April 25, 2024
Minister continues with ‘very near future’ line for Ash Dieback Action Plan – Claire Kerrane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Claire Kerrane TD, has criticised Minister Pippa Hackett for her continued line that she will bring forward an Action Plan on Ash Dieback in ‘the very near future’.
 
Raising the issue during Priority Questions in the Dáil this morning, Teachta Kerrane told the Minister:
 
“The continued pedalling of the line ‘in the very near future’ is meaningless. When is the very near future? I’ve been told that in replies now for months.
 
“It’s been seven months since the Independent Review on Ash Dieback and there is still no action plan – despite the Review Group concluding that Ash Dieback is a national emergency requiring a national and State-led coordinated response.

“They also said speed and urgency is of the essence. This is not being treated as an emergency.
 
“I have recently met with Farmers affected by ash dieback in Galway. They are broken, they put so much into their plantations which are dying and they are left waiting. This is not acceptable.
 
“That the Minister continues to encourage those affected to seek assistance under the existing Reconstitution Scheme – which has been described by the Independent Review as a scheme that that, when introduced made things worse for those concerned – makes no sense.
 
“I also warned the Minister during our exchange that the new Forestry Programme will go no-where if we do not rebuild confidence in the sector, and that includes resolving the ash dieback issue once and for all.”

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