Campaigners joined by politicians, musicians and artists to save ancient oak trees in County Wicklow.

Coolattin Woods near Shillelagh in County Wicklow once formed part of the estate of the Earls of Fitzwilliam. It was sold to present owners, Bridgefarm Company Limited in 1983. This firm felled over 500 acres of mature oak trees for export.

Bridgefarm have Wicklow County Council permission and have been granted a licence by the Department to fell 323 ancient oak trees in Tomnafinnoge Wood, the last of the Coolattin Woods. Felling is due to start on 4 December 1992.

Protesting against the felling are members of the public, Wicklow County councillors and politicians as well as film-maker and Wicklow resident John Boorman. He is conscious of,

How important trees are and how important it is to preserve what is left.

Also joining in the protest are Liam Ó Maonlaí of the band Hothouse Flowers and U2 guitarist The Edge.

Chairperson of the Coolattin Woods Action Committee Johnny Couchman is adamant the majority of people are appalled by the prospect of the tree felling. He urges them to put pressure on the incoming Minister for Energy to reintroduce a prohibition order to ensure no felling can take place unless a licence is granted. In doing so,

The status quo ante could come back to where it was, and this wood could be preserved for our children which I think it is our duty to do.

Campaigners would like to see the woods bought by a voluntary committee and properly managed.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 4 December 1992. The reporter is Michael Ryan.