The ash dieback disease, which has wiped out ash tree populations across Europe, has now spread to Ireland and measures must be taken against it.
This is the view of Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesperson and Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív, who said the authorities here “need to be vigilant”.
Dep Ó Cuív has welcomed measures introduced to protect the ash tree in Ireland, but added that the guidelines set down must be adhered to. He is also calling on the Government to engage with the main importers of ash trees in Ireland.
“More than 350,000 hurleys are used in Ireland every year while ash is a large component of many types of indigenous furniture,” he said. “Businesses that import or use ash need to be informed of the emergency measures the Government has introduced, and to be fully aware of what is required of them in order to limit the risk of the disease spreading further in Ireland.”
He also said cross-border co-operation in Ireland is “imperative” and that communication must remain open between the Dublin and Stormont governments on this issue.