Coillte-Gresham House deal criticism reaches EU Parliament

Karl O

Criticism of Coillte-Gresham House deal reaches EU Parliament

Criticism of the partnership between Coillte and the British wealth management company Gresham House has reached the European Parliament.

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus criticized this week in Parliament for the Irish government’s failure to support a motion tabled by his party in the Dáil calling for the government to end the partnership.

The Midlands-Northwest MEP told Parliament that the deal “just fills the pockets of businesses with no regard for Ireland’s resources or citizens”.

“The Irish Government is failing rural Ireland, forestry and biodiversity.

“The use of our natural assets in a foreign mutual fund deal adds insult to injury,” commented MacManus.

He added: “This deal will not benefit the environment. It will not help Ireland meet our climate targets. This deal only fills the pockets of corporations with no regard for our resources or citizens.”

He repeated the numerous calls from all sides to abandon the deal.

“The Irish public, farmers and environmentalists alike are united in their outrage. The deal between Coillte and this British mutual fund must be stopped,” commented MacManus.

The Sinn Féin MEP has also welcomed the vote in Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee to address problems of fertilizer availability and affordability in the EU.

MEPs on the committee this week called on the European Commission to support the switch to organic fertilisers.

Committee members say this will end reliance on imported fertilizers from Russia.

A corresponding draft text was voted on by the committee on Tuesday (January 31) and adopted by its members by a vote of 38 to seven with two abstentions.

“These are the right steps towards developing long-term and sustainable fertilizer and soil nutrient strategies. The increase in input costs is adversely affecting Irish agriculture and undermining Irish farmers.

“Make no mistake, corporate greed is to blame and Irish farmers are suffering as a result. This was one of the main reasons I tabled amendments to support the use and provision of organic fertilizers,” said MacManus.

“Wherever possible, organic alternatives should help facilitate a domestic supply, particularly to reduce dependence on chemical fertilizer companies and imports,” he added.

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