Coillte must pay for the damage it does to roads in county Mayo when harvesting its forestries.  If it fails to do so then, elected councillors are calling on Mayo county Council to object to any planning that the state forestry company seeks for planting or felling in the county.

That was the message from councillors who questioned Coillte representative Colm O’Dwyer who attended the recent  monthly meeting of Mayo county council.

Coillte owns 41,000 hectares of land in county Mayo, and councillors spoke of the extensive damage the company’s lorries and machinery have caused on roads in the region.

Crossmolina based Fianna Fail councillor Michael Loftus highlighted what has happened outside Crossmolina, where he estimates 200,000 euro in damage has been caused by Coillte  to the road at Shanvolahan forest.

All councillors contributed to the extensive debate, describing various areas of the county and alleging that Coillte’s activities along rural routes is causing damage and destruction.

Councillor Michael Loftus has been speaking to Midwest News more about the problems.