The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has announced the appointment of two new non-executive directors to the board of Coillte.

The appointees are Eleanor O’Neill and Gerard Murphy and both have been appointed for a five-year period effective from July 24 and December 13 respectively.

The appointments were made following a competitive process undertaken, in accordance with the guidelines for appointments to state boards, by the Public Appointments Service (PAS).

In welcoming the two new appointees, Minister Creed said: “I am pleased to appoint Eleanor O’Neill and Gerard Murphy to the board of Coillte.

Both appointments have a range of management and executive skills which will be hugely beneficial in the strategic development of the company.

The minister outlined that he met with the forestry sector last week to discuss current developments including “preparedness for Brexit”.

He noted: “I reiterated our continued support for the sector to ensure the ongoing development of forestry in Ireland.

I am sure both will contribute significantly to the board based on their professional experience to date.

In conclusion, Minister Creed added: “The Irish forestry sector is crucial in terms of delivering benefits for our rural economy and of course in delivering environmental benefits and helping to tackle climate change.

“Coillte has a key role to play in this and these appointments will help to ensure that they’re ready to continue on their strategic development.”