Farrell raises dangers of Japanese Knotweed

Cllr Tom Farrell (FG ) has raised concerns regarding the prevalence of Japanese Knotweed in the locality of Athlone, and the effects it can have on property and infrastructure.

Cllr Farrell told last week’s meeting of the Municipal District that reported instances of Japanese Knotweed in Athlone are on the increase.

Japanese Knotweed can damage infrastructure due to its ability to grow through concrete. It can also cause harm to plants and wildlife through the chemicals it releases. Cllr Farrell brought particular attention to its ability to cause damage to flood defence works.

Cllr Farrell said other counties already have a register in place and signs alerting the public to its presence, and called for a similar system to be introduced for Westmeath. He also asked the council to provide pictures on its website of the weed at its various stages so that the public know what to look out for.

District engineer Pat Nally said the public should inform the council if they see Japanese Knotweed in a public place. He said the council’s environment section is alerting the public if the plant is found on their properties, and added that a register is currently being set up.

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