Officials from the Department of Agriculture are to appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture on Friday over ongoing issues in the forestry sector.

The committee will meet from 1pm, to resume its discussion regarding challenges for the forestry sector.

The meeting will be the joint committee’s fourth on the topic of challenges facing the forestry sector, including licensing issues and ash dieback.

Ahead of the meeting, chair Jackie Cahill TD said: “In recent months, we heard from key stakeholders, Forest Industries Ireland, Woodlands of Ireland, Limerick and Tipperary Woodland Owners Ltd and the IFA, and also the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

“Now, we will explore many of the relevant matters raised with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine,” he said,

Brexit and COVID-19

“It is fair to say that the impact of Brexit and COVID-19 on our agriculture, food and marine sectors has been significant for the thousands of people employed in it and the challenges faced by those in the very important forestry sector are as important.

“Licensing issues and ash dieback are significant issues and challenges which those who work in the industry have faced, in addition to the realities of COVID-19 and Brexit,” he said.