THE need to keep Castlefreke woods near Rosscarbery in public ownership was raised in the Dáil by Independent Deputy Michael Collins.
Castlefreke is a vibrant community that has promoted tourism for many years, he said.
‘As the Taoiseach is probably aware, the community has been a top award winner in the national Tidy Towns competition and it promotes the area in many ways, including by providing stunning walkways through local Coillte lands,’ he said.
‘Now, however, the community has become aware that these lands may be offered for sale to a private individual, which would put public access to these walks at risk. ‘I might add that the area has attracted walkers from all over the globe.
‘It may also affect access to a local graveyard where locals have been buried for hundreds of years,’ the Goleen deputy added.
‘Fáilte Ireland, Cork County Council, Leader and the EPA have funded grants for these walks down through the years.’
In reply, Toaiseach Leo Varadkar said he was afraid he did not have information to hand on that matter but he would ask the Minister of State, Andrew Doyle, to provide an update to the West Cork deputy by correspondence.