Cork wants cash for Knotweed war

Cork wants cash for Knotweed war
Cllr Padraig O'Sullivan looking at the Japanese knotweed in Upper Glanmire, Co Cork.Picture: David Keane.

CORK County Council has been urged to allocate funds for the purpose of combatting knotweed, which is seen as a major issue across the county.

The Glountane Tidy towns project spent approximately €15,000 eradicating an infestation of knotweed on the Cork Midleton road in 2015.

“It was a long process but we think we’ve gotten rid of about 99 percent of the knotweed in that area,” said Conor O’Brien who oversaw the volunteers.

The project involved 20,000 injections being placed in the stem of the plants.

“There were around 80 clumps of the plant along a 6 kilometre stretch of road and we estimated that there were 130,000 plants before we started getting rid of them,” added Mr O’Brien.

“It’s a massive problem,” said county councillor Padraig O’Sullivan who revealed he has asked for a specific allocation of funds to go towards combatting knotweed in budget meetings for the last two years.

“It’s a particular problem out in Glanmire, Upper Glanmire, Little Island and Glountane,” he added.

Fallopia japonica, more commonly known as Asian or Japanese knotweed, is a large, herbaceous perennial plant of the knotweed and buckwheat family Polygonaceae.

It is native to East Asia in Japan, China and Korea.

The management of knotweed falls under the remit of the council’s road engineer whose budget is not big enough to combat the growth, according to councillor O’Sullivan.

“Most of that money will go to fixing potholes and things like that which are deemed more important than a plant but this is a serious issue.

“I’d estimate that it would cost tens of millions to combat knotweed across Ireland.

“I have been requesting a specific allocation of money to go towards this in Cork but again this year, we didn’t get it,” he added.

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