A farm group has proposed planting 10 million native Irish trees to commemorate 100 years of the Irish state.
The trees would represent the 10 million people born in the 26 counties since the formation of the Irish state, according to the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers’ Association, the group behind the proposal.
INHFA’s Vincent Roddy, says this project can provide a unique opportunity to celebrate citizens over the last century. The project, he added, can also deliver in terms of climate change mitigation and increased biodiversity.
INHFA tree-planting proposal
The farm group has circulated the proposal to Oireachtas members and President Higgins.
These trees can, under the proposal, be planted on farmland and private property. Where these options are not available, public land near family homes or area of interests are alternatives.
“Providing people with the option of where they can plant their trees will be a critical component of the initiative that can ensure a high uptake with Irish families both at home and abroad.”
“For the 4.9 million people currently living in the Republic of Ireland, this proposal will provide recognition of their involvement in our national story.”
“In addition, it provides families with the opportunity to remember and acknowledge family members that are now deceased. By recognising both the living and the dead, this can be a commemoration of all our people who otherwise might not be acknowledged.”
In using a native Irish tree, the state is “creating a living legacy that will be there in 2021 and beyond”.
“This proposal can reach out to our diaspora by including them in this commemoration and where required, help reconnect them with Ireland.”
“Post-Brexit. this proposal can help re-engage with the estimated six million Irish people living in Britain. In the United States, there are 33 million people that identify as being Irish, representing 10% of the population.”
The opportunity to establish ‘family roots’ in Ireland is an option they would cherish, especially if it is on a farm or area that they can trace these roots back to.”
Furthermore, Roddy said links can be fostered with the Irish populations of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Argentina.
He stressed how the INHFA are aware of the many Irish people born on farms, but due to economic circumstances had to emigrate.
The INHFA estimates that of the 10 million people outlined, approximately three million have a direct connection with a farm.
“In developing this proposal, we believe that this will be recognised by present-day farmers. While it is optional, we would anticipate a major buy-in from the farming community who are proud of their heritage.”
Concluding, Roddy also outlined how this proposal could be included as an action in any future REPS programme.
“The INHFA is exploring further opportunities for farmers that will enhance income in addition to recognising improved on-farm outcomes in relation to climate change and biodiversity.”