organisation. They dont generate any financial return for the nation, from their landbank of 1 million acres, and they dont do much for the irish environment. So privatisation might not be a bad idea. It all comes down to how its done.

The state has to ensure that they get a price for Coillte that recognises the carbon emission value of Coilltes forests, and not just the value of the land and timber. If they dont, then we'll have been ripped off.

Secondly, the state has to ensure that rights of public access to Coilltes land are preserved even after its sold. That could easily be done with legislation. A lot of people currently use Coillte land for hiking, hill-walking and other outdoor pursuits. Those rights of access have to be maintained.

If its not done right, and the citizen gets a bad deal, then the hedge fund will have a very expensive job of protecting a large remote forest from sabotage, by righteous citizens.

BrendanGalway
05-04-2010, 06:56 PM
Youngdan wrote : You grow credits, it is in the opening post. After regulation, only the favoured will be alloted the credits and the monopoly will be set.

Ah so this is what is comes down to. Rather than manage a real resource, they are going to produce something Virtual and sell it in the Real World. They do this as well in World of Warcraft. I suspect you have to work harder in WoW though.

Good stuff from YoungDan, food for thought. I must read up more on this Credits scheme. Does anyone know of the top of your heads how much Credits and Money one could generate if they had access to all of Coilltes land? Aside from Timber, this would also explain why they are risking thousands of acres of land simply to get Trees "Up and Running".

On the main thread, Ive also taken the liberty of inviting Anthony St Ledger to our discussion to see if he can shed more light on this. Heres Hoping.

Fraxinus
05-04-2010, 06:57 PM
Don't know what 2009 figures were but in 2008 they still made a profit of just under 10 million euro. http://www.rte.ie/business/2009/0429/coillte.html

I read in one of the newspapers a couple of years ago that despite some of its massive profits, especially in the boom times, Coillte had failed to give back its percentage to the state. Can't find the article now, but the private forestry companies at the time were up in arms as Coillte was keeping the money it was supposed to give back to the state.

Happier times for the company http://www.irishforests.com/news/harvesting/808-coillte-profits-jump-to-40-million.html

Xray
05-04-2010, 07:08 PM
Coillte give out permission to hunt deer on their land every year, i think they are auctioneed to people with deer hunting licenses.

In true green form, is this the only bit of this story they are going to be concerned with. Will they sleep thru another decision that will accept us for years.

There is no way Coillte should be privatised, nothing should be sold at the moment.

Fraxinus
05-04-2010, 07:15 PM
Coillte give out permission to hunt deer on their land every year, i think they are auctioneed to people with deer hunting licenses.

In true green form, is this the only bit of this story they are going to be concerned with. Will they sleep thru another decision that will accept us for years.

There is no way Coillte should be privatised, nothing should be sold at the moment.

Deers have to be hunted if we want trees to grow though.
Looks like a fair amount of their revenue was selling off state land, yet it doesn't seem that the revenue from these state assets found its way back to the public purse. Still can't find the article on the latter though.


Last year, Coillte made profits of around €5m from land sales. At times, this has been a controversial avenue for the company. Selling land for houses seems a long way from acting as a State forestry company.

Martin Lowery defends it on the basis that there are strict procedures governing who they sell land to, and for what purpose.

He also said that last year's profit from land sales was around the same level as the previous year, so it is not increasing as a percentage of total profit.

Coillte advertises land sales for individual sites and also gets involved in larger land sales for housing "where it has the support of the community", according to Mr Lowery.

He said they wouldn't rule out the idea of getting involved in actual house developments in the future, and they have already begun seeking planning permission for land they have in suitable locations.

To date, the company has only taken a stake in developments which were aimed at showcasing some of their materials in the type of houses that were built.

Property development seems a long way from Coillte's forestry mandate, but as Martin Lowery points out, Coillte does not have a specific public service mandate. Its mandate, since it was set up in 1989, is purely commercial.


http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/how-branching-out-has-seen-forestry-group-coillte-turn-over-a-new-leaf-178082.html


Found it!

The company and officials at the Department of Finance admitted last week that despite owning seven per cent of the country and making over €200m profits in the last seven years alone, Coillte Teoranta has never made a payment to the exchequer since it was set up in 1989.

Officials say they believe it's the only state company which has never returned profit dividends to the Government.

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/coillte-has-made-no-payments-to-exchequer-since-1989-1378992.html

Where have the profits from state land being sold gone to?

RighteousAnger
05-04-2010, 07:18 PM
Coillte give out permission to hunt deer on their land every year, i think they are auctioneed to people with deer hunting licenses.

In true green form, is this the only bit of this story they are going to be concerned with. Will they sleep thru another decision that will accept us for years. I dont think the Greens have a position on deer hunting with rifles. Its deer hunting with dogs they dont like.

The deer will always have to be culled anyway as they damage trees and other native plants. Their natural predator, the wolf, is no longer present to keep numbers in balance.

Xray
05-04-2010, 07:18 PM
Deers have to be hunted if we want trees to grow though.
Looks like a fair amount of their revenue was selling off state land, yet it doesn't seem that the revenue from these state assets found its way back to the public purse. Still can't find the article on the latter though.



http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/how-branching-out-has-seen-forestry-group-coillte-turn-over-a-new-leaf-178082.html

Dont get me wrong, I have no problem with hunting deer in a controlled and responsible fashion as Coillte promote. I merely make the point that the greens could probably be more worried about this stray deck chair that the course the ship is sail in, yet again.

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 07:21 PM
Ah so this is what is comes down to. Rather than manage a real resource, they are going to produce something Virtual and sell it in the Real World. They do this as well in World of Warcraft. I suspect you have to work harder in WoW though.

Good stuff from YoungDan, food for thought. I must read up more on this Credits scheme. Does anyone know of the top of your heads how much Credits and Money one could generate if they had access to all of Coilltes land? Aside from Timber, this would also explain why they are risking thousands of acres of land simply to get Trees "Up and Running".

On the main thread, Ive also taken the liberty of inviting Anthony St Ledger to our discussion to see if he can shed more light on this. Heres Hoping.

I'll ask Martin Lowery tomorrow, and then if he comes we can get all sides of this story.

Xray
05-04-2010, 07:24 PM
I dont think the Greens have a position on deer hunting with rifles. Its deer hunting with dogs they dont like.

The deer will always have to be culled anyway as they damage trees and other native plants. Their natural predator, the wolf, is no longer present to keep numbers in balance.

"7.1 When in government, the Green Party will introduce legislation to end blood sports. "

"7.3 The Party calls for research into alternative methods of animal population management other than killing, and the implementation of these methods "


http://www.greenparty.ie/en/policies/animal_welfare/animal_welfare_policy

musashi
05-04-2010, 07:51 PM
"The fund buys existing forests, or land which is then afforested. Key to its strategy is that it will acquire the title to all properties for the benefit and protection of its investors."

Thank you Brendan.

As Irish lands are sold, the new beneficiaries will profit short-term through lumber sales. They ARE stripping the land NOW. The decline of indigenous bird populations will accelerate concomitantly from this "aforrestation" process. And for investors in this Helvetica life will be good, as they see their profit margins hike.

I see it happening as we speak; not an hour gone, an articulated behemoth rumbled past - several times this stormy day - loaded up with newly felled young ash.

RighteousAnger
05-04-2010, 07:56 PM
As Irish lands are sold, the new beneficiaries will profit short-term through lumber sales. They ARE stripping the land NOW. The decline of indigenous bird populations will accelerate concomitantly from this "aforrestation" process. No need to be so alarmist. Commercial forestry has been going on for many decades now. Commercial plantations have their place so long as theyre balanced out with indigenous stands of trees for biodiversity.

musashi
05-04-2010, 08:01 PM
Anything that involves ahern should set alarm bells ringing. This does not look good at all.

+1
He's like a computer virus to our democratic OS only some people havn't updated their security - a human sasser worm with only one raison d'etre.

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 08:07 PM
+1
He's like a computer virus to our democratic OS only some people havn't updated their security - a human sasser worm with only one raison d'etre.

There is privatisation going on by the back door, as more and more government functions and natural resources are put at a distance from Government under Boards loaded with political friends.

The OECD criticised Irish Government for this practice.

Any Government replacing Fianna Fail should commit to bringing these assets and public services fully back under public control to be run for the common good.

musashi
05-04-2010, 08:14 PM
There is privatisation going on by the back door, as more and more government functions and natural resources are put at a distance from Government under Boards loaded with political friends.

The OECD criticised Irish Government for this practice.

Any Government replacing Fianna Fail should commit to bringing these assets and public services fully back under public control to be run for the common good.

I commend your confidence in our democratic operating system CF.

RighteousAnger
05-04-2010, 08:17 PM
Any Government replacing Fianna Fail should commit to bringing these assets and public services fully back under public control to be run for the common good.The irish civil service arent competent enough to manage public assets. Coillte are proof of that.

Its inevitable that Coillte will be privatised. Instead of opposing it we should focus our efforts on making sure its done properly, ensuring the public retain access rights for leisure, and ownership of the ancient indigenous woodlands.

The private sector can have all the sitka spruce plantations they want. Its of little value to the nation.

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 08:22 PM
The irish civil service arent competent enough to manage public assets. Coillte are proof of that.

Its inevitable that Coillte will be privatised. Instead of opposing it we should focus our efforts on making sure its done properly, ensuring the public retain access rights for leisure, and ownership of the ancient indigenous woodlands.

The private sector can have all the sitka spruce they want. Its of little value to the nation.

There are plenty of very well run public enterprises. Public enterprises don't need to be run as a slush fund for buddies and a pension fund for political friends.

Some private forestry is well managed but most is a form of open cast quarrying.

RighteousAnger
05-04-2010, 08:24 PM
Some private forestry is well managed but most is a form of open cast quarrying.And what is Coillte? Coillte are worse.

I was in one of the Millenium* forests this weekend and the first thing I saw on entering the forest was a commerical non native sapling, planted by....Guess who? COILLTE.

(*The Millenium forests are supposed to be non commercial native forests)

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 08:41 PM
And what is Coillte? Coillte are worse.

I was in one of the Millenium* forests this weekend and the first thing I saw on entering the forest was a commerical non native sapling, planted by....Guess who? COILLTE.

(*The Millenium forests are supposed to be non commercial native forests)


Did I say that Coillte was well run ?

RighteousAnger
05-04-2010, 08:50 PM
Did I say that Coillte was well run ?You said keep Coillte as it is because if privatised it would be "open cast quarrying".

Since thats what theyre already doing in public hands, then whats the difference?

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 08:53 PM
You said keep Coillte as it is because if privatised it would be "open cast quarrying".

Since thats what theyre already doing in public hands, then whats the difference?

You haven't proved your thesis that private is good and public is bad.

I've already answered your question.


There are plenty of very well run public enterprises. Public enterprises don't need to be run as a slush fund for buddies and a pension fund for political friends.

Some private forestry is well managed but most is a form of open cast quarrying.

http://www.politicalworld.org/images/misc/progress.gif

Xray
05-04-2010, 08:55 PM
You haven't proved your thesis that private is good and public is bad.

I've already answered your question.



http://www.politicalworld.org/images/misc/progress.gif

Come on, it is quite clear that all state owned banks are crap and all the good ones are privately owned.
I am sure it is the same with trees.

RighteousAnger
05-04-2010, 08:57 PM
You haven't proved your thesis that private is good and public is bad.Yeah, I havent. Because thats not my thesis.

Public is not working in the case of Coillte. Youve agreed with me on that. But because you hate the private sector more, then youre left confused about what do with Coillte.

Xray
05-04-2010, 08:59 PM
Yeah, I havent. Because thats not my thesis.

Public is not working in the case of Coillte. Youve agreed with me on that. But because you hate the private sector more, then youre left confused about what do with Coillte.

Well then float it on the stock exchange and give everyone an equal amount of shares in it.

But of course that is not what will happen.

RighteousAnger
05-04-2010, 09:16 PM
I think people are over-reacting to this privatisation. Forestry land is the lowest grade land in the country. Allowing people to own it, grow things on it and try and make a return is not the worst thing that could happen. If youre against it, then you must be against private ownership of farmland as well.

Xray
05-04-2010, 09:24 PM
Well that all depends on who is going to own it and what they are going to be allowed do with it. It also depends on who it would be sold. We have had bad experience here of idoelogically drive sell off that have left the country at a loss when it comes to broadband etc.

For example we may need some of this land for renewable energy, will such sites be sold off for a song and then rezoned to make some worthy a fortune? If so I say keep them and let the state hire someone to do it instead. I have no problem with it being rented of let to private companies, selling it off for F-off in a hidden way is not a good move though. The history of large scale private ownership of land in Ireland in my lifetime is not a good one.

RighteousAnger
05-04-2010, 09:30 PM
For example we may need some of this land for renewable energy, will such sites be sold off for a song and then rezoned to make some worthy a fortune? If so I say keep them and let the state hire someone to do it instead. I have no problem with it being rented of let to private companies, selling it off for F-off in a hidden way is not a good move though. The history of large scale private ownership of land in Ireland in my lifetime is not a good one.I agree. It all comes down to how its sold. I dont want multinational private equity owning huge tracts of ireland, anymore than anyone else. But I dont think that will happen. Theres no reason the government couldnt attach all kinds of conditions to this sale.

TBH, I think having the Greens in government when Coillte is privatised, will definetly be good. They are very much in favour of public access to these lands and the development of native woodlands. They recently expanded Wicklow mtns national park by a considerable amount.

Xray
05-04-2010, 09:40 PM
I agree. It all comes down to how its sold. I dont want multinational private equity owning huge tracts of ireland, anymore than anyone else. But I dont think that will happen. Theres no reason the government couldnt attach all kinds of conditions to this sale.

TBH, I think having the Greens in government when Coillte is privatised, will definetly be good. They are very much in favour of public access to these lands and the development of native woodlands. They recently expanded Wicklow mtns national park by a considerable amount.

Why not just sell the rights to grow trees on state land for a set period of time(20 years or whatever). Then the lease returns to the state, there is no need for anyone to own this land. If it is genuinely about efficent growing of trees there is no argument against this that I can think of. There would also have to a clause to revoke the lease at any point on payment of compensation.


None of this will happne, it will be another crony, inside deal that is rotten to the core. Look at the behavior in the DDA for god sake. There are not standards in private industry or business in Ireland, what few rules we have are openly ignored and flaunted.

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 09:44 PM
Yeah, I havent. Because thats not my thesis.

Public is not working in the case of Coillte. Youve agreed with me on that. But because you hate the private sector more, then youre left confused about what do with Coillte.

This doesn't relate in any way to what I wrote.

RighteousAnger
05-04-2010, 09:47 PM
None of this will happne, it will be another crony, inside deal that is rotten to the core. Not if we lobby for it. We can lobby the greens for it to be done right.

C. Flower
05-04-2010, 09:48 PM
I agree. It all comes down to how its sold. I dont want multinational private equity owning huge tracts of ireland, anymore than anyone else. But I dont think that will happen. Theres no reason the government couldnt attach all kinds of conditions to this sale.

TBH, I think having the Greens in government when Coillte is privatised, will definetly be good. They are very much in favour of public access to these lands and the development of native woodlands. They recently expanded Wicklow mtns national park by a considerable amount.

Why don't you think that would happen ? You know what happened to our Telecom network.

RighteousAnger
05-04-2010, 09:49 PM
This doesn't relate in any way to what I wrote.Its clear youre against privatisation. But youre also against running Coillte as it currently is. Youre against everything proposed by others, but have proposed nothing yourself.

Xray
05-04-2010, 09:57 PM
Not if we lobby for it. We can lobby the greens for it to be done right.

Lobby for proper corporate enforcement?
Lobby for people not to be greedy bastards?
Lobby for the country not to be corrupt?

I am sorry but broken as the state maybe, and broken as many semi states are, the private sector in Ireland is in a worse state. It operates in a bubble where no law applies and no professional guidelines or standards are set or measured. The private sector largely is unable to look after its own interests, never mind wider society. Our public sector is unable to hold them to any deal they make with them, because it too is corrupted and disfunctional.

I have no ideological objection to private business, I just know Irish ones are operating in a toxic structure. The Greens are not going to fix that.

You may be in a functional balanced private company, good luck to ya, but you have a job of work to convince me that Irish business is not in need of a major overhall before we allow it near anything important again. We need strict regulations that are the international norm to protect th public from crony runaway companies.

One thing is for sure, if we sell this someones brother in law or whatever will benefit, not the country.

RighteousAnger
05-04-2010, 09:59 PM
Why don't you think that would happen ? Because I dont think the FF core base, or the Green coalition partners will be happy with a single foreign entity owning 7% of ireland outright.

Coillte wont be sold in one lot. Irish companies and individuals will be allowed to bid on the various land plots that Coillte owns around the country.

