April 10, 2024
Government’s failure to publish ash dieback action plan disgraceful – Claire Kerrane TD

A reply received today from Minister Hackett to a parliamentary question submitted by Teachta Kerrane yet again stated the strategy would be published in the ‘very near future’.

This follows months of delays and repeated assurances from the Minister that the strategy was imminent, with no sign of a publication to date.

Teachta Kerrane said:

“It is disgraceful that there has been such a delay to the publication of the long-awaited action plan on ash dieback.

“I have been raising this matter with the Minister for months now, and the best response she can muster is that it will be published in the ‘very near future’.

“She has been saying this for months and we still have nothing from her.

“No update, no timeline, and certainly no assurances for farmers and forest landowners whose plantations are affected with ash dieback through no fault of their own.

“With each passing week it becomes clearer that the Minister and her Government either do not appreciate or care that ash dieback has caused serious frustration and financial loss for affected farmers and forestry landowners.

“Her reply also references the need for an ‘efficient, appropriate and proportionate response’, but such a delay flies in the face of that.

“She has heard from affected farmers and forestry landowners themselves, from the independent review of the Government’s response to ash dieback (published last September), and from myself and my party colleagues – ash dieback is a national emergency and, increasingly, a health and safety concern.

“Just today I met with a group of farmers from Wexford who raised the lack of a comprehensive response to ash dieback from the Government with me. They, and many other farmers across the State, are at their wits end and have waited long enough.

“Enough is enough and the Minister must publish the Government’s action plan on ash dieback immediately. It is the very least she can do and I will continue to push her on this issue.”

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