12,000 jobs could be lost in the forestry sector claims Roscommon-Galway TD.

The Tanaiste says he hopes to see a significant improvement in the backlog of forestry appeals in the coming weeks.

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice told the Dail that up to 12,000 jobs could be at risk due to issues with tree felling licences being caught up in red tape and appeals.

The Roscommon-Galway deputy claimed that of the 394 appeals lodged regarding forestry this year, just two so far have been resolved.

Several timber-dependent companies in the Shannonside Northern sound region have expressed concern at where they will get supplies from unless production increases.

Michael Fitzmaurice issued this appeal for urgent action :

Leo Vardar claimed that the addition of extra staff to the Department should help clear the backlog :