Another thing Ive recently found out is that the International Forestry Fund is actually Irish. The financial backing may come from overseas investors. But the controlling company is irish and has been operating from Dun Laoghaire since the mid 90s. Theyve been selling forestry investments to retail investors since that time.

DCon
05-04-2010, 10:00 PM
Not if we lobby for it. We can lobby the greens for it to be done right.

The Greens of NAMA fame?

The Greens who have rowed back from every policy they had and who are now in governemnt solely to get FF policy passed and implement any new taxes that FF had planned but will be described as "Green initiatives".

Xray
05-04-2010, 10:02 PM
The Greens of NAMA fame?

The Greens who have rowed back from every policy they had and who are now in governemnt solely to get FF policy passed and implement any new taxes that FF had planned but will be described as "Green initiatives".

Exactly, the Greens have no track record on standing up to us being taken advantage of. The will probably stick a few salmon leaps and a windmill in among the trees and sell it to Shell for a tenner.

RighteousAnger
05-04-2010, 10:10 PM
The Greens of NAMA fame?

The Greens who have rowed back from every policy they had and who are now in governemnt solely to get FF policy passed and implement any new taxes that FF had planned but will be described as "Green initiatives".The Greens didnt see NAMA as relevant to their core vote. The forests most definetly concern their voters.

If you are that pessimistic about Ireland, that you think the Green party in government will not do the right thing on forestry policy, then you should just emigrate now as nothing in this country will ever be good enough for you.

Xray
05-04-2010, 10:55 PM
The Greens didnt see NAMA as relevant to their core vote. The forests most definetly concern their voters.

If you are that pessimistic about Ireland, that you think the Green party in government will not do the right thing on forestry policy, then you should just emigrate now as nothing in this country will ever be good enough for you.

Well they are not doing the right thing on waste management...
Another private sector triumph in Ireland.

DCon
05-04-2010, 10:57 PM
The Greens didnt see NAMA as relevant to their core vote. The forests most definetly concern their voters.

If you are that pessimistic about Ireland, that you think the Green party in government will not do the right thing on forestry policy, then you should just emigrate now as nothing in this country will ever be good enough for you.

I emigrated a long time ago. I fear that corruption and corrupt politics are endemic in Ireland and it is a great shame.

The Greens in government have not done the right thing on any matter, and to say NAMA was not relevant to their core vote is amazing.

The GP membership are probably so full of FF sleepers by now that a core vote is not even known.

Xray
05-04-2010, 11:00 PM
The Greens didnt see NAMA as relevant to their core vote. The forests most definetly concern their voters.

If you are that pessimistic about Ireland, that you think the Green party in government will not do the right thing on forestry policy, then you should just emigrate now as nothing in this country will ever be good enough for you.

Advice many will be taking soon! :(

RighteousAnger
05-04-2010, 11:14 PM
Advice many will be taking soon! :(Whats the point of the large font?

If someone hates everything about their country, then just go now, and stop whining about it on forums. Why be miserable, youve only got one life.

Xray
05-04-2010, 11:19 PM
Whats the point of the large font?

If someone hates everything about their country, then just go now, and stop whining about it on forums. Why be miserable, youve only got one life.

I dont think he said he hates everything about Ireland, he may like me hate the way it is being run into the ground.

It is large font because that is the important fact we need to get, this will be a ghost country soon.

malbekh
06-04-2010, 12:22 AM
It's something I have been banging on about for years - the Sitka monoculture - miles and miles of silent, wildlife-free, dark forests of non-native conifer. There are the beginnings of moves, still really at 'token' level, towards more native broadleaf (and there is a place for Sitka too), but, in the end, money talks. Sitka grows quickly, needs little in the way of good soil, is suited to mountainside conditions, and sells on. Coillte have been very slow to move towards mixed woodland. Ahern, of course, and whatever hedge-fund parasite outfit he is heading, won't give a toss about such considerations...

You need to take into account a number of things:

1. Most Sitka Spruce forests take 40-50 years to grow to full maturity. We are living with the legacy left from the past, because back in the 50's and 60's crews were sent out around the countryside planting trees in enormous blocks as they didn't know any better.

This is why you get vast swathes of clear felling all at one time. The other issue is the girth of the trees. SS grow a *lot* bigger in British Columbia for example (where they are an awesome tree), but our mills can't take them at that size, so to realise their commercial worth, they have to be culled early and regularly.

SS is a fantastic commercial tree to grow in Ireland, it's important to remember that Coillte have a commercial and economic mandate that they have to fulfil, their two shareholders are the minister for agriculture and the minister for finance.

2. Plantations over the last 10 years follow best practice of landscaping where smaller blocks are planted over time, this means that when they are thinned and clear felled it doesn't make the area look like a desert.

3. Coillte are using alternate trees such as European Larch, Scots Pine and native deciduous trees on the borders of the block to enhance the biodiversity of the forest and allow more native fauna and flora to be nurtured. Not to the extent of where it needs to be, but heading in the right direction.

4. The biggest issue in the planting of native forestry is its sustainability in the presence of our massive deer population. The grant available to deer fencing has been withdrawn, so no protection is available that warrants the costs involved, and even if the deer fencing was put in place, the activities of vandalism from the likes of scramblers and horse riders who cut open the fencing can let the deer in.

5. The biggest issues with Coillte from my end is Coillte Property who have made a number of decisions which I personally don't agree with. The selling of c. 400 acres of land in Bellinaboy under the auspices of Frank '40 gaffs' Fahey needs serious investigation for example.

6. I don't agree with the theory that Coillte will be sold off unless it is purely as a commercial enterprise - in other words, the State will continue to own the land but lease it back to the 'new' Coillte.

7. Coillte have been going through a hard time at the moment down to reduced sales owing to our bombed construction industry as well as the currency exchange rates to the UK. Bizarrely this has turned around this year with a number of sales to France, and my understanding is that the sales of timer lots around the country have been fully subscribed.

8. I don't pay a lot of attention to the various green tinged organisations who are seeking to question the mechanisms behind Coillte and frequently comment on their inability to plant higher percentages of native forest. Criticism levelled at Coillte owing to the perceived failure rate in the Millennium Forestry program was insincere as the media seem to think that every tree that is planted will grow into maturity.

9. If people are serious about having proper native forestry here in Ireland, it is going to take a lot of money, a long term strategy, and a few thousand slaughtered deer. I for one, would be happy for such an outcome.

10. Let the squeals begin....

Captain Con O'Sullivan
06-04-2010, 03:02 PM
And the best way to keep Coillte from becoming another Fas is to prevent people who cannot even produce a tax clearance certificate from working for them at board level.

Ahern should be strictly speaking unemployable given the likely fallout from the tribunals. There is only one reason he would pop up at Coiltte and that is because there is anotehr con planned during which Ahern will get rich and the Irish taxpayer screwed.

Bertie Ahern is not a suitable person to hold a company directorship. How many others do you know who can be appointed to the board of a company without even being cleared on tax issues, and who is facing what are highly likely to be damaging charges out of the tribunals?

There is only one reason why that company would employ the likes of Ahern, that highly qualified accounts clerk from the Mater Hospital and that is because there is a rip-off planned with which he can help.

DCon
06-04-2010, 03:10 PM
There is only one reason why that company would employ the likes of Ahern, that highly qualified accounts clerk from the Mater Hospital and that is because there is a rip-off planned with which he can help.

never a truer statement made.

C. Flower
06-04-2010, 03:27 PM
The Board of Directors at present are Breffni Byrne, Brendan McKenna, Eugene Griffin, David Gunning, Alma Kelly, Seamus Murray, Yvonne Scannell and Frank Toal.
There is only one of them I think who is a forester, the others being of financial background or in materials production etc. Yvonne Scannell is a specialist in Planning Law.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that Bertie Ahern is interested in being a Board Member. There is only speculation that his involvement in a commercial forestry fund may mean that this fund might be interested in acquiring Coillte's lands if they were ever privatised.

ZANU-FF
06-04-2010, 03:33 PM
but, but, but, but...

http://i641.photobucket.com/albums/uu137/barname/An_Taoiseach_plants_Wollemi_PineTN.jpg

i can has knows abouts trees , day is very eazy

http://i641.photobucket.com/albums/uu137/barname/An_Taoiseach_before_plantingTN.jpg

Captain Con O'Sullivan
06-04-2010, 04:01 PM
The Board of Directors at present are Breffni Byrne, Brendan McKenna, Eugene Griffin, David Gunning, Alma Kelly, Seamus Murray, Yvonne Scannell and Frank Toal.
There is only one of them I think who is a forester, the others being of financial background or in materials production etc. Yvonne Scannell is a specialist in Planning Law.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that Bertie Ahern is interested in being a Board Member. There is only speculation that his involvement in a commercial forestry fund may mean that this fund might be interested in acquiring Coillte's lands if they were ever privatised.

Wasn't Ahern appointed Chairman of Irish Forestry? That would mean not only a seat on the Board but a casting vote?

I'm not so sure that Helvetia AG want to buy Irish forestry land. From what I can see about their business they are essentially a carbon-tax dodge for large businesses.

Ahern should certainly nnot be appointed to the Board of any Irish company, private or public. I suspect strongly that he is there to help pull deals on behalf of Helvetia AG and their clients.

Who knows? Perhaps there's a forest clearing in Wicklow somewhere which is just the right size for a whole heap of rusting e-vote machines. With a Green TD standing looking at it and wondering who dumped them there.

I'd keep a close eye on any FF'er getting involved in buying forestry bonds or in and around Irish Forestry.

Is it possible to object to some unsuitable person being appointed a company director in Ireland?

C. Flower
06-04-2010, 04:34 PM
Wasn't Ahern appointed Chairman of Irish Forestry? That would mean not only a seat on the Board but a casting vote?

I'm not so sure that Helvetia AG want to buy Irish forestry land. From what I can see about their business they are essentially a carbon-tax dodge for large businesses.

Ahern should certainly nnot be appointed to the Board of any Irish company, private or public. I suspect strongly that he is there to help pull deals on behalf of Helvetia AG and their clients.

Who knows? Perhaps there's a forest clearing in Wicklow somewhere which is just the right size for a whole heap of rusting e-vote machines. With a Green TD standing looking at it and wondering who dumped them there.

I'd keep a close eye on any FF'er getting involved in buying forestry bonds or in and around Irish Forestry.

Is it possible to object to some unsuitable person being appointed a company director in Ireland?

No, The Irish Forestry Fund is a private entity. There is good information on requriements for Companies on the CRO website.

Captain Con O'Sullivan
06-04-2010, 04:42 PM
cheers C Flower, will take a look at that. As far as I am aware a person can be prevented legally from assuming a directorship in either a private or public company. I think its referred to as being 'debarred' from holding a directorship.

I'd say a chap that can't get a tax clearance cert and is likely to be roundly condemned by an official Govt investigation into corruption wanders quite quickly into the area of 'unsuitable person'.

Quite apart from the tribunal findings the guy would have some job persuading people he's paid his taxes. I would say that the very last person who should be entrusted with a directorship in Ireland is possibly that one B Ahern.

He shoud be answering questions from the Revenue concerning his wins on the horses. Questions such as 'which horse', 'which race' and 'which bookies'?

Fraxinus
08-04-2010, 09:20 PM
Things might improve for Coillte this year. Found out there that timber prices have been climbing this year and mills can't get enough of wood at the moment. Gone from a 3 day week to double shifts.....apparently China is one of the main consumers. Sawlog hasn't fully recovered but everything else is flying. I tried to look for articles but to no avail, except this highlighting a shortage in Irish timber http://www.independent.ie/farming/news-features/timber-supplies-wont-meet-needs-2116670.html

This of course all depends on demand keeping steady, fuel prices not spiralling and on Coillte's part, how well it is run.

Murra
09-04-2010, 12:51 PM
This is very serious. Bookmarking this thread until I can get back to it later.

BrendanGalway
26-04-2010, 09:41 PM
Hi again. Andrew St Ledger of the Woodland League replied to my email a short while back. I'm only getting up to speed on the huge amounts of Links and attachments he has sent over.

He declined to register on our site but is happy to answer any questions we have via email. He writes :



Hi Brendan, Thanks for the invite to your discussion group and for your interest in this important topic. I will send you on background documents to help the discussion. For now I would prefer to communicate with you by email, its hard to keep track and give time to all new enquiries when we are a voluntary group.

It is great though that there is public interest in this scam at last, we have been creating a record for many years and constantly looking to increase awareness. The public are very much in the dark around this topic and it is well manipulated and controlled by Coillte and their buddies. In regard to notifying the press media etc, we have tried but it appears there is a reluctance to open this can of worms. We put out the Press release in january and got one response from Ken Foxe of the Sunday Tribune who wrote a piece and queried Berties involvement, a spokesperson said Bertie was happy Helvetia were a fine company and wouldnt take up too much of his time. I will send you on the piece, despite being given more material to continue with another article Ken Foxe stopped in his tracks, it seems that there are so many vested interests involved in forestry investments as they are so lucrative and tax free, that there is a lot of protection to keep the scam going. Many smaller investors are being hoodwinked that the investment is good for the environment, so this aspect has to be protected to keep the pretence going.

The original Helvetia press release announcing Berties involvement was not released in Ireland funnily enough, we got it from an allied group called Timberwatch in South Africa, when we put out feelers about Coilltes international subsidiary called Coillte Consult (partners of the World bank, showing who pulls the strings at Coillte) who are operating in Ghana and Columbia that we know of. They are managing Teak Plantations, which is the area that Helvetia are targetting.

The woodlandleague.org website has some good information and is worth checking out.
Regards,
Andrew


Ill post up all the rest he sent as well.

BrendanGalway
26-04-2010, 09:51 PM
http://www.environmentaldemocracy.ie/index.php?group=page&pages_id=65&task=Open+Case

A good Case study of Coillte including some badly needed Recommendations as to how the Operation could be made far more accessible to the Public. (Go to the "Findings" link at the bottom of the page to see the PDF case study)


http://www.environmentaldemocracy.ie/pdf/finalreport.pdf
Another Pdf report carried out into Irelands performance regarding access to Information on the Environment. We are already signed up to Legislation in this regard under the Aarhus convention only we are not implementing many of its directives. Andrew mentions the EPA were part funders of this report and seem to be unhappy with it, asking the author to review it. The Report does not show the State or Coillte in the best light. It states that some Coillte employees have signed Confidentially agreements under the Official Secrets of the State act, a contradiction of our Aarhus obligations. I dont know if anyone has reported this to the EU, might warrant further investigation.



Andrew sent the attachment below with


"Info on Coilltes lack of care for Our heritage in regard to the M3 Tara Mway, Which raises another question, can a State/public body participate in a CPO by another State body ( The Council in this case CPO'd the land for the motorway and Coillte benefited from this. The State is CPOing itself....?????) The road was bent to deliberately hit Rath Lugh ( Tara watch should have maps on their site showing the road bending to hit Rath Lugh ) in this case and Coillte were compensated using taxpayers money for allowing the monument to be wrecked...??? Anyone interested in looking into this one feel free, and it must have happened with other infrastructure projects around the country. I asked a barrister specialising in CPO s who had just given a talk on the subject, about the potential conflict of interest and breach of CPO law, without naming any body, as a hypothetical question and he said it would be unusual and potentially in breach as he sidled away pronto not really wanting to say anymore..? "


Attachment : Coilltes responsibility for national monument at Rath Lugh.doc
http://www.filehosting.org/file/details/138328/Coilltes_responsibility_for_national_monument_at_R ath_Lugh.doc

A CPO from one Govt body to another? Ridiculous. Coillte receiving money to facilitate the ruining of one of our best heritage sites, Dodgy stuff indeed.



http://www.indymedia.ie/article/80152
This one seems familiar, it may have been posted already. A story about a Landgrab in Cork from Coillte. Coillte, out of nowhere, take a farmer to court to aquire 7 acres of a farmer they forced to hand back years earlier after it was found they had no claim to it. Unsuccessful, they then ask the Judge to deny the Farmer access to his land indefintaley. The Judge agrees! Unfortunately the article does not state why this is the case.



A list of Points and Questions prepared by the Woodland league for FGs Galway Senator Fidelma Healy Eames. Some really thoughtful stuff , pay attention to points 2, 3, 5 ,6. (Personally I was amazed by point 6. Brehon Law, is use on this island at least 3000 years, had cataloged All Native trees in order of Economic and Ecological importance. 3000 years!)
The last two are Astonishing. Point 9 : "Most damning of all was the statement that without one hundred per cent E.U. forestry grants there would be no tree planting done in Ireland. "
The last one in Particular, 10.Irelands outdated Forestry acts cannot deliver S.F.M. or protection to whats left of our Native woodlands, and as such the E.U. has insisted that they are upgraded and brought into line with E.U. environment laws. The acts have been under review since 1997 and the most problematic aspect of this debacle is that the 1988 Forestry Act which established Coillte is not included in the review, this ensures that Coilltes purely economic mandate to return a profit at any cost to the environment and local communities remains untouchable.

