The Glennon Brothers with the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed
Glennon Brothers, a third-generation timber processing family business, unveiled their flagship site in Fermoy, which has seen investment of €20 million in recent years. Established in Longford in 1913, Glennon Brothers is the premier name in the Irish and UK timber processing industry, employing 500 people directly, and another 250 people indirectly, providing a significant boost to rural economies.
Glennon Brothers has invested over €100m in the past two decades in its four sawmills in Fermoy, Longford, and Windymains and Troon in Scotland. Continual investment in people and state of the art technology, enables Glennon Brothers to offer a one-stop-shop solution for sawn softwood products, and uniquely manufacture timber frame homes in Ireland and the UK. A positive aspect of finished timber products produced by Glennon Brothers, is the locking away of millions of tonnes of harmful Carbon, that is sequestered by trees in order to grow. The company also provides forestry management services and advice, as well as purchasing sawlog from private growers, which in essence, completes the manufacturing process from forest to front door.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton T.D. and Deputies Kevin O’Keeffe T.D. and Seán Sherlock T.D., visited Glennon Brothers flagship site in Fermoy today, and saw first hand the €20 million investment made in Fermoy over the last number of years. The visit also provided an opportunity to highlight the importance of forestry to the Irish economy and rural Ireland, as well as discuss key issues facing the sector including, Brexit, the forestry planting deficit, and wood mobilisation.
The forestry industry contributes €2.3 billion annually to the Irish economy and supports 12,000 jobs nationally, while at the same time playing a key role in the battle against climate change. Forecasted to double in size by 2035, the forestry industry has the potential to create an additional 6,000 sustainable jobs in rural communities.
Brexit provides an enormous threat to the future development of the sector. The Irish timber industry is uniquely exposed, as the UK is the largest importer of wood in Europe, and the only logical market for Irish exports. Over half of the Irish sawmills output is exported, and 95% of those exports go to the UK.
Minister Creed stated, "I am delighted to be at Glennon Brothers, Fermoy today and witness first-hand, the unique product offering the organisation provides from sawn softwood to the manufacture of timber frame homes. Glennon Brothers provides invaluable local employment and has invested heavily in the sector, and so too has the Government over the past two decades. We now need to build on this investment and ensure further growth and success into the future. Forestry plays a critical role in combating climate change, absorbing 3.6 million tonnes of CO2 annually, and is increasingly important in helping to mitigate climate change in Ireland. I look forward to continuing a successful partnership between my Department and the Forestry sector, and working to develop and support this innovative business into the future".
Mike Glennon, joint Managing Director of Glennon Brothers said “We are delighted to have the opportunity of welcoming members of the Oireachtas, including Minister Creed and Minister Stanton, to show them first hand, the significant investments we have made in Fermoy, over the last number of years. From forest to front door, we will endeavour to care more, and continue to invest in great people and technology, efficiently converting sustainable logs into quality products, whilst striving to enhance customer service.”
Ireland’s forests are absorbing millions of tonnes of CO2 and are helping lead the way in the fight against climate change. There are 770,000 hectares of forestry in Ireland or 11% of the country. As they grow, trees absorb an extra 3.6 million tonnes of CO2 each year from the atmosphere, which equates to CO2 emitted by over 655,000 homes. This is the equivalent of taking over 1.67 million cars off the roads.
Pat Glennon, joint Managing Director of Glennon Brothers said “Forestry drives economic activity, creates jobs and it's a clean and green industry that offers one of the least expensive ways to reach climate change targets. We have a natural advantage as Ireland can grow trees twice as fast as some of our competitor countries. We need continued support from our Government, to invest in the national forestry programme and to resolve critically important issues such as planting deficits and wood mobilisation. We have to work together, if we are to maintain a sustainable industry for the economy as a whole, and for the local communities we are proud to be connected with.”