Ireland forestry ministers Tom Hayes and Michelle O’Neill have agreed an All-Ireland Chalara Control Strategy.
The strategy sets out the policy and actions which will be taken as part of the continued attempt to prevent Chalara ash dieback disease becoming established in Ireland.
O’Neill said: "The fact that Ireland is an island, isolated from potential sources of infection, suggests that there is a reasonable hope of preventing or slowing down the disease from becoming established here.
"The effectiveness of our approach is likely to depend on detecting and eradicating any incidence of the disease within Ireland before it spreads to ash trees in the wider environment."
Hayes said: "Ash trees are of particular landscape, environmental and cultural value in Ireland. So far, this disease has only been found in recently planted ash trees linked to imports and our aim is to reduce the risk of the disease becoming established here.
"The strategy is comprehensive and covers many elements including our joint approaches on eradication, research into breeding for resistance, engaging with the public and other stakeholders and advice for woodland owners."
The ministers welcomed the support and comments provided by farmers, woodland owners, forestry companies, environmental groups and other stakeholders during consultation on the strategy and at stakeholder meetings.
The first finding in Ireland of ash dieback was confirmed on the 12 October 2012 in County Leitrim. The up to date situation of confirmed findings is now as follows;
- Forestry Plantations 36
- Horticultural Nurseries 15
- Garden Centres 4
- Private Garden 2
- Farm landscaping/AEOS 14
- Roadside landscaping 14
In the north of Ireland the first finding of ash dieback was confirmed on 16 November 2012. The up to date situation of confirmed findings is as follows;
- Forestry Plantations 62
- Horticultural Nurseries/Garden centres 3
- Urban/Amenity 6
- Private Garden 10
- Hedgerow 2
- Roadside landscaping 4