Attachment : http://www.filehosting.org/file/details/138333/List_of_points_for_forestry_debate_in_Seanad_Wedne sday_20_feb.doc

Andrew doesnt state what ever became of this, Ive emailed him back to follow this one up.


More to follow.

C. Flower
26-04-2010, 10:11 PM
Brilliant stuff from you and from the Woodland League BG.



the 1988 Forestry Act which established Coillte is not included in the review, this ensures that Coilltes purely economic mandate to return a profit at any cost to the environment and local communities remains untouchable.


Now, there is something the Green Party should be dealing with.

DCon
26-04-2010, 10:11 PM
More on the fund here:


The International Forestry Fund, created in March 2009, is offering
the opportunity of direct forestry investment to institutional
investors. The Fund invests in forestry in Ireland, the UK, and
Central America, growing a mixture of species ranging from spruce and
pine in Europe to tropical timbers such as teak, mahogany, and
rosewood.

The fund buys existing forests, or land which is then afforested. Key
to its strategy is that it will acquire the title to all properties
for the benefit and protection of its investors. All lands and
forestry will be subjected to strict independent assessment prior to
purchase; this external monitoring will remain in place throughout
the Fund's ownership of its forestry and land.

A forest certification process ensures that the forests are managed
sustainably; the production of timber is subject to strict forestry
and environmental protection standards throughout the timber
production cycle, including tree planting and observing biodiversity.
The certification process also defines standards for labour,
transportation, and for guaranteeing property rights.

Commenting on today's announcement Bertie Ahern said: "I am delighted
and honoured to be joining the International Forestry Fund at this
very exciting time for this sector. The stewardship and use of
forests and forest lands in a way that is productive and progressive
is vitally important today and for future generations. Much work is
still required to achieve balance between society's increasing
demands for forest products and benefits, and the preservation of
forest health and diversity. I look forward to working with the
International Forestry Fund in the years ahead to develop a
structured process for the long term management of forests in keeping
with the principles of sustainable development."

"The fund offers significant diversification by distributing the age
of each forest, from bare agricultural land to semi-mature
plantations, in order to provide consistent returns. We try to
prevent distortions of land prices by investing continuously and on a
long-term basis. This implies that we might limit subscription in any
given period", explains Trevor McHugh, a director of the fund and
Managing Director of I.F.S. Asset Managers, Dublin, which in 1997
developed the concept of the Irish Forestry Funds, investing directly
into Irish Forestry. The Irish Forestry Funds have a track record
spanning 13 years delivering an average 9% p.a. return for their
investors.

"The idea of creating the International Forestry Fund was born after
the original Irish Forestry Funds could not accept further
investments simply because the availability of suitable land for
forestation in Ireland is finite", explained Trevor McHugh. "We have
spent a number of years establishing the necessary relationships
required to launch a Forestry Fund of this nature and are delighted
to have engaged with Helvetia Wealth AG from Switzerland who are the
Fund Managers to the International Forestry Fund. This relationship
enables us to attract international institutional investors
interested in acquiring forestry assets on a global basis, thereby
taking advantage of an asset class that benefits from ongoing
biological growth regardless of economic conditions."

The fund is open-ended with a five-year initial lock-up period.
Minimum investment is 100,000 Euro. The fund targets annualised
returns of 7 to 10 percent. There is a 1.5 percent management fee and
a 10 percent performance fee over 10-year Euro Bond returns.


http://www.investegate.co.uk/Article.aspx?id=20091126114500H7358

DCon
26-04-2010, 10:16 PM
They have moved into Scotland too.


The International Forestry Fund – a joint venture between Dublin based I.F.S. Asset Managers Ltd (IFS) and the Swiss asset management firm Helvetia Wealth AG – today announced its entry into the Scottish forestry market with a strategically important forestland acquisition in Falkirk, Stirlingshire. The sum of the investment was not disclosed.
The purchase of the Rashiehill and Shielknowes Forest in Falkirk represents an important step for the Fund as it is its first UK acquisition and helps further diversify its global portfolio.

http://hugin.info/142427/R/1399525/355022.pdf

Could be interesting as there are no trespassing laws under Scots Law

Kid Ryder
26-04-2010, 10:18 PM
Does Andrew St Ledger have any proof of this, he needs to start phoning up Papers and Radio if its true. This is a terrible scandal, granted not as bad as whats come out so far in 2010. But it amounts to our country being sold of underneath us piece by piece.

The Irish Forestry Unit Trust was founded by Coillte along with.....AIB and Irish life. Its seems to have been created with Pension funds and Charities in mind. The idea is to pour this money into forest acquired from Coillte. The fund now stands at €165 millions and is almost all Irish Forests. See Here (http://www.iforut.ie/iforut.html) It looks as if you have to go though Revenue to get access to this fund.

Heres a question : Would it be worth an FOI to see who is involved in that fund? Or would it be better served to Coillte to see what Acreage is being sold and where it is going?

Good point also on the "Green" aspect of their operations. Their Sitka spruce tree is not indigenous to Ireland as seems to require a fair amount of Chemicals to help it along. Im sure if someone is putting their money into a Green portfolio they are expecting their investment to at least conform to the most basic Environmental standards and Philosophies. Coilltes operations are not particularity Green in that respect.

And Ahern was involved in the beginning. Its like a Cream bun he put aside to treat himself to later. This is getting Interesting.

So, the state-owned forest plantations get sold off to 'friends' of Da Bert (at what price?), and the proceeds will be poured into the SCAMA black hole to save the financial blushes of 'friends' of Da Bert. Plus ca change and all that I suppose.

Murra
26-04-2010, 10:35 PM
Is Coillte land actually being sold off to Helvetia? Can they actually sell our land to outsiders??

Murra
26-04-2010, 10:36 PM
This has been worrying me a lot lately. What's to say we wont have another Corrib on our hands down the road?

C. Flower
26-04-2010, 10:56 PM
Is Coillte land actually being sold off to Helvetia? Can they actually sell our land to outsiders??

I haven't seen any evidence for this as yet, but the whole way Coillte is set up is commercial and I think there's every reason to keep a careful eye on what happens.

The country is broke and FG wants to sell off assets.

BrendanGalway
26-04-2010, 11:29 PM
Is Coillte land actually being sold off to Helvetia? Can they actually sell our land to outsiders??

Of course they can! Just like they sold our Telecoms Network and our Airline.

BrendanGalway
26-04-2010, 11:34 PM
Another Blast :

http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1993/en/si/0419.html

The Pension Act of 1993, enacted by Bertie Ahern, which gives a free pass to Forestry where Investments and Profits on those Investments are tax free. Perhaps because of who is involved or just the fact that this Industry was exempted by name in the Act, Andrew suspects, with reason, that this may be a sinkhole for "dirty" money.



At the Mahon tribunal, P Flynn when asked what became of a 50,000 euros donation to FF, he said he gave it to the wife as he thought it was for him, and she invested it in a forest farm that they had never set foot in. Nobody would ever have known about that money only a disgruntled donor disclosed it, and nothing was ever done about retrieving it to this day.Is that because so many of the wealthy etc have used this arena to stash the cash ?




YouTube- Bertie Ahern is "a criminal element walking the streets"
As he walks down O Connell St after the 1916 Commerations, Bertie Ahern has questions put to him on Shell and Coillte by informed members of the public. His responses to the Coillte one (about 1.28 in) is typical Bertie, terrible Delivery, full of soundbites and says absolutely nothing. He doesn’t seem to know an awful lot about his brief. He even says Coillte could sell land at one point. He denies that Helvetia are Interested in aquiring Coillte yet Andrew tells me he has an email from Helvetia confirming their Interest in them.

That’s DEFINATLEY something Im going to reply back to him on!

A Ken Foxe(whom Andrew has mentioned before) Article backs this up. ( I found it here : http://www.tribune.ie/article/2010/jan/10/latest-ahern-role-linked-to-offshore-funds/ )



Latest Ahern role linked to offshore funds Ex-taoiseach chair of forestry body financed by Swiss company that offers controversial service
Ken Foxe, Public Affairs Correspondent . Bertie Ahern: growing portfolio
FORMER taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been appointed chairperson of a forestry body, which is being financed by a Swiss firm that is a specialist in offshore banking. Ahern became chairman of the International Forestry Fund late last year. It was the latest appointment in his growing portfolio of business interests outside politics. The main backers of the fund are Helvetia Wealth AG of Switzerland and the Irish Forestry Fund, which plans to invest in trees in Ireland, the UK and Central America.

A spokesman for the fund said it would also consider an acquisition of Coillte, privatisation of which was mooted in the report of An Bord Snip Nua.


Helvetia Wealth, which is the primary backer of the scheme, is an international finance company that offers offshore banking to clients.




http://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2009-12-17.381.0
From a very good site, the transcript of a piece of Legislation to expand Coilltes borrowing limit from €101.5 Million to €400 mil. No satisfactory explanation is given IMO except the usual waffle about expanding operations etc. No mention given to the cartloads of money obtained via European grants and where that money is gone. Somehow they ran up debts of €40 mil in 2008…..

Tony Killeen (Minister of State with special responsibility for Forestry, Fisheries and the Marine ) says “with its extensive experience in forestry management and knowledge of the timber market, has played a significant role in the development of Irish forestry” Lol !

Coillte is moving into Energy in a big way, setting its self up as a supplier in Biomass and partnerships with Windfarms. Odd?

Naturally, is was rushed through. It was sprung late on the Dail and it angered many TDs that they had virtually no time to research this before it was brought in front of them or even to Discuss the matter when it was : The amendment was presented at 12pm and told to conclude by 1pm. Rushed through, how typical. And suspicious....

Sean Shelock of Labour states that the CEO of Coillte is being paid €400,000. This was 2009. Depressing.


I think another question arising for Andrew out of this is have the Woodland League ever attempted to find out what Coillte has done with all the Grant money given to them? The fact that a company laden with free money suddenly asks for a four-fold increase in its borrowing requirements, and the debate is quashed in the Dail, is ringing alarm bells for me.

Still more to come in the form of several PDFs Andrew sent on. I will post them up tomorrow hopefully.

Murra
26-04-2010, 11:49 PM
How do we know that a deal hasn't already been done with Helvetia? How do we know that 7% of our land hasn't already been sold off?

Will the Irish people care enough about this - even if they knew?

C. Flower
26-04-2010, 11:53 PM
Another Blast :

http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1993/en/si/0419.html

The Pension Act of 1993, enacted by Bertie Ahern, which gives a free pass to Forestry where Investments and Profits on those Investments are tax free. Perhaps because of who is involved or just the fact that this Industry was exempted by name in the Act, Andrew suspects, with reason, that this may be a sinkhole for "dirty" money.

YouTube- Bertie Ahern is "a criminal element walking the streets" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eO2AewmpAEs)
As he walks down O Connell St after the 1916 Commerations, Bertie Ahern has questions put to him on Shell and Coillte by informed members of the public. His responses to the Coillte one (about 1.28 in) is typical Bertie, terrible Delivery, full of soundbites and says absolutely nothing. He doesn’t seem to know an awful lot about his brief. He even says Coillte could sell land at one point. He denies that Helvetia are Interested in aquiring Coillte yet Andrew tells me he has an email from Helvetia confirming their Interest in them.

That’s DEFINATLEY something Im going to reply back to him on!

A Ken Foxe(whom Andrew has mentioned before) Article backs this up. ( I found it here : http://www.tribune.ie/article/2010/jan/10/latest-ahern-role-linked-to-offshore-funds/ )





http://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2009-12-17.381.0
From a very good site, the transcript of a piece of Legislation to expand Coilltes borrowing limit from €101.5 Million to €400 mil. No satisfactory explanation is given IMO except the usual waffle about expanding operations etc. No mention given to the cartloads of money obtained via European grants and where that money is gone. Somehow they ran up debts of €40 mil in 2008…..

Tony Killeen (Minister of State with special responsibility for Forestry, Fisheries and the Marine ) says “with its extensive experience in forestry management and knowledge of the timber market, has played a significant role in the development of Irish forestry” Lol !

Coillte is moving into Energy in a big way, setting its self up as a supplier in Biomass and partnerships with Windfarms. Odd?

Naturally, is was rushed through. It was sprung late on the Dail and it angered many TDs that they had virtually no time to research this before it was brought in front of them or even to Discuss the matter when it was : The amendment was presented at 12pm and told to conclude by 1pm. Rushed through, how typical. And suspicious....

Sean Shelock of Labour states that the CEO of Coillte is being paid €400,000. This was 2009. Depressing.


I think another question arising for Andrew out of this is have the Woodland League ever attempted to find out what Coillte has done with all the Grant money given to them? The fact that a company laden with free money suddenly asks for a four-fold increase in its borrowing requirements, and the debate is quashed in the Dail, is ringing alarm bells for me.

Still more to come in the form of several PDFs Andrew sent on. I will post them up tomorrow hopefully.


Sean Shelock of Labour states that the CEO of Coillte is being paid €400,000.

Sean Sherlock is a member of this forum: you could pm him and ask him. He could ask a question in the Dail.

BrendanGalway
27-04-2010, 12:15 AM
+1
He's like a computer virus to our democratic OS only some people havn't updated their security - a human sasser worm with only one raison d'etre.

Just saw that, thats Brilliant! :D

BrendanGalway
27-04-2010, 12:18 AM
How do we know that a deal hasn't already been done with Helvetia? How do we know that 7% of our land hasn't already been sold off?

Will the Irish people care enough about this - even if they knew?

As someone on this thread has already pointed out, if you recruit Bertie Ahern you are expecting one thing and one thing only : A stroke from a well-connected insider. Its exactly the fact that someone who cant even display a bogs notion of what Forestry is about(see youtube clip above) is appointed Chair of this Fund that has myself and many others worried about where this is going.

As for the Irish people, how much Outrage can a nation take? We must look punch drunk at this stage. Im sure plenty of people would not want to see 7% of our land handed over to Wealthy individuals but since we cant vote on that.....

BrendanGalway
27-04-2010, 12:19 AM
Sean Sherlock is a member of this forum: you could pm him and ask him. He could ask a question in the Dail.

I didnt know! Ill pm him tomorrow. Hopefully it was a mistake, 400k for the director of Coillte makes me feel thick for having to work for a living.

DCon
27-04-2010, 12:24 AM
I didnt know! Ill pm him tomorrow. Hopefully it was a mistake, 400k for the director of Coillte makes me feel thick for having to work for a living.


12. Coillte

CEO: David Gunning

Remuneration: €409,000 (September 2007)

"This is a matter between the board of Coillte and the CEO and we have no further comment at this time."

http://www.tribune.ie/article/2008/nov/16/who-is-answering-lenihans-patriotic-call/

Edo
27-04-2010, 12:39 AM
Thanks for posting this. It keeps coming up. Fine Gael have been flying the idea that we should sell everything we have left off, as though it was some smart kind of thing to do. It's not only Fianna Fail that needs watching.

Actually No - we're not selling off Coillte

http://www.finegael.org/upload/NewERA.pdf




Finally, NewERA will merge Bord na Mona and Coillte into a new company called
“Bioenergy and Forestry Ireland (BFI)” to expand Ireland’s position in biomass.
Despite ideal growing conditions, biomass production in Ireland remains low. In
order to build on the positive role being played by both Bord na Mona and Coillte,
BFI will invest €900 million in 2010-13 in order to allow it to become a global leader
in the commercialisation of next generation bio-energy technologies. Thousands of
jobs will also be created through an ambitious afforestation target of 15,000 ha per
annum.



I would like to think we are pragmatic as opposed to dogmatic when it comes to issues like this - if the state can do a better job than the private sector in delivering the end result - well - let the state take care of it. But lets not get too precious about things being either one or the other - sometimes the private sector can be a better option - when strictly regulated - the state lays the tracks - the private sector can run the train - but it will only end up where the state wants it to go.

But hey - dont let the facts get in the way of good ole ideological rant steeped in stereotypes from a different era!

BTW - you should look at forest ownership throughout Europe - in Sweden over 80% of the forests are in private hands! - not that Im proposing we should go down one route or another.

http://www.efi.int/portal/research/themes/forest_resources/

Murra
27-04-2010, 12:40 AM
As someone on this thread has already pointed out, if you recruit Bertie Ahern you are expecting one thing and one thing only : A stroke from a well-connected insider. Its exactly the fact that someone who cant even display a bogs notion of what Forestry is about(see youtube clip above) is appointed Chair of this Fund that has myself and many others worried about where this is going.

As for the Irish people, how much Outrage can a nation take? We must look punch drunk at this stage. Im sure plenty of people would not want to see 7% of our land handed over to Wealthy individuals but since we cant vote on that.....

This is all 'shock doctrine' stuff. These deals are going on under the radar while all eyes are on the banks. Thats the way Bertie operates. How can we find out if the deal has already been done?

Shame too on our opposition parties. Those f'ers are sleeping on the job. The whole bloody lot of them are useless.

