Location: Mansion House Oak Room. Private meeting.
The DIRECTOR OF AGRICULTURE moved the adoption of the Report on Forestry. He mentioned that the man proposed to be nominated as National Inspector of Forestry was not available. and that he had invited Mr. Cole to act in the meantime; but he had not yet received a definite reply from the latter.
Walter Leonard Cole (1866-1943), businessman and politician. Member of Sinn Féin executive, 1905-1912; as a pacifist, he had not taken part in the Easter Rising but was interned in Frongoch and then transferred to Reading Gaol. His house at 3 Mountjoy Square, Dublin, was used for Dáil sessions after its suppression in September 1919.
SEAN ETCHINGHAM (Wicklow East) seconded the adoption of the Report.
Mr. R.M. SWEETMAN (Wexford North) asked to be informed as to Mr. Cole's qualifications. He suggested that all effort for this year should be concentrated on making Arbour Day a success. He did not consider the suggestion that each farmer should plant sixteen trees a practical one.
SEAN ETCHINGHAM (Wicklow East) mentioned the good example set by Father Sweetman, who had offered eight acres to the Local Cumann Sinn Fein for the purpose of afforestation.
John Francis Sweetman, (1872–1953), Benedictine monk and educator. Founded boys’ secondary school in Wexford in 1905, later known as Mount St. Benedict. Supported anti-conscription campaign and attended the first meeting of Dáil Éireann on 21 January 1919.
LIAM T. MAC COSGAIR (Kilkenny North) pointed out that local Councils could accomplish a good deal within the limits of their powers. It was impossible for them to get a grant for this purpose without levying a special rate. The Dublin Corporation, without striking a special rate, had expended some £10,000 on planting ornamental trees.
Mr. M. STAINES (St. Michan's) referred to a proposal made at a meeting of the Committee on Forestry that every farmer should plant at least sixteen trees,i.e., a tree to represent each man shot in Easter Week.
If sixteen trees were not considered sufficient, there could be planted sixteen of each species of tree.
The DIRECTOR OF AGRICULTURE regretted that the Teachta for North Wexford was not able to be present at the last meeting of the Committee when the question as to Mr. Cole was discussed. Mr. Cole would not accept a salary for his services, and besides he had his business to look after. He expected that by Christmas he would have an Inspector of Forestry who would devote his whole time to the matter. As to planting of at least sixteen trees by each farmer, it was a practical suggestion and it appealed to him very much. It had also been suggested that the sites of battlefields should be planted.
The motion that the Report be adopted was put and carried.