December 19, 2023
Minister must publish Ash Dieback strategy – Claire Kerrane TD

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Agriculture, Claire Kerrane TD, has called on Minister Hackett to publish the awaited Ash Dieback strategy.
Teachta Kerrane queried the Minister last week on the delayed strategy, which was due to be published several weeks ago.
The Minister’s response stated that an action plan was being prepared for submission to Cabinet in the “near future”, but with no timeline on when that plan can be expected to be in place.
Speaking today, Teachta Kerrane said:
“It is crucial that the awaited strategy to address Ash Dieback is published without delay.
“The independent review on the Government’s response to Ash Dieback was presented to the Minister almost three months ago. The review stressed the urgency of the situation and recommended action on the issue of Ash Dieback.
“Despite confirming herself that a strategy would be published weeks ago, there is still no sight of Government action on the matter.
“As I have said before, the issue of Ash Dieback has been allowed to go on unaddressed for over a decade and is now a national emergency.
“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.  
“The independent review made this urgency and failure of the Government’s response clear and yet, months later, we are still waiting.
“In addition to delays to the Ash Dieback strategy, we still do not have a forestry licensing plan for 2024 – despite Minister Hackett previously stating that it would be due in early December. I raised this with the Minister again in the Dáil last week.
“The Government must stop dragging its heels when it comes to forestry. We need to see publication of these long-awaited strategies and I am calling on the Minister to do so as a matter of priority.”

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