Fraxinus
27-04-2010, 12:51 AM
Actually No - we're not selling off Coillte

http://www.finegael.org/upload/NewERA.pdf





I would like to think we are pragmatic as opposed to dogmatic when it comes to issues like this - if the state can do a better job than the private sector in delivering the end result - well - let the state take care of it. But lets not get too precious about things being either one or the other - sometimes the private sector can be a better option - when strictly regulated - the state lays the tracks - the private sector can run the train - but it will only end up where the state wants it to go.

But hey - dont let the facts get in the way of good ole ideological rant steeped in stereotypes from a different era!

BTW - you should look at forest ownership throughout Europe - in Sweden over 8% of the forests are in private hands! - not that Im proposing we should go down one route or another.

http://www.efi.int/portal/research/themes/forest_resources/

45% of our forests are private. http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/nfi/

BrendanGalway
27-04-2010, 12:59 AM
Actually No - we're not selling off Coillte

I would like to think we are pragmatic as opposed to dogmatic when it comes to issues like this - if the state can do a better job than the private sector in delivering the end result - well - let the state take care of it. But lets not get too precious about things being either one or the other - sometimes the private sector can be a better option - when strictly regulated - the state lays the tracks - the private sector can run the train - but it will only end up where the state wants it to go.

But hey - dont let the facts get in the way of good ole ideological rant steeped in stereotypes from a different era!



Its amazing you talk about Idealogical rants yet you promote the role of the Private sector in running a National Interest. Has it ever worked? Has it ever worked HERE? Consider Telecom Eireann. how is Aer Lingus doing these days?

You think that its a case of letting the efficient Private sector run a business under strict State guidance but is that even an option in the Neo-Liberal age? When giving out loans, the IMF demands among other things, that the state retreat from the Market as far as possible and let Private interests to their thing. Not to long ago, it was published that Ireland came quite high in a World survey of places that ranked nations in order of how free it was to do Business. And Bertie Ahern as Leader of Ireland was quite proud of the fact. that should give you an insight into how the State views its role in governing Private Enterprise. See also : Anglo Irish Bank.

There would be no such thing as a privately run Coillte watched over by the State. how can you say that with all thats in the headlines right now?

BrendanGalway
27-04-2010, 01:01 AM
This is all 'shock doctrine' stuff. These deals are going on under the radar while all eyes are on the banks. Thats the way Bertie operates. How can we find out if the deal has already been done?

Shame too on our opposition parties. Those f'ers are sleeping on the job. The whole bloody lot of them are useless.

Good call on the "Shock Doctrine". Our nation is suffering Outrage-Depletion right now. Punch drunk with scandal. This is exactly the time to move. When it becomes public knowledge, most people wont or cant care. theres just too much happening.

Fraxinus
27-04-2010, 01:06 AM
Its amazing you talk about Idealogical rants yet you promote the role of the Private sector in running a National Interest. Has it ever worked? Has it ever worked HERE? Consider Telecom Eireann. how is Aer Lingus doing these days?

You think that its a case of letting the efficient Private sector run a business under strict State guidance but is that even an option in the Neo-Liberal age? When giving out loans, the IMF demands among other things, that the state retreat from the Market as far as possible and let Private interests to their thing. Not to long ago, it was published that Ireland came quite high in a World survey of places that ranked nations in order of how free it was to do Business. And Bertie Ahern as Leader of Ireland was quite proud of the fact. that should give you an insight into how the State views its role in governing Private Enterprise. See also : Anglo Irish Bank.

There would be no such thing as a privately run Coillte watched over by the State. how can you say that with all thats in the headlines right now?

I don't think anymore land should be in private hands. Then again in state hands it's not that better, we desperately need accountability and greater democracy to control our public assets.

Murra
27-04-2010, 01:08 AM
Actually No - we're not selling off Coillte

http://www.finegael.org/upload/NewERA.pdf





I would like to think we are pragmatic as opposed to dogmatic when it comes to issues like this - if the state can do a better job than the private sector in delivering the end result - well - let the state take care of it. But lets not get too precious about things being either one or the other - sometimes the private sector can be a better option - when strictly regulated - the state lays the tracks - the private sector can run the train - but it will only end up where the state wants it to go.

But hey - dont let the facts get in the way of good ole ideological rant steeped in stereotypes from a different era!

BTW - you should look at forest ownership throughout Europe - in Sweden over 80% of the forests are in private hands! - not that Im proposing we should go down one route or another.

http://www.efi.int/portal/research/themes/forest_resources/

At a time when we are facing energy scarcity - why in Gods name would we sell off some, or all , of our one of our primary sources of renewable energy??? What sort of madness is this??? Make the fast buck now, and forget the implications for the future???

BrendanGalway
27-04-2010, 01:13 AM
I don't think anymore land should be in private hands. Then again in state hands it's not that better, we desperately need accountability and greater democracy to control our public assets.

Well this is it. In Private hands its a case of F-Off, we dont have to tell you anything and we can operate as we please. As Ive posted already on this thread, the Fund has already stated in its Manifesto(for lack of a better word) that is basically seals off *their* land to protect it. We are most definatley talking about cutting off 7% of our Land surface and handing it over to Private interests whose first act would be to erect Fences around it.

Having read all the material Andrew St Ledger and the Woodland league provided, Im under no illusion that the State is doing a miserable job when it comes to Coillte. But surely the answer lies in reforming the State and then its bodies. At least its OUR company maintaining OUR land.

How does it serve our interest to put Coillte and 450k acres of land permanently beyond our reach?

Fraxinus
27-04-2010, 01:17 AM
Well this is it. In Private hands its a case of F-Off, we dont have to tell you anything and we can operate as we please. As Ive posted already on this thread, the Fund has already stated in its Manifesto(for lack of a better word) that is basically seals off *their* land to protect it. We are most definatley talking about cutting off 7% of our Land surface and handing it over to Private interests whose first act would be to erect Fences around it.

Having read all the material Andrew St Ledger and the Woodland league provided, Im under no illusion that the State is doing a miserable job when it comes to Coillte. But surely the answer lies in reforming the State and then its bodies. At least its OUR company maintaining OUR land.

How does it serve our interest to put Coillte and 450k acres of land permanently beyond our reach?

Once sold off it can't be got back. Coillte have already sold some off in the construction years but I don't know how they got around that, as the law states that once land is forested it must remain so, it has to be replanted.

Murra
27-04-2010, 01:26 AM
Once sold off it can't be got back. Coillte have already sold some off in the construction years but I don't know how they got around that, as the law states that once land is forested it must remain so, it has to be replanted.

But what's to stop private companies shipping out all those trees for themselves and leaving us with nothing?

If Coillte are underperforming (wow, how unique is that in our state bodies?) then there are 400,000 people out there ready to step into their shoes. We should be managing our own forests to the highest standards - what's stopping us?

DCon
27-04-2010, 08:12 AM
This is all 'shock doctrine' stuff. These deals are going on under the radar while all eyes are on the banks. Thats the way Bertie operates. How can we find out if the deal has already been done?

Shame too on our opposition parties. Those f'ers are sleeping on the job. The whole bloody lot of them are useless.

My fear is the the involvement of Ahern could be a post-Taoiseach bonus in for "work" already carried out.

This is not his only directorship..


Mr Ahern was in the UK for a business meeting in his capacity as a director of Parker Green International last week when the crisis struck.

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/ash-forces-cole-to-burn-up-the-road-2151718.html

Fraxinus
27-04-2010, 03:14 PM
But what's to stop private companies shipping out all those trees for themselves and leaving us with nothing?

If Coillte are underperforming (wow, how unique is that in our state bodies?) then there are 400,000 people out there ready to step into their shoes. We should be managing our own forests to the highest standards - what's stopping us?

There's nothing stopping them Murra. Coillte, by rights, should be leading by example in forest management here. Something that the private farm forests to aspire to. There is no reason why it shouldn't be a successful, sustainably managed forest estate.

Murra
27-04-2010, 03:56 PM
There's nothing stopping them Murra. Coillte, by rights, should be leading by example in forest management here. Something that the private farm forests to aspire to. There is no reason why it shouldn't be a successful, sustainably managed forest estate.

So what can WE do about it?

C. Flower
27-04-2010, 04:48 PM
I would suggest getting a Dail question asked, for a start.

Murra
27-04-2010, 09:54 PM
I would suggest getting a Dail question asked, for a start.

Who's going to ask the question without knowing the answer first? If one were to succeed in getting a TD to raise the question, one would want to ensure that that TD was fully briefed.

I guess the first step would be to write a letter... to Minister Brendan Smith and perhaps to Jr Min. Ciaran Cuffe?

Murra
27-04-2010, 09:56 PM
Where do the Shinners stand on this? Would they be in favour of our lands being sold off to foreign investors?

C. Flower
27-04-2010, 10:00 PM
Where do the Shinners stand on this? Would they be in favour of our lands being sold off to foreign investors?

It's a privatisation issue.

I've not had any luck with replies from Green Ministers.

BrendanGalway
27-04-2010, 11:16 PM
And more

A study on Irish Forestry as a business model and Coillte undertaken by a Canadian body in 2003. I cannont find who exactly commissioned it yet. Some interesting comments about Coilltes early days.


In 1985/86 the Government set up a review body to advise on structures for the future management of State owned forests. Subsequently the Government decided to set up Coillte Teoranta as a private limited company to manage State owned forests commercially. When Coillte was established in 1989 they acquired ownership of the State's forests in return for shares valued at €575 million.


Coillte contributes to the national objective primarily by working with farmers through its Farm Forestry Partnership Scheme and providing expert farm forestry services. Under the partnership arrangement the farmer provides land on which Coillte plants a forest, the farmer receives financial support via the forestry grants and premiums schemes and the revenue generated from the sale of timber is shared between the farmer and Coillte

Theres more on how Coillte works with Farmers and Landowners in planting trees.

Attachment : http://www.filehosting.org/file/details/138751/IrelandCoillteProgram-1.pdf




Another 2003 article from International Herald Tribune & Bloomberg News celebrating the end of the Dot-Com bubble and the emergence of Forestry as a new Investment growth Market. A Piece on Irish Forestry Services :


Irish Forestry Services uses money from investors to buy land and gets financial aid from the government and the European Union to cover the cost of clearing it and putting up fencing before planting trees. The company has swathes of pine forest in counties in the western part of Ireland such as Kerry, famous for its sweeping Atlantic coastline. After 10 years, the timber and the land are sold, and are distributed to investors.
“We’re not limited by the money we can raise, just by the quality of land we can purchase,” Brosnan said. [Paul Brosnan, marketing director at Irish Forestry Services]

Attachment : http://www.filehosting.org/file/details/138752/INTERNATIONAL_2520HERALD_2520TRIBUNE_2520(2)_2520d one.pdf




A rather simple Powerpoint Presentation in 2009 from Woodland, a private Forestry Business. Andrew includes this as it lists Coilltes (and other Private Investors) Primary Objective as “Financial” yet refers to the State/Community as “Environmental”. Translation : Profits accrue to Coillte and private money yet the Environmental costs are borne by the State. AKA Privatise the Profits, Socialise the Losses. This philosophy is turning up in a few places!

It also makes a couple of References to the Importance of Forests as Carbon Sinks, tying in nicely with other posts on this thread who talk about the Cap and Trade system.

Ps. For a laugh, have a read of Slide #16, titled “What If”. As part of a list of things that could go wrong, it mentions “Would Prices / Values fall?” At the bottom of the slide, it states “[None of the above could really happen, this is just a little fantasy!]” I think I would have run screaming from the Room at that point…..

Attachment : http://www.coford.ie/iopen24/pub/nfc09-phelan.pdf




Again with the Carbon credits. Last last year, CEO David Gunning asks the Dail for the €270 million euros it has set aside to purchase Carbon credits to give it over to Landowners in order to plant trees. ( €270 million! for Credits! ) Also admits that the Traditional Forestry model is no longer valid. Welcome to the Party pal!

Heres a question : How much is Coillte worth as a Carbon sink, does it exceed its value as a Timber/energy concern?

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/1029/1224257604675.html




That’s all bar one attachment. Remaining is a Hefty Dissertation from the Woodland League on the problems facing Irish Forestry. Im gong to review it tomorrow and post it up tomorrow evening.

BrendanGalway
27-04-2010, 11:18 PM
We should also get working on follow up questions for Andrew St Ledger and the league based on all the Information and analysis they were good enough to provide us with.

So far Ive got :

List of Questions for Andrew St Ledger and the Woodland League.

1. You mentioned that you have an Email from Helvetia Wealth directly stating their interest in Aquiring Coillte. Is that something you can share with us?
2. Do you know, or how would we find out, how much money in EU grants Coillte has received since its inception?
3. Do you know, or know how we would find out, how much money Coillte has made from the Sale of our Lands to private Interests, Developers etc ?
4. The list of points you summarised for Galway Senator Fidelma Healy Eames, did she get back to you on that? Was she successful in raising the Issue in the Seanad?
5. Would you have any figures to hand as to how much Coillte is worth right now? (Even as an Agricultural concern, leaving out possible Development potential of its lands. )
6. Under the Carbon Credits/cap and Trade scheme, How much is Coillte worth as a Carbon sink? Does it exceed its value as a Timber/energy concern?

BrendanGalway
27-04-2010, 11:19 PM
12. Coillte

CEO: David Gunning

Remuneration: €409,000 (September 2007)

"This is a matter between the board of Coillte and the CEO and we have no further comment at this time."

http://www.tribune.ie/article/2008/n...atriotic-call/


Nice one DCon, Cheers.

BrendanGalway
27-04-2010, 11:26 PM
But what's to stop private companies shipping out all those trees for themselves and leaving us with nothing?


Absolutely Nothing. Welcome to Capitialism.


So what can WE do about it?

Raise awareness. At home, school, work. Badger the media over this.

Research the issue, get our facts Straight and find some all important evidence that this is happening.

Hammer home to people to that this involves handing over in excess of One Million Acres of our Land to International Money. And once its gone, its gone.

Who knows. The Irish have a strange relationship with Land. €22 Billion + for Anglo wont being most people onto the streets but the sale of a Million acres might set something off in a lot of people....

musashi
28-04-2010, 11:51 PM
The whole carbon credit scheme seems to be a rigged market.

C. Flower
02-05-2010, 12:09 PM
The Independent has some information on Coillte's finances. It's not looking good.

http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/coillte-chiefs-package-hits-8364417k-despite-profit-plunge-2161778.html

High wages and professional fees being paid out, and a loss made in 2009.

We are supposed to be grateful as we get "great value from access to the woods"

musashi
02-05-2010, 12:59 PM
Ross' article mentions that timber sales have tanked, but earlier in this thread someone mentioned timber sales were up. So which is it?

C. Flower
02-05-2010, 01:11 PM
Ross' article mentions that timber sales have tanked, but earlier in this thread someone mentioned timber sales were up. So which is it?


The tanking was 2008-9, I think. It looks as if they may have discovered the Chinese market since then.

Perhaps all the trees in the east have gone.

Fraxinus
02-05-2010, 02:06 PM
The tanking was 2008-9, I think. It looks as if they may have discovered the Chinese market since then.

Perhaps all the trees in the east have gone.

I know a man working for one of the private forestry companies here and he tells me timber is flying again. Like you said, he mentioned China, apparently there's big demand for pallet wood at the moment, sawlog demand has picked up but not to the boom levels. Mills have gone from a 3 day week to double shifts now, so timber is definitley moving.

Murra
02-05-2010, 11:03 PM
It's important in the greater scheme that's going on behind closed doors that Coillte shows massive losses - sure, isn't that all the more reason why they should be selling off OUR land?

BrendanGalway
07-05-2010, 03:00 PM
The last of the attachments, I havent yet managed to read all of it, but Im holding it a while now so up it goes :

http://www.filehosting.org/file/details/142343/DAFF_Submission.doc

did we think of any more questions?

DCon
12-05-2010, 10:01 PM
From the Bord Snip report


Consistent with the reduction in available Exchequer resources, the Group puts forward a range of
reductions in administrative costs and increased flexibility and recommends that D/AF&F should
conduct a review with a view to reducing administrative costs. In particular, we see significant
scope for the outsourcing of payment processing activities.
In addition, the Group has suggested exploring the following avenues which could provide once off
receipts for the Exchequer:
• dispose of non-essential land/property holdings owned by the State Agencies;
• sell surplus Teagasc assets; and
• review the operations of Coillte with a view to realising optimal return through
rationalisation, asset disposal and, possibly, privatisation.

http://www.onegov.ie/eng/Publications/Bord_Snip_Nua_Volume_I.pdf


worried yet?

Murra
12-05-2010, 10:43 PM
From the Bord Snip report



http://www.onegov.ie/eng/Publications/Bord_Snip_Nua_Volume_I.pdf


worried yet?

There should be a public meeting about this. I think people would go mad if they knew about this.

