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McEntee welcomes supply of 40,000 hurley planks from Coillte

Minister of State Shane McEntee TD, today welcomed Coillte's commitment that they will bring forward the harvesting of ash trees in an effort that will supply over 40,000 hurley planks over the winter to hurley makers who are adjusting to the new ash import regulations.  Under the new regulations, ash wood can be brought into the country if it comes from an area free of the disease or if it is kiln dried or if the outer surface is sawn off.  While some hurley makers already bring in material in a form that complies with the regulations, others are working with their suppliers overseas to change their processes to ensure they meet the new regulations.

Speaking today Minister McEntee said "Our approach has been to follow the best scientific approach with regard to this deadly disease and it is for that reason that we, together with Northern Ireland, have the current restrictions in place".  He added that "I have met the hurley makers on a number of occasions now and understand that some will have difficulties in the short term in trying to change their supply arrangements to meet the current requirements - I very much welcome that Coillte have acted promptly to alleviate the supply issue by bringing forward the sale of 40,000 ash planks over the few months".

Gerard Murphy, Managing Director of Coillte Forest, added:

"Coillte is very keen to play its part in helping the hurley manufacturing industry in Ireland cope with the current supply challenge. We are already harvesting ash in one of our forests in County Westmeath and have identified a number of other locations where we will harvest material in the coming months.  We have committed to supplying 40,000 ash planks to the hurley making industry in the coming months to ensure the ongoing survival of this important part of our social and sporting heritage".

"We are continuing to work very closely with the Forest Service and monitor the situation in our forests. At this point we have not found any occurrences of ash dieback in our estate and we call on all our stakeholders to help us implement the measures needed to limit the spread of this disease."

Date Released: 23 November 2012