Leading timber processing firm Glennon Brothers welcomed Minister Andrew Doyle, Minister for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, to their Fermoy facility last week.

During the visit, Minister Doyle met with joint managing directors Pat and Mike Glennon, and saw first-hand the recent €13 million investment in value added secondary processing.

The visit aimed to highlight the importance of the sawmilling sector to the Irish economy, and afforded the Minister the opportunity to engage with Glennon Brothers on the key issues facing the sawmilling and wider forest products sector.

These issues include Brexit, the importance of achieving planting targets and positive measures to increase the mobilisation of wood, especially from private growers.

Minister Doyle said that while I is well aware of the many challenges facing the timber sector, he found it really useful to meet the Glennons and hear first-hand their concerns on the matter.

“The facility here is world class and the technology employed to optimise the use of each log is very impressive. Forestry now employs 12,000 people right around the country. The Government is committed to investing further in the forestry sector and I am pleased to see a steady increase in the afforestation levels in the last two years, which will provide the raw material for the sector in the future.

“Clearly, as a company that imports logs from the UK and exports sawn wood to the UK, the issue of Brexit is a key concern to Glennons and all other sawmills and panel producers in Ireland. The sector will be invited to the next all-island sectoral dialogue to tease through the various issues around Brexit. The UK is the largest importer of wood in Europe and this demand will remain post Brexit so it is vital that we address any potential barriers to the ongoing timber trade between the two countries,” he said.

Mike Glennon of Glennon Brothers said they were delighted that Minister Doyle took time out from his busy schedule to visit the facility in Fermoy to see the signigicant investments made in value added processing.

“Glennon Brothers has invested €20 million in recent years in the Irish sawmilling sector, as part of our philosophy of continuous investment in people and equipment, to improve product quality, and increase customer service,” he said.

Pat Glennon added: “In Ireland we have all the ingredients to have a world class forest product sector. Thanks to our favourable climate and soil type, we can grow trees twice as fast as our Scandinavian competitors. We look forward to working with the Minister to maximising the potential of this vibrant and modern sector.”