C. Flower
12-05-2010, 11:58 PM
The An Bord Snip report came in the middle of a series of economic shocks. It's full of potential disasters. Privatisation of Coillte is one of them.

Murra
14-05-2010, 02:00 AM
More about it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sLmVj4pc6k&feature=player_embedded#!

StewieG
14-05-2010, 02:20 AM
There should be a public meeting about this. I think people would go mad if they knew about this.

Sadly I dont think they would . Pardon the semi pun !

BrendanGalway
16-05-2010, 11:45 PM
If anyone hasn’t read the Last attachment, Daff Submissions, you should. It is an excellent source of Information on the Current State of our National Forestry Sector. Suffice it to say it is being run as Badly as it is possible to run it, short of mass Clearing of whole Forests like we are seeing in the Amazon.(At one point, the document likens our Policies of Destruction for money akin to a Third-World nation). We compare terribly to Switzerland. They have a Forest sector that covers 33% of the Nations surface, employs 120,000 people and is completely sustainable without need for a Cent of grant money.

The Submission describes many reasons why Sustainable Forestry is of immense Environmental benefit to the country. It notes that the present Forestry model we employ through Coillte is 100% funded through EU grant Money and yet is somehow operating at a loss. Coillte itself was established under the 1988 Forestry act and it gives Coillte a purely Economic mandate with only a vague nod to the Environment and Local Communities.

The Daff submission States “This sudden drop in profitability appears to be the main reason Coillte were included in the McCarthy Report which recommended privatisation. As the market for the sale of land diminished, so too did Coillte's profits. Instead of developing forestry as per their remit they focused on becoming Ireland's largest land development company.” It has presided over the Sales of Public land(including 400 acres to Shell in Rossport), taking in €300 million euros and yet applied to have its borrowing limit raised to €400 million. Just to illustrate what a Hash they have made of of the Industry, they even admit that it is now cheaper to Import Timber from Scotland !

Coillte are outside the FOI. Make of that what you will.

Can I just say at this point that we should be grateful for the work of the Woodland League and all other Voluntary, Not-for-Profit Organisations. They keep an eye on the activities of those who are charged with Managing our National Heritage as well as compiling recommendations on how we could Improve the Economic performance of our National Forestry sector while at the same time, ensuring that we are able to enjoy our Forests and the Eco-systems they nurture.

Particular Thanks as well to Andrew St Ledger for taking the time to send us on all the information that has advanced our Discussions.

****

I propose to Email Andrew back with these questions. Please add more if you have them.

1. You mentioned that you have an Email from Helvetia Wealth directly stating their interest in Aquiring Coillte. Is that something you can share with us?
2. Do you know, or how would we find out, how much money in EU grants Coillte has received since its inception?
3. The list of points you summarised for Galway Senator Fidelma Healy Eames, did she get back to you on that? Was she successful in raising the Issue in the Seanad?
4. Would you have any figures to hand as to how much Coillte is worth right now? (Even as an Agricultural concern, leaving out possible Development potential of its lands. )
5. Under the Carbon Credits/cap and Trade scheme, How much is Coillte worth as a Carbon sink? Does it exceed its value as a Timber/energy concern?
6. Have any members of the Green Party raised the Issue of the poor state of our Forestry since they became part of Government? Have any of their members proposed an overhaul of the Sector?

BrendanGalway
31-05-2010, 10:07 PM
Andrew St Ledger has written to let me know he is preparing answer to our Questions. In the meantime, he spotted a story in Sundays Tribune about a Complaint that has been made against the Chairman of Helvetia Wealth, Bertie Ahern, that he did not disclose his relationship with the Fund as a Business Interest to the Oireachtas.

http://www.tribune.ie/news/home-news/article/2010/may/30/logged-complaint-sparks-ahern-forestry-job-probe/



The investigation centres on Ahern's appointment as chairman of the International Forestry Fund, which was announced last year.

The original complaint, submitted by James Casey, with an address in Dublin 6, said: "Helvetia Wealth AG of Switzerland, an international finance company offering offshore banking to clients, are the main backers of the fund. Even though he did not take up the chairmanship until 1 January 2010, he clearly had a business relationship with the fund in 2009 and I consider it should have been disclosed in the 2009 Declaration of Members' interests for the sake of openness and transparency, especially considering the backer is involved in offshore banking, which is a controversial area. If there is one omission, could there be more?"

In response to enquiries from the Houses of the Oireachtas, Casey later wrote that it was clear the former taoiseach had a business relationship with the International Forestry Fund in 2009, when the decision to appoint him was made. He wrote: "It is surely obvious that prior to the official announcement in November 2009 there would have been communications and meetings between Deputy Ahern and/or his professional advisers and Helvetia Wealth to agree the terms of the appointment including his fees.

"Presumably some sort of agreement/ contract was drawn up. Deputy Ahern is not just a director – he is chairman. It is also possible that a payment was made to confirm Deputy Ahern's services."


Hard to know if anything will come of it. Assuming that a fair and thorough Investigation (Lol!) is carried out, can be compelled to show Bank Records etc ? Our former leader has shown that in Previous Financial matters, his Memory can be.....Hazy.

PaddyJoe
01-06-2010, 12:49 AM
Thanks for posting Brendan. Interesting stuff.

DCon
13-06-2010, 08:04 PM
Coillte not named, but it must be in discussions



The government is to consider the sale of state-owned companies including Bord Gáis, the ESB and the Dublin Airport Authority, as a part of its efforts to reduce the budget deficit.

The Sunday Business Post has learned that proposals for a broad asset sale will be drawn up in the Department of Finance before being discussed by ministers.

http://www.sbpost.ie/news/government-to-consider-sale-of-state-companies-49891.html

DCon
02-07-2010, 02:17 PM
A call to double our forestry. from a company in Donegal:


A campaign to double forestry cover in Ireland by the year 2030 has been launched by the Donegal Woodland Owners Society Ltd, writes SEAN MACCONNELL

Its chairman, John Jackson, said it did not make sense for Ireland to import timber for the new plants from Scotland, when there were so many advantages here. “We have superb growth rates for forestry, demand for timber products is rising and there is land available for further afforestation,” he said.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0702/1224273806075.html

Murra
03-07-2010, 01:04 AM
A call to double our forestry. from a company in Donegal:



http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0702/1224273806075.html

What's your take on this DCon? I wouldn't see a problem with doubling our forestry, provided it was Irish-owned and properly managed, with taxes and revenue coming into Irish coffers.

DCon
03-07-2010, 10:30 AM
What's your take on this DCon? I wouldn't see a problem with doubling our forestry, provided it was Irish-owned and properly managed, with taxes and revenue coming into Irish coffers.

I agree. But the properly managed bit is where I am dubious

Fraxinus
03-07-2010, 10:51 AM
Expansion of the nations forestry cover will probably only be done by the private sector, mainly farmers. I doubt Coillte will further expand their estate, they haven't for some time now.

C. Flower
06-07-2010, 02:40 PM
There's a very useful legal consideration here of whether Coillte is a public, or a commercial body (thanks to Gavin Sheridan at The Story)

https://docs.google.com/document/edit?id=1TzrEG8cu_ensQ40ObSU-zSzHJfcxA6Qfc3G41M5SGh0&pli=1#

DCon
06-07-2010, 02:59 PM
Expansion of the nations forestry cover will probably only be done by the private sector, mainly farmers. I doubt Coillte will further expand their estate, they haven't for some time now.

Bertie's guys are expanding..


Recognising its
importance in the
smart economy, the
programme will
examine all forestry
grants with a view to
achieving our
climate change
targets through
delivering 17%
forest cover by 2030.
The government has
set a target of a
minimum annual planting programme of 10,000
hectares including 30% broadleaves.
Those of us in forestry for some time have heard this
before, so what’s different this time? Well, Ireland is a
very different place now than it was 2 years ago. The
government recognises that it must deliver jobs through
sustainable indigenous industries like forestry. It also
recognises that climate change and energy are the
biggest challenges facing Ireland in this century and
forestry will help by reducing our dependence on
imported fuel and capturing large amounts of carbon.
Forestry will not solve all these problems but it has a
significant role to play.
Despite the fact that government coffers are bare, the
last budget increased forestry allocation funds to €121
million with the aim of planting 7,000 ha of new land
in 2010.

http://www.irish-forestry.ie/pdf/2010/FGP9_4pp_Newsletter_Web_Opt.pdf


Dublin / Zurich: The International Forestry Fund - a joint venture of the I.F.S. Asset Managers Ltd and Helvetia Wealth AG of Switzerland - today announced that the former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern will become Chairman of the fund as of January 1, 2010.

The International Forestry Fund, created in March 2009, is offering the opportunity of direct forestry investment to institutional investors. The Fund invests in forestry in Ireland, the UK, and Central America, growing a mixture of species ranging from spruce and pine in Europe to tropical timbers such as teak, mahogany, and rosewood.

The fund buys existing forests, or land which is then afforested. Key to its strategy is that it will acquire the title to all properties for the benefit and protection of its investors. All lands and forestry will be subjected to strict independent assessment prior to purchase; this external monitoring will remain in place throughout the Fund's ownership of its forestry and land.

http://www.ifsam.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56&Itemid=71

Murra
06-07-2010, 11:53 PM
Bertie's guys are expanding..



http://www.irish-forestry.ie/pdf/2010/FGP9_4pp_Newsletter_Web_Opt.pdf



http://www.ifsam.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56&Itemid=71

Key to its strategy is that it will acquire the title to all properties for the benefit and protection of its investors.

There you have it - in black and white.

ang
13-09-2010, 11:38 AM
Latest news on Coillte and wind farms:-


It has also assembled a group of corporate finance advisers. ‘‘We already have partnerships with ESB, BGE, SWS, SSE and Canadian company Finavera. We are not energy suppliers, but wind farm developers, and it is our goal to enhance the value of our land assets," said Gunning.

‘‘We are open to discussing this portfolio with our current partners, and others. Banks will fund up to 85 per cent of finance, backed by 15 per cent of equity from us.


http://www.sbpost.ie/news/ireland/coillte-branching-out-into-wind-farms-51640.html

Anti-Coalition
05-12-2010, 09:11 PM
The Sunday Tribune today features a story that has been doing the rounds for a while - and which looks set to be one of Ireland's greatest ever scandals, even by Bertie standards:

Ahern's international forestry body could own 7% of Irish land (http://www.tribune.ie/news/article/2010/dec/05/aherns-international-forestry-body-could-own-7-of-/)

'International firm chaired by former taoiseach eyeing up Coillte, the state's most valuable asset'

Woodland League (http://www.woodlandleague.org/) have been doing great work raising the alarm about this, and have a petition here (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/help-save-irelands-forests/)

Justin Casey
05-12-2010, 09:26 PM
Couldn't believe this when I read it. I suppose it'll be summary execution for anyone found killing one of King Bertie's deer in his forest.

Stephanie
05-12-2010, 09:34 PM
Signed it and put it on my facebook page. There are hardly any Irish signatures?

C. Flower
05-12-2010, 09:47 PM
Thanks for posting the Tribune link. We've been trailing this for a very long time, and I'm glad to see that Martin Ferris has taken it up. I'll merge the threads.

Every TD should be challenged on it.

PaddyJoe
15-12-2010, 11:29 PM
Philip Boucher Hayes covered the Ahern/Coillte/Helvetia Wealth story on RTE DriveTime this afternoon.
Podcast stating at around 1 hour 10 minutes in. Includes an interview with Martin Ferris and a representative from the Irish Forestry Fund.
http://www.rte.ie/radio1/player_av.html?0,null,200,http://dynamic.rte.ie/quickaxs/209-r1-drivetime.smil

wickedfairy
22-12-2010, 11:00 AM
lots of interesting stuff on Pee Flynn and his spouse on the forestry gig.

http://www.soldiersofdestiny.org/johngilligan.htm

wickedfairy
22-12-2010, 12:03 PM
well the "laws" in Ireland mean nothing to me now Capt. Any work I get done, be it with my mechanic, my baker or the candlestick maker will be only done on the understanding that it is done in the "black economy" -stricly cash, none of this "VAT" bollicks for me any more. Thats the begining of my "contribution".

Captain Con O'Sullivan
22-12-2010, 12:13 PM
Yep. No one outside the Galway tent need have any qualms about that from now on. If there's any whinging about the black economy there are two possible replies;

"YOU kickstarted the black economy by ruining the real one"

and

"If you don't like it Minister you and your family can always emigrate."

The black economy is always the real free market economy anyway because it recognises no false-floor NAMAs.

whydontwe
23-12-2010, 06:16 PM
lots of interesting stuff on Pee Flynn and his spouse on the forestry gig.

http://www.soldiersofdestiny.org/johngilligan.htm

Thanks for that Wicked' ....smelt that a few weeks ago...but didn't get that stuff....cheers again !

whydontwe
23-12-2010, 06:31 PM
And politicians and their families expect the tax-payers to keep providing them with the 'ahearn/flynn' type lifestiles?? Best o' luck on their hand shakin' and baby-huggin' next election....bastards all !!

wickedfairy
23-12-2010, 08:52 PM
also from soldiersofdestiny
Frank Fahey and Corrib Gas

Fahey was also responsible in the Department of the Marine when a series of concessions were made to the developers of the Corrib gas field off the coast of Co Mayo. Fahey was lobbied heavily by Enterprise Oil executive John McGoldrick before the company and the gas field was sold on to Shell E&P Ireland Ltd. Fahey introduced the orders allowing for the compulsory acquisition of lands for the gas pipeline which contributed directly to the jailing last year of the Rossport Five, who refused to allow Shell to enforce the orders. He also granted the foreshore license to land the pipeline and the consent allowing the construction of the pipeline within 70m of people's homes. This latter consent was in breach of international pipeline safety standards and best codes of practice.

As the minister also responsible for Coillte, the national forestry service, he oversaw the sale, for an undisclosed sum, of 400 acres of land at Bellanaboy in north Mayo for a terminal where the unprocessed gas will be cleaned before entering the Bord Gais network.
In 2001, as Minister for the Marine, he also granted the petroleum licence to Shell E&P which requires the government and the taxpayer to purchase the gas at going market rates.

bokonon
07-01-2011, 07:07 PM
There seems to be a similar move afoot in the UK. In the article linked below, Johann Hari thinks the forests will be cut down, rather than closed to the public and traded as carbon credits:



David Cameron promised us he would lead "the greenest government ever". Since he came to power, he has broken every environmental promise he made – and then gone much further. He has opened up the coasts of Britain to the deep-sea drilling that worked so well in the Gulf of Mexico, and put a "for sale" sign outside every single remaining forest in England. Yes, as his own Environment minister puts it, Cameron is determined to "dispose of public forest" – and the timber companies and holiday parks are preparing their opening bids.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-for-sale--camerons-green-credentials-2177929.html


The parliamentary note is here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.parliament.uk/briefingpapers/commons/lib/research/briefings/SNSC-05734.pdf

I wonder if Helvetia Wealth are eyeing this one up?

joekilgobinet
09-01-2011, 10:58 PM
Good article by Diarmuid Doyle on todays Tribune

http://www.tribune.ie/news/editorial-opinion/article/2011/jan/09/diarmuid-doyle-bertie-is-out-of-public-sight-but-i/#comments

matt
10-01-2011, 12:28 AM
Yeah - thanks for the link: I think it's the first non-forum mention of the Coilte issue (could be wrong).

C. Flower
10-01-2011, 12:30 AM
Here's our thread on this I think it makes sense to merge the two if people don't mind.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=5893&highlight=Coillte

matt
10-01-2011, 12:32 AM
Sure, why not.

PaddyJoe
23-01-2011, 02:02 AM
I wonder what Section 37 of the Finance Bill is all about?

Section 37 amends section 110 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997
which deals with the tax treatment of securitisation companies, in
several respects:
• Firstly, it extends the definition of qualifying asset in section
110 to include plant and machinery, commodities and certain
carbon offsets,
• Secondly section 110 is amended to provide that an expense
deduction for interest and other payments made to certain non-
resident persons will be disallowed in the circumstances
provided for in the legislation, and http://www.finance.gov.ie/documents/publications/Financebill2011/finbill2011.pdf

Captain Con O'Sullivan
23-01-2011, 09:18 AM
It appears that not only in Ireland are there moves to hive off publicly owned forests to private owners.

Survey finds opposition to privatisation of forests

"They are asking us how the forests should be privatised. But most of us don't want our forests privatised at all."

More than 160,000 people have signed an online petition opposing any Forestry sell-off, he added.

"More people visit our woodlands each year than visit the English seaside.

"These are national treasures and we are very worried that if our public woodlands are broken up and privatised, that would mean a significant reduction in both public access to the woodland and in the standards of care for the woodland wildlife that lives here."

Joe Twyman of YouGov said three-quarters of the 2,000 people polled online opposed the plans, while 84% agreed with the principle that forests should stay in public ownership."

