After initial reports of Ireland’s first case of Chalara Ash Dieback Disease from a plantation in Co. Leitrim last month, another three cases, from Meath, Monaghan and Galway, have now been confirmed.

The trees are all thought to originate from a consignment of 33,000 ash saplings imported from The Netherlands around three years ago. They were planted at 11 locations around the country, including the four areas where the disease has broken out. Although there has been no sign of the disease at the other seven locations, the young trees and those growing adjacent have been destroyed at all 11 sites in an attempt to control the disease.

New legislation banning the import of ash timber unless it meets strict criteria was introduced by Minister of State for Forestry Shane McEntee yesterday in further efforts to protect Irish ash trees from an outbreak of the devastating disease, which kills mature ash trees.