Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has written to the European Commission to highlight the importance of preserving our natural heritage and oak forests.
The Ireland South MEP is seeking clarification from the Commission on whether or not tree felling taking place in the Silvergrove area of the Toon Valley in Cork breaches any of the articles in the EU Habitats Directive.
“It is crucially important that we protect our natural heritage, such as our ancient oak forests,” she said.
“Some of the trees in these forests are hundreds of years old while the forests themselves go back millennia. They are simply irreplaceable, once they are gone they are gone forever.
“Given the unique assets we risk losing, which are of immense cultural and ecological importance, I think it is wise to be over cautious when it comes to issues like tree felling, which is why I have asked the Commission to look at the dispute in Toon Valley between a landowner and local environmentalists.
“The licence for felling in the area is currently being investigated by the Department for Agriculture but if the Habitats Directive can provide any further clarity on the issue it is important we consider its input.
“Our beautiful, unspoiled forests are a unique attraction and their cultural and environmental importance cannot be overstated, so it’s crucial we have all the information possible before making any decision that may put them at risk.”