Some of my favourite places in the UK are under threat from this Conservative/LibDem policy of claiming England's forests would be better off in private ownership. I don't believe them and I am almost certain that the forests are being prepared for sale to wretches like Helvetia AG in order that they can arrange carbon-credit derivatives for polluting corporations to use as offsets against the Carbon Tax regime in the UK.

Hedgefunders have discovered a way to make money grow on trees. So they want a monopoly over the forests. They should not be allowed to have it.

The Forest of Dean mentioned in this BBC report is ancient and magnificent and is open to anyone to enjoy. I don't want to see fences around it or the New Forest or the beautiful woodlands in Kent.

The vested interests managed to eradicate commonhold from the villages of England where people were once free to graze animals without charge in the vile Enclosure Acts of the 19th century ... those lovely village greens of chocolate-box England with duck ponds on them were lost to common ownership and placed beyond use by the English villager as they had been used for many centuries.

I know some colleagues who have greater resources than I are buying strips of forestry in Kent and Sussex where they have homes in order to preserve them as they are and to try to stop this nonsense.

Even the wealthy middle class in England don't like this. Its an attack on heritage by corporations. It must be stopped.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12257835

DCon
23-01-2011, 09:42 AM
I wonder what Section 37 of the Finance Bill is all about?
http://www.finance.gov.ie/documents/publications/Financebill2011/finbill2011.pdf

Allegedly, it is for the Green IFSC (what could possibly go wrong) but I am sure Ahern and his backers will find a way to profit


The idea for a Green IFSC, which would see Ireland becoming a centre for green finance, has been in the pipeline for almost two years. The final result is a culmination of work carried out by the Green IFSC Steering Group – a branch of the IFSC Clearing House Group – which operates under the aegis of the Department of the Taoiseach.

The Green IFSC proposal also received a boost yesterday, with the announcement in the Finance Bill that tax reliefs will be extended to carbon offsets.

A key strand of the final proposal for the Green IFSC is the creation of an International Carbon Standard for Ireland and an associated registry for carbon credits which will be known as the Dublin International Voluntary Offset Registry (Divor). Like most European countries, Ireland has a carbon emissions trading registry which is run by the Environmental Protection Agency.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2011/0122/1224288083637.html

C. Flower
23-01-2011, 09:53 AM
Allegedly, it is for the Green IFSC (what could possibly go wrong) but I am sure Ahern and his backers will find a way to profit

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2011/0122/1224288083637.html

The background to it is here in this Daíl discussion between Cowen, Gilmore, Kenny and Ó Caoláin.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:AYGbiG0W420J:www.kildarestreet.com/debates/%3Fid%3D2010-11-17.116.0+Green+IFSC+Steering+Group&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ie

There is also some discussion of regulation and the IFSC - Cowen claims that all is well there and all the problems were in the domestic banks.
No mention of DEPFA (40 bn) or anything else.

Just trying to find out who was on the Steering Group - here is one -
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:RUNakBRAoaIJ:waterfordceb.com/news.php%3Fnews_id%3D46+draft+memorandum+steering+ group+carbon+offset+IFSC&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ie




This Ideagen Event, to be held on the 23rd November in University of Limerick is about carbon emissions and what is happening now they are capped, trading commenced and prices set.
The event’s objectives is two fold, first to inform, with short but informative keynote presentations from policy formers and key market players and secondly for participents to network and work at identifying some of the key new business opportunities and current “problems & challenge” to be solved that Energy Trading can offer indigenous Irish businesses.
These maybe around service and support opportunities within the financial services sector due to the emergence of a growing carbon credit market but can relate to issues around transport, construction, energy usage, new green energy activities, their measurement, tracking, recording, etc!
http://www.waterfordceb.com/images/news/medium/Ideagen_Logo.jpg
The European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme is the world’s largest market for carbon and the most significant multinational initiative ever taken to mobilise markets to protect the environment.
This is the world’s first cap-and-trade programme for greenhouse gases, by far the largest environmental market in the world and will be the prototype for a global policy regime, based on emissions trading.
It will be an important influence on the development and implementation of trading schemes in the US, Japan and globally.
Speakers:
Prof. Frank Convery, UCD author of ‘Pricing Carbon – The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme’ will be presenting what he sees as the opportunities for Irish indigenous businesses.
Currently in Ireland a special Government task team – the ‘Green IFSC Steering Group’ has been set up to drive this sector and its potential spin off for indigenous industry. Stephen Nolan, Project Leader, Green IFSC will be presenting his view of these opportunities together with Paul Harris, Head of Natural Resource Risk Management, Bank of Ireland Global Markets. Paul will give a short presentation on his experience and the practical hands-on challenges and opportunities of trading emissions.
Paul has over twenty five years trading and structuring experience. He is currently responsible for the structuring and delivery of a range of hedging solutions and investment products for both fossil fuels and renewable energy.
He is a member of the Green IFSC Steering Group, and is Chairman of the Expert Carbon Group. He has a particular interest in forestry-based carbon products, carbon-backed securities and weather derivatives.




Paul Harris, Head of Natural Resources Risk
Management, Bank of Ireland Global Markets
Paul established the Energy & Emissions desk in
2004 in response to the demand from clients to
hedge energy costs and to cater for those installations
involved in the new EU Emissions market. The desk
transacts bespoke structures designed to mitigate
risk associated with climate change and is credited
with having dealt the fi rst ever emissions-based
derivative transaction.


From the Irish Times -

Despite the fragile political climate, it is understood the Green Party is keen to bring the final proposal to Cabinet as early as next Tuesday, with a launch scheduled for next month. A copy of the final memo was circulated to Ministers last week, though it is understood that some Ministers have raised questions.
Fine Gael’s Richard Bruton, said his party is “sympathetic to the concept of the Green IFSC” and would look at the specific merits of the business plan.


I wonder if the Green Party has been lobbied about this ?

Captain Con O'Sullivan
23-01-2011, 10:41 AM
'Weather derivatives', a 'green IFSC' ... does anybody need anymore in order to understand what these muppets are up to?

jpc
23-01-2011, 12:57 PM
There is a good election platform there.
Irish forests stay in state ownership.
Just mention de Berts involvement.

DCon
23-01-2011, 01:42 PM
There is a good election platform there.
Irish forests stay in state ownership.
Just mention de Berts involvement.

FG and LAB will probably sell it too.

No point an Independent promising to stop it as he/she will not have the power. Sinn Fein will not sell it anyway and anyone likely to vote SF knows this.

C. Flower
23-01-2011, 01:44 PM
Youngdan understands the Cap and Trade business. I'm hoping he will have time to explain it her.

Fraxinus
25-01-2011, 09:36 PM
Ireland watch carefully!

Saw a programme on the BBC last night highlight the threat of privatisation looming over the British state's forest assets. Then saw the IT did a report on the situation. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2011/0124/1224288164515.html


Several luminaries, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, have joined the campaign to stop the sell-off of Britain’s state-owned forests

FORESTS ARE the single most used recreation area in Britain, with 40 million people a year using their amenities for walking, cycling and camping.

Now, many fear gates and fences will put a stop to their rambling at the heart of mother nature.



Declarations that all will be well and nothing will be changed are not believed, with campaigners pointing to the experience of Rigg Wood on the banks of Lake Coniston in the heart of the Lake District in Cumbria.

Once a popular picnic and walking location, the 40-acre wood was sold in October for £116,000, with not a word to the local community.

The first they knew things had changed was when the car park was closed by the new owner.

“What has happened here is a symbol of what could happen if forests are sold. We are very worried about all the woods in the lakes. Rigg Wood illustrates what can happen without you even knowing about it,” said Paul Townsend, the chairman of the Save Lakeland’s Forests group. Walkers can still get access on foot, but the lack of a car park makes visiting impractical for many.

Defending his actions, the businessman who bought the wood, Mike Cavanagh, said most of those who had used the car park never visited the woods, while others used it for handbrake turns in their cars.

Locals, however, believe a much larger estate could be next for the auction block if Middle England does not make its voice heard.



Is this what's in store for us. The BBC report showed how a Thatcher government had to role back on a similar plan after a massive public outcry and protests.

IrishJobsForIrishWorkers
25-01-2011, 09:44 PM
Rigg Wood on the banks of Lake Coniston in the heart of the Lake District in Cumbria.

Once a popular picnic and walking location, the 40-acre wood was sold in October for £116,000, with not a word to the local community.

The first they knew things had changed was when the car park was closed by the new owner.

“What has happened here is a symbol of what could happen if forests are sold. We are very worried about all the woods in the lakes. Rigg Wood illustrates what can happen without you even knowing about it,” said Paul Townsend, the chairman of the Save Lakeland’s Forests group. Walkers can still get access on foot, but the lack of a car park makes visiting impractical for many.So the only change is that the car park was closed. Well, that wouldnt have any effect on Irish forest users, because Coillte dont even provide many car parks to start with, due to the problems with travellers.

The privatisation of forests is a difficult question. I hate Coillte, but privatisation could be worse. Im not sure.

Fraxinus
25-01-2011, 09:53 PM
I use Coillte forests in Galway and Cork for mountain biking. The Galway one is totally free and the Cork one has only a small carparking fee. Somehow I couldn't see that continuing under private ownership.

As things stand our access to private property laws with regards walking and hiking would make it nearly impossible for continued recreational use if our forests became private.

TotalMayhem
31-01-2011, 10:45 PM
After reading David Malone's latest blog entry about the imminent fire sale (http://golemxiv-credo.blogspot.com/2011/01/forests-fire-sales-and-mark-to-market.html) of woodland in the UK, i think it is even more important to have a very close eye on the activities of the recently 'retired' Bartholomew Ahern.

I have the distinct feeling, this b@$t@rd is not yet done selling our country down the river and we haven't seen the last of him.

Murra
01-02-2011, 08:57 PM
Lets just hope this is not election-speak:

http://www.independent.ie/farming/news-features/sale-of-coillte-is-ruled-out-by-fine-gael-and-labour-2508979.html

http://andrewdoyle.ie/2011/01/13/coillte-must-stay/ (If Andrew Doyle is elected, he is the likely candidate for the Ministerial position of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries)

TotalMayhem
01-02-2011, 10:38 PM
Lets just hope this is not election-speak

The Indakinny let the cat out of the bag in an RTÉ interview today. He wants to sell "state assets". Which assets would be anyone's guess at this moment but you can be sure Coillte will be one of the first to go... and Irish Water of course.

jmcc
02-02-2011, 12:22 PM
The only association that FFking traitor Bertie Ahern should have with Irish forestry is to be swinging from a branch of an Irish tree at the end of a rope. He and his ilk destroyed the economy of this country.

Regards...jmcc

TotalMayhem
02-02-2011, 08:11 PM
The only association that FFking traitor Bertie Ahern should have with Irish forestry is to be swinging from a branch of an Irish tree at the end of a rope.

+100

... and then ship him off in a coffin, made of the best Irish oak to be found, to Qatar so he can marvel at their national stadium.

C. Flower
23-02-2011, 11:12 AM
"A criminal stalks the streets"

YouTube - Bertie Ahern is "a criminal element walking the streets"

Spectabilis
23-02-2011, 12:09 PM
The Indakinny let the cat out of the bag in an RTÉ interview today. He wants to sell "state assets". Which assets would be anyone's guess at this moment but you can be sure Coillte will be one of the first to go... and Irish Water of course.

Actually what I heard Enda Kenny say on last night's debate was that Bórd na Móna and Coillte would be amalgamated and not sold. The distribution networks would not be sold but gas anad electricity generation would be. Gilmore disagreed on the non-strategic importance of the distribution networks.

As to everything else?

TotalMayhem
23-02-2011, 12:30 PM
Actually what I heard Enda Kenny say on last night's debate was that Bórd na Móna and Coillte would be amalgamated and not sold. The distribution networks would not be sold but gas anad electricity generation would be. Gilmore disagreed on the non-strategic importance of the distribution networks.

As to everything else?

Don't know about you, but I am tired of polticians and their announcments before elections... history shows, they're worth ***** all.

whydontwe
23-02-2011, 10:16 PM
CF...I mentioned coillte before....and there are so many sick twisted politicians vying for votes now who are pals of cretins like the ahearns etc...should any one be surprised that we dont want to vote ??

C. Flower
08-03-2011, 06:47 PM
According the Sean Sherlock, the sale of Coillte is not in the Programme for Government.

I'm not so sure that it's specifically excluded - and what happens if the IMF says to sell it ?


STATEMENT BY SEAN SHERLOCK

Labour Party TD, Cork East
Tuesday, 08 March 2011

SHERLOCK WELCOMES PLAN TO RETAIN FORESTRYRESOURCES



I was delighted to see in the Programme forGovernment, that plans by the outgoing government to sell off Coillte havebeen scrapped entirely.

Labour is on record as opposing the sell-offof Coillte, and we voiced our objections when it became clear that FiannaFail were hoping to hawk it off to some international fund management company.

The Programme for Government, clearly statesthat Bord Na Mona will be merged with Coillte to form BioEnergy a new statecompany, and there is no proposal in the document to sell this companyoff.

In addition we will accelerate the developmentof Ireland’s forestry and bioenergies and Ireland to become a global leaderin the commercialisation of next generation bio-energy technologies, includingan annual 14,700 hectare afforestation programme.

The Programme for Govt makes it clear thatCoillte is to remain in public ownership as part of a merged bio-energycompany.

Frankie Lee
08-03-2011, 07:03 PM
Don't want to go too far off topic but seeing Bord na Mona will now be called Bioenergy and considering BnM are going into waste management will some of their newer power stations be converted into waste to energy incinerators?

Dr. FIVE
12-03-2011, 11:01 PM
The better not sell my (http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/environment/agriculture_and_forestry/millennium_forests_in_ireland.html) tree

Kev Bar
12-03-2011, 11:18 PM
"A criminal stalks the streets"

YouTube - Bertie Ahern is "a criminal element walking the streets" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eO2AewmpAEs)

Is that Sean and his Madama K colleague?
And if so...Respect.

People Korps
12-03-2011, 11:19 PM
According the Sean Sherlock, the sale of Coillte is not in the Programme for Government.

I'm not so sure that it's specifically excluded - and what happens if the IMF says to sell it ?
the Brits scraped their plans to sell their forests
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/2/17/1297944453420/Forests-sell-off-U-turn-007.jpg


It is about real and total protest http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/feb/16/forest-selloff-conservative-policy

Not that I advocate bringing your own hurley :)

C. Flower
24-03-2011, 07:51 PM
Phil Hogan, Minister for the Environment, seems to have confirmed that Coillte is for sale in a recent interview with the Village Magazine.

His answer is a little hard to interpret - a follow on question needs to be asked.



Tony Lowes: Is it your policy to combine Coillte and Bord na Mona and privatise them?

Phil Hogan: Yes: we are prepared to examine those proposals and to find resources from the sale of strategic assets. After all it’s not an ideological issue about selling State companies. It’s about selling on companies that the State doesn’t have to be involved in at the moment to provide another State entity that is essential at the moment. We don’t see why a good strong State entity like Bord na Móna can’t be very effective in managing another state agency called Coillte. But the top level staff pay is far too high – we want no one to be paid more than €200,000.



http://www.villagemagazine.ie/index.php/2011/03/phil-hogan-interviewed-from-current-magazine-and-tony-lowes-blog/

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?p=132736&highlight=Coillte#post132736

Theresa
24-03-2011, 07:55 PM
the Brits scraped their plans to sell their forests
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/2/17/1297944453420/Forests-sell-off-U-turn-007.jpg


It is about real and total protest http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/feb/16/forest-selloff-conservative-policy

Not that I advocate bringing your own hurley :)

It is about REAL and TOTAL protest - it's a pity we are too happy to turn away and deny anything wrong is happening - "we" being the majority. Why is that?

Captain Con O'Sullivan
24-03-2011, 07:59 PM
Trained to be obedient unfortunately over centuries of 'minding our betters'. jesus 'the fighting Irish'.

C. Flower
24-03-2011, 08:00 PM
Phil has a very informed background on environmental matters, particularly rezoning.

Fraxinus
24-03-2011, 08:02 PM
Phil has a very informed background on environmental matters, particularly rezoning.

Hear he's very great with Mr. Lowry as well. Good company.

whydontwe
24-03-2011, 08:08 PM
Thanks for that CF. "...we want no one to be paid more than €200,000" ?? he's havin' a laugh isn't he? What 'politically appointed' 'genius'...in that sphere is worth €20k...don't mind a 6 figure sum? For what...several hours a week...even if that? More cronyism gone mad!
No confirmation of the 'Bertie' bowl...sorry...begging bowl bertie!! Like most political chicanery...it stinks to high heaven!

TotalMayhem
24-03-2011, 08:39 PM
It's not just some feckin' company they want to sell, it's 7% of all Irish land that goes with it. As I said, the retired Bert will be very busy in the months ahead (and probably well rewarded).

