State may fail to issue planned 4,500 forestry licences this year

Department of Agriculture says it might fail to hit key target after ‘unfortunate but unavoidable’ slowdown over summer months

New rules resulted in a summer slowdown at the Department of Agriculture when it came to forestry licences, a senior official will say today. Picture: Getty

The government could fall short of its target of issuing 4,500 forestry licences this year after the rate of processing plunged over the summer, a senior civil servant will admit today.

The Oireachtas Agriculture Committee will today hear from Brendan Gleesan, the secretary general of the Department of Agriculture, after a “significant” slowdown in licence processing over the summer months.

It comes even as the state has improved the effectiveness of its forestry appeals system ...