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INVASIVE SPECIES such as Giant Hogweed are “getting out of control” in parts of South Clare.

During 2021, a total of €10,000 in funding was secured for works to try alleviate invasive species in the Errinagh Canal and Blackwater areas. However, no equivalent finance was obtained this year.

Clonlara based, Cllr Michael Begley (IND) called on the Shannon Municipal District to source “permanent funding” for the annual treatment of invasive species. He flagged that Giant Hogweed was “getting out of control particularly in the Mountcatherine, Gillogue and Shannon Banks areas”.

Alternative funding streams are being assessed by the Shannon MD due to the setback experienced, senior executive engineer Tom Mellett outlined. “To date we have approved treatment along the public road from Clancy’s Cross to Clonlara village via Mountcatherine”.

A more active approach is needed to try deal with the invasive species, Cllr Begley maintained. “It is unfair that the roads of Shannon MD where invasive species is an issue that funding has to be found, funding to eradicate those species should come from the Department of Environment on an annual basis. We should be a lot more active in trying to get that”.

Work from the project management office “is taking care of some of it but it’s not sufficient,” he said of progress in Gillogue. “The same for the Shannon Banks, a whole section of the Shannon River is overtaken by it. We need to strongly go to whatever channels we need to get proper funding for this and not be lumbering this into Schedule of Municipal District Works,” Begley added.

In the eyes of Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF), “giant hogweed is extremely dangerous and I don’t think the importance of that is being looked at”.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND), “it is too serious a motion to not have due consideration, we were informed that the treatment of invasive species was not a one year thing, it has to be done at strategic times because you will have contamination”. He suggested forwarding the proposal to Cyril Feeney in the environment section of Clare County Council.

“We are running out of time, as it soon as it starts seeding you would be wasting time. Look at the careful part of the cutting process, I would agree with sending it to the environment section,” Begley responded. “The structure of roots can get more aggressive if not dealt with properly,” Flynn added.

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