A large attendance gathered for the AGM of the Laois Farm Forestry Group which was held in the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel on Monday 27th January.
Chairman Andy Dunne opened the meeting with his report and outlined the progress that had been made over the last year including the funding received from Laois Partnership under the Rural Development Programme which enabled the Group to appoint a facilitator.
The treasurer Michael McEvoy acknowledged support from the Vulcan Project and reminded members that membership is now being collected for 2014.
Group facilitator, Eoin Phelan highlighted the work carried out since his appointment in September 2013 including the development of a website (www.laoisforestry.ie) which has up to date information on forestry news and events. There was particular emphasis placed on the importance of a database of private forestry contained within the county. Eoin outlined the progress made in compiling the information thus far and explained that he would be in touch with the remaining forest owners over the coming months.
Guest speaker, Liam Kelly from Teagasc, updated the Group on the various Schemes that were available to forest owners and to those considering afforestation.
The following officers were elected for 2014: Chairman: Andy Dunne, Vice-Chairman: Martin Flynn, Secretary: Eoin Phelan, Treasurer: Michael McEvoy, Committee: Tim Dunne, James Bennett, Eamon Kennedy, Donal Ward, Pat Hennessy, John McDonald, Ivor Clegg, Gerry Conroy.
The Laois Farm Forestry Group is looking forward to a busy year with information meetings and training courses due to take place in the coming months. If you own forestry within the county and are interested in joining the group, contact Eoin Phelan on (085) 1100785 or log on to www.laoisforestry.ie.