‘The Irish Forestry Society was founded in 1902 by Dr Robert T Cooper, a successful Irish physician based in London, who was greatly concerned by the level of deforestation in Ireland during the late 19th and early 29th centuries. He was soon joined by others who shared his view despite their widely differing political, social and religious backgrounds.
‘More than a century ago, these visionaries realised the importance of forests to Ireland’s national economy and to the wellbeing of our country. Together they formed a powerful organisation which changed the course of Irish forestry during its brief existence. Without doubt, the formation of the Irish Forestry Society was a brave initiative during tumultuous times in Irish political life.
‘The story of the Irish Forestry Society is a remarkable one, yet it was lost shortly after the society’s demise in 1923. Thanks to his extensive and meticulous research, Hugh Crawford has managed to recreate the story of this brave but short-lived attempt to restore our forests. This publication has redressed an important gap in 20th century Irish historiography.’