Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Horticulture & Food and TD for Tipperary Jackie Cahill has called on the Agriculture Minister to engage with forest owners who have suffered serious financial losses they have incurred as a result of Ash Dieback.
A review to look at options for farmers who have been impacted by the disease has still not made its recommendations, more than 15 months after it was established.
Members of the Limerick & Tipperary Woodland Owners appeared before the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee last week.
Deputy Cahill said, “Forest owners across Limerick and Tipperary and in many other parts of the country are extremely frustrated with what they feel is the hands off approach adopted by this government to the very real financial losses they have suffered as a result of Ash Dieback.
“Forest owners have been working to limit the impact of Ash Dieback on trees and hedgerows but are angry with the lack of supports provided to them to help them minimise the damage.
“As Die Back continues to be a threat, not only to our trees, but also our hurley industry. More than 350,000 hurleys are used in Ireland every year and while some companies have diversified, the majority still rely on ash as the main component of hurl.
“Minister of State Andrew Doyle announced a review of the Reconstitution on Ash Dieback scheme back in April 2018, but we’re still waiting on it to be completed and for recommendations to be forthcoming.
“Fine Gael has left these forest owners in limbo and frustration and anger is growing. I am urging Ministers Doyle and Creed to engage with them, to hear their stories first hand and to fully understand the stress and financial pressure they’re under. It is completely unfair to leave these forest owners in the dark for so long”, concluded Deputy Cahill.