As for the "interpretation" of Phil Hogan, here's a classic gem from 2003:

TD says he cannot recall being asked about mobile bids (http://www.independent.ie/national-news/td-says-he-cannot-recall-being-asked-about-mobile-bids-213644.html)

I wonder if Mr Hogan ever confirmed to the Dáil the extent, if any, of his relationship – either professional or personal – with Denis O’Brien before he accepted his Ministerial appointment?

whydontwe
24-03-2011, 08:59 PM
TM...good stuff...great to have so many keepin' tabs...there's so much went/goin' on!

PaddyJoe
25-03-2011, 02:23 AM
The Colm McCarty report on state sell offs is supposed to be released this week, by all accounts.
I can't imagine the Irish Forestry Fund being too happy with having Bertie on board right now though. Can't really see the Coalition selling off even a couple of second hand cars to anyone called Ahern. I'm sure there are people that are closer to the new ascendancy sniffing around the pickings;)

C. Flower
05-04-2011, 03:50 PM
A question was just answered on Coillte in the Dail. The live stream visual was not working for me so I couldn't see who answered.
The person made the extraordinary statement that Coillte hadn't planted a tree since 1995 due to EU restrictions on replanting. I don't believe this is true for one moment.

Anyone know who answered ?

PaddyJoe
08-04-2011, 01:33 AM
Quite astounding story here on a €56,000 bonus paid to the CEO of Coillte in spite of Minister Brendan Smith's objections.

THE CHIEF executive of Coillte was paid a bonus of €56,435 last December, despite a request from former minister for agriculture Brendan Smith that the payment not go ahead.
According to a Department of Agriculture briefing document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, David Gunning was appointed to the job in March 2006 at a basic salary of €297,024 on a seven-year contract.

“The Coillte board decided it was appropriate to award the chief executive a 19 per cent annual bonus for 2008, which equates to €56,435 on the basis of pay rate above,” it said. Coillte was verbally instructed that no bonus should be paid for 2008 and Mr Smith had put this in writing at the request of the company.
“The Minister did also recognise there was, however, no legal basis for him to request or insist that the bonus payment be withheld per se,” the memo continued.
It said Coillte subsequently wrote to Mr Smith in July 2009 and advised that the board had given the matter serious consideration and decided it was appropriate to award the chief executive an annual bonus of 19 per cent for 2008, based on the achievement of performance targets.

on January 21st, 2011, a letter had been received from the Coillte chairman.It said the matter was considered by the board and remuneration committee on December 16th, 2010, and the board considered it was neither appropriate nor tenable to continue to defer the payment, given the significant improvement in the performance of the business in 2010 and its contractual obligations to the chief executive.
“Consequently, the board resolved to pay the annual performance-related pay for 2008 in December and payment has since been completed,” the letter concluded.
The briefing document said: “The Minister’s displeasure at this decision and the company not inviting a departmental representative to the meeting of the remuneration committee has been conveyed in writing to the company.”
So basically Coillte told the Agriculture Minister to go and ******* off with himself in the certain knowledge that the government was heading for the General Election trapdoor.
It really beggars belief how the greedy scum in this country have sucked the place dry:mad:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0408/1224294223272.html

C. Flower
08-04-2011, 10:52 AM
Legislation is urgently needed to bring these entities back under public control. The present situation is outrageous.

FG intend to merge Coillte and Bord na Mona to form a company. They claim this is not about privatisation. That is rubbish. They will do it and then privatise, if allowed to, claiming that the IMF has instructed it, which of course it will.

DCon
12-04-2011, 09:39 AM
Simon Coveney currently being interviewed by Newstalk.

Said FG/LAB have no intention of selling Coillte land but they may sell harvesting rights for the forestry produced on the land.

He specifically mentioned the "rumours" of Paddy B Ahern's involvement.

Anti-Coalition
21-04-2011, 02:05 AM
Good news....or....?

Irish Times - Coillte proposals: state should retain ownership of forests (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0421/1224295160974.html)

antiestablishmentarian
21-04-2011, 10:37 AM
Good news....or....?

Irish Times - Coillte proposals: state should retain ownership of forests (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0421/1224295160974.html)

No. They proposed to sell the timber and abolish the replanting grant. So we'll be deforested and have no funds left to replant. Which makes it more likely that the land will be sold at some point in the moment, as has already been suggested for land owned by Coillte which isn't planted at present.

malbekh
21-04-2011, 01:37 PM
A question was just answered on Coillte in the Dail. The live stream visual was not working for me so I couldn't see who answered.
The person made the extraordinary statement that Coillte hadn't planted a tree since 1995 due to EU restrictions on replanting. I don't believe this is true for one moment.

Anyone know who answered ?

That's garbage whoever made that statement. Coillte are obliged to replant within two years in any area of clear-felling or give a very good reason why not. They are also obliged to ensure that any new or replanting is announced well beforehand by way of a public forum through their website, and it must also be approved (as a generic rather than as a specific) with the FSC.

malbekh
21-04-2011, 01:43 PM
No. They proposed to sell the timber and abolish the replanting grant. So we'll be deforested and have no funds left to replant. Which makes it more likely that the land will be sold at some point in the moment, as has already been suggested for land owned by Coillte which isn't planted at present.

I am assuming they are referring to the grants given to private individuals planting forestry on their land, that is, farmer Mick from Kerry who has a few spare acres of scrub land. It will not (assumption) refer to Coillte, who presumably do not get such grants as this is their commercial mandate.

PaddyJoe
28-06-2011, 02:26 AM
Coillte preparing to lay off 200 workers and restructure the organisation:

‘The company advised all employees and their representatives that the company was aiming to reduce employee numbers by 200 over a period of years, through non-replacement of retiring staff and through a range of employee ‘exit options’ including voluntary redundancy," he said.

‘‘The company has also advised staff that it will announce details of a new organisation design at the end of June, and that it expects to announce an employee exit scheme in the coming months."

He said that the final number of voluntary redundancies to be sought, or the terms that staff would be offered, had not been decided.

Coillte had 1,053 staff last year, down from 1,170 in 2009, according to its latest annual report. Despite the reduction in numbers, its wage bill was unchanged at €53.4 million.

The business had turnover of €250.4 million last year, a 21 per cent rise on 2009. It made an after-tax profit of €32.1 million.

Last month, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney told The Sunday Business Post that there was ‘‘a lot of work to do at Coillte’’, which owns 7 per cent of the state’s land.
http://www.sbpost.ie/news/ireland/coillte-seeks-voluntary-redundancy-for-200-57006.html

DCon
14-07-2011, 07:32 AM
Nobody saw this coming


Ahern-linked firm wants Coillte broken up and sold


The forestry company that has former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern among its senior executives, made a submission to the Government's review calling for the break-up of Coillte and greater support for the entire sector.

IFS Asset Managers, which appointed Mr Ahern as chairman of its International Forestry Fund in 2009, said the function of Coillte needed to be urgently examined.

"Consideration should be given to moving all non-core assets out of Coillte," it added.

"The other business elements of Coillte should be broken out into standalone businesses operating independently and allowed to develop aggressively on behalf of the State," it said.

It added that the ultimate aim should be to put these businesses into the private sector through asset sales.

http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/ahernlinked-firm-wants-coillte-broken-up-and-sold-2821122.html

Captain Con O'Sullivan
14-07-2011, 09:20 AM
Wait until they buy it and then destroy it might be the plan in some minds. Where enforced privatisation of state assets are concerned the best plan is to make them pay large and then brutalise the asset.

Thats what some might be thinking.

eanach1
14-07-2011, 12:50 PM
Wait until they buy it and then destroy it might be the plan in some minds. Where enforced privatisation of state assets are concerned the best plan is to make them pay large and then brutalise the asset.

Thats what some might be thinking.

How does one do that and cover 7% of the land?

PaddyJoe
11-09-2011, 04:18 PM
Update:

Sunday September 11 2011
AS the drive to sell state assets intensifies, a spokesperson for the International Forestry Fund chaired by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern (http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Bertie_Ahern) has said that it would be interested in purchasing forestry from the Irish Government, but only if Coillte was broken up as recommended in the McCarthy report.
The sale of state assets, including Coillte, the ESB (http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Electricity_Supply_Board) and Bord Gais (http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Bord_Gais_Eireann), was discussed at cabinet last Thursday following a report by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin (http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Brendan_Howlin_%28politician%29) on the recommendations of the asset review group. A government spokesperson confirmed that a decision on the sale of assets is to be made before the next round of negotiations with the EU-IMF (http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/International_Monetary_Fund).
However, for the first time the fund has ruled out the possibility of buying Coillte from the State. According to director Paul Brosnan, "We never considered buying Coillte -- it is of absolutely zero interest to us. Coillte is a fully integrated company, it's involved in manufacturing, processing, it owns mountain-tops, it owns lakes. We're solely interested in forestry itself."

http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/berties-forestry-fund-could-buy-woods-if-coillte-split-up-2873111.html

DCon
11-09-2011, 04:41 PM
these forestry lads must be amateurs. They should have hired Bertie and John Bruton to capture political influence regardless of any elections.

Frankie Lee
11-09-2011, 04:51 PM
Update:

http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/berties-forestry-fund-could-buy-woods-if-coillte-split-up-2873111.html

Paul Brosnan, the same one as this (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jul/17/panorama-expose-care-home-boss-resigns)?


The chairman of Castlebeck, the company behind Winterbourne View, the care home at the centre of the recent BBC Panorama abuse exposé, has resigned as the group braces itself for what it expects to be a highly critical report into care standards conducted by the Care Quality Commission and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Paul Brosnan, the 35-year-old son of Denis Brosnan, one of Ireland's richest men, will make way for Dick Stockford, a veteran healthcare consultant and troubleshooter who has worked with senior figures across the NHS including chief executive David Nicholson and Lord Darzi.

Castlebeck is owned by Denis Brosnan's Jersey-based Lydian Capital, which is backed by fellow Irish tycoons JP McManus, John Magnier and Dermot Desmond.

Paul Brosnan, who has served as chairman of Castlebeck for almost three years, called in PwC to conduct a review of systems and controls at care homes after being presented with Panorama's findings. The CQC also began its investigation in response the abuse secretly filmed by the BBC and broadcast in May.

Captain Con O'Sullivan
11-09-2011, 09:13 PM
That 'International Forestry Fund' is nothing but an investment vehicle owned by Helvetia AG in Switzerland.

It isn't there to manage forestry but to make profit for investors. As for Helvetia AG they conform to the usual Swiss openness standards- very few details about who owns that company. The minimal information about directors available.

Any company with the neck to place a chiseller like Aherne in a Chairman's seat is unlikely to be the sort of company which gives a damn about public perceptions of it and its business. It is set up in the first place in terms of evasion and opaqueness. A bit like Aherne himself.

Considering the Mahon report is pregnantly pending you have to ask yourself what kind of reputable company would see Aherne as a figure suitable for Chairmanship?

PaddyJoe
11-09-2011, 10:34 PM
Paul Brosnan, the same one as this (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jul/17/panorama-expose-care-home-boss-resigns)?
Very possible;)

Dr. FIVE
05-10-2011, 07:18 PM
Man on Nationwide says we have 12% cover in Ireland and they are hoping to get it to 17%. Says it's worth 1.8bn annually...

Dr. FIVE
05-10-2011, 07:22 PM
They were also in our Millennium forests. The ones that were


Over 607 hectares, (fifteen hundred acres) of native Irish woodland were restored and designated as 16 'Millennium Forests', and are dedicated in perpetuity to the people of Ireland.

The Millennium project shows that this generation cares about our natural heritage. Future generations will look back to the year 2000 as the year when a positive statement was acted upon,



http://www.millenniumforests.com/about_intro.html

C. Flower
22-01-2012, 08:56 PM
Coillte targeted by Government for privatisation today.

Vash
23-01-2012, 12:12 AM
Coillte targeted by Government for privatisation today.

Is there a link available for this yet?

C. Flower
23-01-2012, 09:51 AM
Varadker on TWIP last night said that Coillte and a minority stake in the ESB would be privatised.

The Troika will undoubtedly pressurise for full privatisation of everything, but Fine Gael are gung ho for it anyway.

Can't find a report link, oddly.

This one is general, on the topic with an interesting look at the semi-state pensions.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2012/0118/1224310399459.html

DCon
23-01-2012, 10:07 AM
some related Dail activity





Written answers
Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Michael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)

Question 271: To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the semi-State companies or their services which he has identified or considered suitable for a strategic alliance with another company; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Brendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)

As the Deputy may be aware, the NewERA unit was established within the National Treasury Management Agency in July 2011 to reform the manner in which Government manages the commercial semi-State companies. NewERA will initially undertake the corporate governance function, from a shareholder perspective and reporting to relevant ministers, of ESB, Bord Gáis Éireann, EirGrid, Bord na Móna and Coillte. NewERA’s role is also to advise on, and if appropriate, oversee any restructuring of these companies, including along the lines suggested in the Deputy’s question. At this early stage, no specific proposals have arisen.


http://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2012-01-11.1173.0&s=coillte#g1175.0.r



Written answers
Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Michael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)

In September 2011 the Government announced the establishment of the New Economy and Recovery Authority (NewERA) within the NTMA and the establishment of the Strategic Investment Fund. NewERA will centralise the management of Government holdings in the commercial semi-state sector (initially the companies within NewERA’s remit are ESB, EirGrid, Bord Gáis, Bord na Móna and Coillte ) from a shareholder perspective. This role, based on the Shareholder Executive model already established in a number of developed economies, will involve oversight of activities such as capital expenditure plans, corporate strategy, acquisitions and disposals. NewERA is already working closely with the relevant Government departments and companies in this regard. The Shareholder Executive approach is designed to provide the Government with a portfolio view of investment returns from the sector and with a means of assessing the likely impact of commercial developments in the sector on long-term Government investment plans.

NewERA is also charged with assisting the development and implementation of Government plans for investment in energy, water and next-generation telecommunications with the long-term objective of employment creation and has commenced work with the relevant Government departments in these areas.

The Strategic Investment Fund will, following appropriate legislative changes to the investment policy of the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF), channel commercial investment from the NPRF towards productive investment in the Irish economy. As well as money from the NPRF, the Fund will seek matching commercial investment from private investors and target investment in areas of strategic significance to the future of the Irish economy. It will comprise a series of sub-funds targeted at commercial investment in critical areas of the Irish economy, including infrastructure, venture capital and provision of long-term capital for SMEs. The NPRF will take a lead role in the development and implementation of each sub-fund.

In November 2011, the NPRF announced a commitment of €250 million to a new Irish infrastructure investment fund which is seeking up to €1 billion from institutional investors in Ireland and overseas and which will invest in infrastructure assets in Ireland, including assets designated for disposal by the Government and commercial State enterprises and also new infrastructure projects.

NewERA and the Strategic Investment Fund are important elements in the Government’s strategy to promote economic growth and create jobs.



http://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2012-01-18.815.0&s=coillte#g817.0.r

Donal Og
23-01-2012, 10:10 AM
Varadker on TWIP last night said that Coillte and a minority stake in the ESB would be privatised.

The Troika will undoubtedly pressurise for full privatisation of everything, but Fine Gael are gung ho for it anyway.

Can't find a report link, oddly.

This one is general, on the topic with an interesting look at the semi-state pensions.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2012/0118/1224310399459.html

Cad a dheanamuid feasta gan adhmad/ Ta deireadh na gcoillte ar lár

Maybe Captain Con's post had the right idea.These traitors would sell their own grannies.:mad:

Captain Con O'Sullivan
23-01-2012, 04:07 PM
That is exactly what they are discussing in a way- selling out what their grandparents struggled for.

Captain Con O'Sullivan
23-01-2012, 04:09 PM
If Coillte is sold to a company linked with Ahern or indeed any other bunch of financial pirates interested in using Irish forestry as collateral for a carbon credit market which will allow multinationals to pollute away as usual then I think I'd prefer to see the forests burn.

Trees re-grow. And it would be nice to see an investment of hundreds of millions if not billions by Bertie's mates turn quite literally to ashes in their hands.

C. Flower
12-03-2012, 02:41 PM
The Phoenix is running a story about Bertie and some trips to China, related to sell off of Irish timber.

Anyone got any details of this?

PaddyJoe
12-03-2012, 02:55 PM
The Phoenix is running a story about Bertie and some trips to China, related to sell off of Irish timber.

Anyone got any details of this?
http://www.irishtimez.com/2012/03/drumcondra-mafia-in-action-bertie-ahern-coillte-and-expeditions-to-china/

DCon
12-03-2012, 02:59 PM
The Phoenix is running a story about Bertie and some trips to China, related to sell off of Irish timber.

Anyone got any details of this?

All expenses paid no doubt!




Ahern, who has been at the centre of controversy over a possible bid by the International Forestry Fund for Coillte, the state forestry body which owns 7% of all the land in Ireland, met with the president of the Chinese Investment Corporation.

