One night in bed I decided to Google ‘Forestry in Ireland’ by John Mackay and came across a book by the same author entitled ‘The Rape of Ireland or Irlanda Irredenta‘, about a period in the 1700s when the English used Irish forests to build boats. Some said this interpretation of events was a dramatisation and that really (or at least partly) it was the rise of industry and ship building that brought about the overuse of natural resources for economic gain.

That night I had a dream. In the dream I was on the top of a hill surrounded by trees at night time. The trees and the surrounding area were lit with floodlights and I could see rows and rows of tree stumps where they had been cut, leaving a conspicuous gap that left nowhere for the eye to fall. I was there with a group of people who were packing up and shipping the trees down the hill in a hurry. We were part of one group that were not necessarily against, but somehow in competition with another group. One group was a company with legal rights to fell to the trees, the other were thieves (or bandits) who were trying to steal them from us as they were being cut. It wasn’t clear which group I was part of, I just remember the awful crawling sense of not wanting to be part of any of it, and somehow feeling trapped. The fact that it was all taking part at night, lit by football pitch size floodlights added to the surreal horror story feel of the whole thing.

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