Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Claire Kerrane TD, has called on Minister Hackett to publish the Government’s Ash Dieback Strategy immediately.
The independent review on the Government’s response to Ash Dieback was presented to the Minister in September. The review stressed the urgency of the situation and recommended action on the issue of Ash Dieback.
Minister Hackett had previously advised in December that the awaited strategy would be presented to Cabinet in the ‘very near future’, but no further updates have been given since then.
Speaking today, Teachta Kerrane said:
“I am again calling on Minister Hackett to publish the Government’s strategy on Ash Dieback without delay.
“The Minister has repeatedly provided assurances that a detailed Action Plan is being prepared to deal with the issue of Ash Dieback and that this would be presented to Cabinet very soon.
“She received the independent review of the Government’s response to Ash Dieback back in September, which stressed how urgent this situation is and suggested a range of actions to address the issue of Ash Dieback.
“Yet, the weeks and months continue to pass, the issue of Ash Dieback continues to worsen, and we still do not have sight of a strategy.
“Farmers, forestry landowners and representative organisations have continuously highlighted the really serious situation they are facing as a result of the issue of Ash Dieback being allowed to go on for so long.
“As I have said before, it is a health and safety risk and a cause of financial loss and frustration for affected farmers and forestry owners that is set to worsen if measures are not put in place immediately.
“There is no more time to lose and the Minister must publish a strategy to address the issue of Ash Dieback immediately.”