That corporation was set up by the Chinese government and has more than €250bn to spend on dozens of major international investments.

Newspapers in China reported that the corporation would focus on buying up “natural resources” overseas at low prices and selling them on when their values rebounded.

The former taoiseach made the business trip to Beijing three months ago but has declined to provide the dates on which he travelled.

Asked about a possible bid for Coillte if it were privatised, Brosnan said: “We would certainly have an interest in that regard. We have always looked at what is on our own doorstep apart from our own forestry. We have always had an interest in Coillte. It certainly would not be beyond the bounds of possibility that we would acquire it.



http://www.sovereignindependent.com/?p=15235


http://www.helvetia-wealth.com/files/CIC_Meeting_ForWeb.jpg

http://www.helvetia-wealth.com/the-international-forestry-fund-presents-to-the-china-investment-corporation,144.html

Anti-Coalition
13-03-2012, 10:39 AM
There was an article in the Mail on Sunday, talking about how the Woodland League (http://www.woodlandleague.org/) are taking legal advice over the Millenium Forest element of this - where 1.5m Irish households were issued with ownership certificates, and even a lot number, where they can find their tree. They were signed by Seamus Brennan. I wonder if they are enforceable?

C. Flower
13-03-2012, 08:34 PM
There was an article in the Mail on Sunday, talking about how the Woodland League (http://www.woodlandleague.org/) are taking legal advice over the Millenium Forest element of this - where 1.5m Irish households were issued with ownership certificates, and even a lot number, where they can find their tree. They were signed by Seamus Brennan. I wonder if they are enforceable?


A red herring, in my view. They are a tiny portion of the overall Coillte forestry holdings, and far from being ready for felling.

Anti-Coalition
14-03-2012, 12:28 PM
A red herring, in my view. They are a tiny portion of the overall Coillte forestry holdings, and far from being ready for felling.

You are probably right, but here is a copy of the article from the Mail on Sunday anyway:


The Government’s plans to sell off the state’s forests could hit a brick wall due to the fact that over one million native woodland trees are owned by every family in Ireland.

As part of the Year 2000 People’s Millennium Forests Project, Household Tree Scheme, over 1.2 million native Oak, Ash, Birch, Alder and Scot’s Pine trees -many of which are now semi-mature-were gifted to every family and planted in 16 forests throughout the country. The government later issued ownership certificates with individual plot numbers to every household.

The Certificates and covering letter which were signed by the late Seamus Brennan, who was the then Minister of Environment and Chairman of the Millennium Committee stated:

“It gives us great pleasure to enclose the certificate of authentication of your household’s special tree for the millennium. This certificate gives the location of your native tree and assigned forest. Your tree is one of 1.2 million being planted for households in Ireland...”

Coillte’s The People’s Millennium Forests website is even clearer as to who owns the trees. It states that 16 native Irish woodlands have been designated as: “millennium forests, and are dedicated in perpetuity to the people of Ireland.....”

“The project team was asked to do this so that the people of Ireland would know that each household has part-share in the restored woodlands. The message was plain – these native woodlands are for the people of Ireland.”

The Woodland League has now raised the prospect of a tidal wave of lawsuits if the government tries to interfere with or sell off the native trees. According to founder Andrew St Ledger:

“Any sell-off could be open to a million lawsuits because every household in Ireland got a tree for the Millennium woodlands planting. People were even issued with certificate of ownership of a tree accompanied by a map with a grid which shows you the plot.

“We are seriously considering a legal challenge as to the rightful ownership of the whole Public Forest Estate, as Coillte have never presented clear title in the Public Domain.”

Prominent Dublin based lawyer and solicitor Damian Cassidy believes that the ultimate ownership of the millennium native woodland trees could be the government’s undoing if they attempt any sell-off:

“The documents which were issued to householders during the Millennium are certificates of ownership and the people who own them must be consulted as to any interference with the trees. Some people might not want their trees cut down,” he added.

The Woodlands League which is dedicated to preserving Ireland’s native woodlands and fauna has been robustly campaigning to keep Coillte in public ownership and from falling into the hands of foreign investment fund managers. They are presently running a petition which has over 32,000 signatures:

“These forests are the inheritance of Irish children and managed wisely can help secure Ireland’s social, environmental and economic future. The forests include some of our most valuable native woodlands and wild places and are some of the last refuges of our native flora and fauna. We are urging everyone to go out and visit their family tree, added Andrew St Ledger.

According to Coillte spokesperson, Tom Byrne, the millennium woodlands project has been deemed a huge success:

“A native tree was planted on behalf of every household in Ireland and a certificate was posted to all homes giving details as to where trees were planted under the Family Tree Scheme. The Millennium trees which are native varieties were planted in old native woodland sites, and the idea was to bring the woodlands back to life. Thirteen sites are on Coillte land, two in Northern Ireland and one in Muckross.”

“The trees were planted for the people of Ireland as part of the Millennium celebrations. These forests are managed by Coillte in partnership with Woodlands of Ireland, OPW and Northern Ireland Forest Service.”

“Not every tree that was planted would have survived, but this project has been a success and has re-established these old woodlands.”

However when asked as to who has legal title to the millennium trees and what would happen in the event of a sale Coillte refused to comment:

“We would not like to comment on a hypothetical question,” added Tom Byrne.

musashi
14-03-2012, 04:51 PM
Everywhere that Bertie goes, greasy palms go too.
Sale of our woodland is wrong on so many levels.

DCon
24-04-2012, 07:48 AM
Poor old Coillte


Coillte complains it will struggle to find boss for just €191,000



http://www.independent.ie/national-news/coillte-complains-it-will-struggle-to-find-boss-for-just-191000-3089321.html

fluffybiscuits
24-04-2012, 11:39 PM
Poor old Coillte





http://www.independent.ie/national-news/coillte-complains-it-will-struggle-to-find-boss-for-just-191000-3089321.html


Insensitivity is the one word that comes to mind....they cant see the forest for all the trees :D

Frankie Lee
03-05-2012, 01:54 PM
Just a thought.
Has the mining potential of Coillte's (our) land ever been evaluated and if so will anything valuable be protected?

C. Flower
24-06-2012, 12:45 PM
Coveny is flagging a firesale of the long term logging rights off Coillte early next year and will bring a proposal to cabinet next month, according to the Sunday Times.

C. Flower
03-12-2012, 10:19 PM
New Union-based group set up to oppose the privatisation of Coillte.

http://www.irishexaminer.com/archives/2012/1130/world/groups-unite-in-bid-to-halt-coillte-privatisation-215565.html#.ULxw02jB6nE.twitter

C. Flower
18-12-2012, 03:22 PM
Over 1,000 acres of land (not trees) being pushed for sale in Donegal by Coveney.

Locally opposed

http://www.irishexaminer.com/business/coillte-to-sell-1109-acre-forest-in-co-donegal-by-public-tender-217049.html#.UM85Zpo4kIk.facebook

C. Flower
18-12-2012, 10:05 PM
WOODLAND LEAGUE PRESS RELEASE DECEMBER 18 2012.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
CALL FOR AN INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO COILLTE PUBLIC FOREST ASSET STRIPPING .

It is almost ironic that as we put up our Christmas trees , Coillte the State forestry board tasked with managing 1.2 million acres of public forests as well as increasing our low average tree cover , is selling off another lot of public forestry property, 1000 acres in Donegal.
In this hour of national need, with the government borrowing €45 million per day, the economy on its knees, money being taken from children and carers, the Woodland league are calling for a rigorous public inquiry into Coillte, the removal of its protected and secret status, and the opening up of its books from the time it was set up in 1989 till the present day.
Since it was created in 1989 by, Bertie Ahern , Ray Burke , and co , Coillte has sold over 40,000 acres of Public Forest lands, into private ownership, with zero accountability. Most of the sales have gone to IFORUT ( Irish Forest Unit Trust ) an umbrella body for most pension funds in Ireland, of which, Coillte happen to be partners, with the failed banks, AIB, and Bank of Ireland. Coillte bought into IFORUT using 15 million punts worth of Public forests as equity, in 1994. Incidentally, IFORUT’s forest portfolio consists of approx 40,000 acres, matching what Coillte have sold.
In 22 years Coillte have amassed profits of over €400 million paid virtually no dividends to the State, and in 2011 paid its CEO €473,000, in spite of the cap on semi state CEO salaries. When privatisation of forests was demanded by the IMF in 2009, Coillte sold €33 million of forests , In 2010 it was €38 million and for 2011 the figure was €37 million, all sold to IFORUT.
A Woodland league spokesperson, Andrew St Ledger said “ Over a three year period, a staggering €108 million worth of public property has been privatised, under the noses of the two main Coillte shareholders, Michael Noonan and Simon Coveney. These public asset transfers, relate to the paying of a €178 million pension fund deficit accumulated by Coillte in 2009. Serious questions need to be asked as to how this blatant public asset stripping was allowed to happen, where was the regulatory authority and corporate governance to safeguard the public interest and common good. ”
All further sales of public forests and harvesting rights must be halted immediately until a full investigation is conducted into the affairs of Coillte and IFORUT its shadowy accomplice, regarding these matters of extreme public importance.
Visit our website for more information at http://www.woodlandleague.org
Save Ireland's Forests petition http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/help-save-irelands-forests/
Contact Andrew St. Ledger (P.R.O. The Woodland League) on 0879933157, or e-mail stledgerwood@gmail.com
http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2010/11/23/00221.asp
Woodland League questions about forestry submitted in the Dail at end
of 2010 by Maureen O' Sullivan Independent TD, regards total forestry sold by Coillte.
http://www.iforut.ie/reports/IForUTreport10.pdf
IFORUT 2010 annual report, regards total forestry assets
http://www.forestry-fund.com/who-we-are/who-we-are.html
Bertie Aherns International Forestry Fund, Irish acquisitions.

...

C. Flower
19-12-2012, 12:50 AM
A good legal eye should be looking at the above.

Raised by Claire Daly in the Dail.

ang
28-01-2013, 10:58 PM
NAMA man is back - Peter Bacon finds sale of Coillte harvesting rights “cannot be justified” on economic grounds -


The report, which was published today (Monday), finds that the State would remain liable for costs of €1.3 billion following a sale of harvesting rights. To cover these costs, Coillte would need to sell at €78 per square metre, which is “well above current or recent prices.” The average recent price paid for Coillte supplies to saw mills has been just over €43 per square metre.

http://www.impact.ie/13/01/28/Economist-Peter-Bacon-finds-sale-of-Coillte-harvesting-rights--cannot-be-justified--on-economic-grounds.htm

PaddyJoe
29-01-2013, 12:26 AM
The full report is here:
http://www.impact.ie/files/campaigns/saveourforests/ForestryFinalReport1.pdf

Dr. FIVE
29-01-2013, 10:06 PM
\o/

Eamon Ryan trotted out to defend privatisation tonight, a blessing

PaddyJoe
30-01-2013, 12:15 AM
\o/

Eamon Ryan trotted out to defend privatisation tonight, a blessing

Excellent. Anybody who wasn't too sure about the pros or cons would have looked at Ryan for about 30 seconds tonight and gone 'No feffing way, Jose"
:)

Dr. FIVE
26-02-2013, 08:10 PM
ULA motion in the Dáil now.

Do hope someone reads the Labour Party's own conference back to them.


(Motion 93 )


Conference totally rejects the sale of semi-State assets by the FG/Labour government under any circumstances.

Conference recalls the privatisation of the Telecom Éireann network and provides us with a brutal reminder of what can go wrong with privatisation.

Conference notes this action will protect long-term growth and safeguard the national interest.

Dr. FIVE
26-02-2013, 08:31 PM
Brendan Howlin will be "taking action" to mitigate against "any" negatives that may arise from privatising state assets.

Don't think he means communism

Emmet Stagg speaking against privatisation (and by extension the PFG). Not knocked out of him yet it seems, if only words.

C. Flower
26-02-2013, 08:41 PM
Brendan Howlin will be "taking action" to mitigate against "any" negatives that may arise from privatising state assets.

Don't think he means communism

Emmet Stagg speaking against privatisation (and by extension the PFG). Not knocked out of him yet it seems, if only words.

The only opposition that counts is to warn any future buyers that in a future goverment the forests and woods will be renationalised without compensation.

**communism**

jmcc
27-02-2013, 12:50 AM
The only opposition that counts is to warn any future buyers that in a future goverment the forests and woods will be renationalised without compensation.And perhaps, that the traitors who sold them may suffer the same fate of the chap who killed Brian Boru. :)

Regards...jmcc

PaddyJoe
27-02-2013, 01:28 AM
The sawmill industry is warning about serious job losses in a report today. It's claimed that 2,500 people are employed in the sector.

Coillte supplies 80 per cent of the logs milled by the organisation’s members. Its chairman, Pat Glennon, explained yesterday that it believes there is a risk that a buyer could choose to export the bulk of the harvest, leaving the mills with almost no raw material.

Alternatively, a buyer could choose to drive up prices by withholding or controlling supply, particularly as they would have no commercial imperative to supply the mills at regular intervals, which Coillte does.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2013/0227/1224330565727.html

fluffybiscuits
27-02-2013, 04:17 PM
http://www.woodlandleague.org/

Woodlands League are orgnanising a protest I think soon on the issue..

C. Flower
16-03-2013, 10:10 AM
Al Jazeera has made this report on the Irish proposal to sell of its harvesting rights for 70 years.

Ireland mulls selling forests to pay debt - YouTube

PaddyJoe
01-05-2013, 05:03 PM
It's starting to sound like a row back on the sell off of Coillte. Pat Rabbitte in the Dail yesterday said a sale was unlikely.

Mr Rabbitte had said it was “premature to draw any conclusion” but he believed the “mooted privatisation of Coillte looks more unlikely every day”. He also said he believed he could speak for Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney (http://www.irishtimes.com/search/search-7.1213540?tag_person=Simon%20Coveney&article=true) in saying the proposed sale was unlikely.The Minister was speaking during Dáil question time as he discussed the chances of a bio-energy company being established by Coillte and Bord na Móna. Mr Rabbitte said there were “possibilities there”.
He also referred to the weekend protest walk at Avondale in Co Wicklow against any possible sale of harvesting rights
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/sale-of-coillte-unlikely-says-rabbitte-1.1378805

Binn Beal
01-05-2013, 06:21 PM
Didn't Micheál Martin say that FF would reverse any privitisation of Coillte? I'm sure he said it over their Ard Fheis weekend but can't find the reference.

PaddyJoe
01-05-2013, 06:25 PM
Didn't Micheál Martin say that FF would reverse any privitisation of Coillte? I'm sure he said it over their Ard Fheis weekend but can't find the reference.
From his speech:

Fianna Fáil’s proposals would help small business once again become an engine of growth and job creation.A fairer recovery must also protect the state’s assets as much as possible. There is no excuse for going ahead with their fire sale.
One example of this is the proposal to sell the woods owned by the people through Coillte. They are a major economic resource. They provide a wonderful amenity enjoyed by tens of thousands of families every week.
The sale of our national forests should be stopped immediately and they should be protected for this and future generations.
http://www.thejournal.ie/micheal-martin-speech-ard-fheis-887549-Apr2013/

PaddyJoe
19-06-2013, 03:11 PM
Announcement expected on Coillte after the Cabinet meeting today according to Simon Coveney in the Dail.

Greengoddess
19-06-2013, 04:10 PM
I heard it would be announced to Finance ctee at 4.30

PaddyJoe
19-06-2013, 04:39 PM
I heard it would be announced to Finance ctee at 4.30
The Cabinet has announced it will not go ahead with the sale of Coillte harvesting rights as part of its plan to sell State assets, according to RTE.

jmcc
19-06-2013, 04:42 PM
The Cabinet has announced it will not go ahead with the sale of Coillte harvesting rights as part of its plan to sell State assets, according to RTE. Excellent news.

Regards...jmcc

fluffybiscuits
19-06-2013, 04:55 PM
Excellent news.

Regards...jmcc

You are supporting a fire sale???

jmcc
19-06-2013, 05:05 PM
You are supporting a fire sale???The harvesting rights are not being sold. However burning the politicians, bankers, property developers, bond holders and putting it on Pay Per View might upset a few people. ;) And as for selling national assets to parasites, I consider that treason.

Regards...jmcc

PaddyJoe
19-06-2013, 05:09 PM
You are supporting a fire sale???
Next step according to Coveney is restructuring. The idea seems to be a merger with Bord Na Mona.

PaddyJoe
19-06-2013, 05:30 PM
Howlin being questioned on this now at the Finance Committee...
http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/watchlisten/live-flashplayer/committeeroom4/

PaddyJoe
19-06-2013, 06:12 PM
Mary Lou questioning how Howlin is going to raise 3 billion if Aer Lingus, Coillte and Irish Water are not going to be sold. Howlin has made great play of the fact that he's persuaded the Troika to let him use half of that 3 billion for a job stimulus package
He's hemming and hawing.