Kerrane Slams ‘Shameful’ Delay in Tackling Ash Dieback Crisis

Sinn Féin Criticizes Government's Delay in Tackling Ash Dieback Crisis

Sinn Féin’s agriculture spokesperson, Claire Kerrane, has strongly criticized the government’s failure to present a strategy to tackle the issue of ash dieback. Despite assurances from Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) Pippa Hackett that an action plan was imminent, Kerrane highlighted that there has been no progress on this front. The independent review on government support for farmers affected by ash dieback, released in October, emphasized the urgency of treating the tree disease as a national emergency, necessitating a swift and coordinated response.

Deputy Kerrane expressed disappointment at the prolonged delay in delivering a strategy to address ash dieback, pointing out that farmers, forestry owners, and representative bodies have been advocating for government intervention on this matter for some time. She described the government’s inaction as “disgraceful” and stressed the pressing need for a concrete plan to assist those impacted by the disease.

Kerrane revealed that she has consistently pressed Minister Hackett for details on the timeline for the action plan’s release, only to be met with repeated promises of imminent submission to the Cabinet. However, with months passing and no tangible progress made, she emphasized the urgency of the situation, particularly in light of the financial and safety concerns raised by forestry stakeholders.

During a recent meeting with farmers in County Galway, Kerrane witnessed firsthand the distress caused by the absence of a published strategy. She underscored the plight of those affected, highlighting the detrimental impact of the government’s delay on their livelihoods. Kerrane urged Minister Hackett to heed the calls of farmers and forestry owners affected by ash dieback and to promptly publish the long-awaited action plan.

The Sinn Féin representative emphasized that the affected individuals cannot afford to wait any longer for a resolution to the ash dieback crisis. She called on Minister Hackett to take immediate action, emphasizing that further delays would only exacerbate the challenges faced by farmers and forestry owners. Kerrane’s message was clear: the time for action is now, and the government must prioritize the release of the much-needed strategy without further delay.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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