The Irish Forestry Awards, now in their 24th year, recognise and reward forest owners who employ the principles of Sustainable Forest Management on their properties. The two main categories for which awards are presented are the Farm Forestry category and the Bio-Diverse Forest/Woodlands category.
Speaking at the Awards Ceremony, the Minister highlighted the very significant role that forestry plays in our economy and society in general, noting that “our forests are an extremely valuable and sustainable resource, which form the foundation of an indigenous Irish industry that supports many thousands of jobs. That industry is also playing its part in the country’s export performance through its exports of timber and timber products.”
The Minister also took the opportunity to announce that his Department would commence issuing financial approvals for 1,500 hectares of new forestry planting for the current autumn planting season. “I know that the sector have been awaiting this announcement and I am pleased that we have been able to facilitate this additional planting.”
The winner of the Farm Forestry category was Michael Murphy, Clonmel. In the Bio-Diverse Woodlands category, the winner was Jack Tennison, Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan. Awards were also made to the runners-up in the main categories and to provincial winners. The judging panel also made a discretionary “Special Judges Award” to John Jackson, Donegal.
In offering his congratulations to all the winners of the 2011 Awards, Minister McEntee said “Tonight’s awards ceremony is a chance to show our appreciation for those who have displayed the high standards of forest planting and management required to be successful in this competition. I hope that their efforts will be viewed as an example to others in managing our forest resources for the future and for a profitable and sustainable forest industry.”