Hardware and DIY stores across the country will run out of Irish wood if the crisis in the Irish forestry sector is not resolved soon, according to the main retailers in the sector.
A domestic wood shortage could have serious knock-on impacts for the construction sector, the Hardware Association Ireland (HAI) has said.
The HAI is the main trade representative body in Ireland for hardware and DIY outlets with over 400 members, including major players in the sector like Grafton and Homevalue.
"This is a real crisis," warned HAI chief executive Martin Markey.
"By November, you won't be able to make a matchstick in Ireland without importing the timber. It is utterly ridiculous that this weakness in the system has not been addressed.
"It is being exploited and if it isn't addressed now it will destroy an industry employing thousands of people. If we have to import all our timber from abroad, it will be much more expensive to build and to renovate homes and it will also add hugely to our carbon footprint,'' said Markey.
The Sunday Independent reported in April that at least 2,000 forestry jobs were under direct threat because of a licensing and appeals logjam that continues to threaten to bring the entire sector to a halt.