Interim results from the winter survey being undertaken has confirmed further positive samples for the presence of Chalara. This brings the number of positive cases to 22, including 15 in young plantations, six in horticultural nurseries and one planted in a garden.
There have now been incidents of the disease in forest plantations in Counties Leitrim, Meath, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Waterford, Carlow, Kildare, Laois, Longford and Galway.
Irish minister of State with responsibility for forestry Shane McEntee TD said: "While we are aware scientifically that the disease does not spread until the summer, we are intensifying our efforts in dealing with this threat and are destroying any ash trees that may present a risk of harbouring the disease."
"To address the threat to our ash woodlands, there will be a major eradication programme on sites where there are ash trees from confirmed positive imported consignments. The Department will supervise the destruction and re-establishment of these sites. A re-establishment grant will be made available to the owners of private plantations which are part of the Department’s current afforestation programme. Ash plants from the infected batches supplied to other sites will also be destroyed.