Irish state forestry: Government policy 1948-1959.

  • T. Rea Forest and Wildlife Service.
Keywords: State forestry, forestry policy, planting targets.


This article covers the period from 1948 (the year the new policy was announced) to 1959 (the year in which the 25,000 acres planting target was first achieved), and deals specifically with the sequence of events culminating in the planting of 25,000 acres per year. Dail Reports and Official Reports of the Minister for Lands were examined, as well as those (very few) departmental files that have survived the intervening thirty odd years. Several organisations were approached - e.g. Department of An Taoiseach, Department of Foreign Affairs, Stationery Office, National Library etc. - all of which contributed generously to the information contained in this article. The principal conclusions are as follows: 1. Before the election (February, 1948) which installed the first Inter-Party Government, a policy existed of planting 10,000 acres per annum over a 50 year period. The intention was to extend the national forest area to a total of 700,000 acres, including the privately owned estate (85,000 acres). 2. The new Government did adopt, in November 1948, a policy of planting 25,000 acres per annum over a 40-year period. 3. The latter programme represented new planting, i.e. 25,000 acres per annum on top of the then existing estate (about 170,000 acres). Much (but not all) of the evidence for these conclusions appeared in the forestry estimate debates in the Dail Reports covering the years 1948 to 1959. For the purposes of this paper contributions from Ministers and ex-Ministers only will be quoted.
How to Cite
Rea, T. (1985) “Irish state forestry: Government policy 1948-1959.”, Irish Forestry. Available at: (Accessed: 29May2024).