Minister of State Shane McEntee has met IFA leaders to brief them on the legal measures he has introduced, in cooperation with authorities in the North, to prevent the spread of Ash Dieback disease.

While the Government has a no-compensation policy for those affected, he has assured land owners that it will not stop direct payments to farmers affected by control measures. Reforestation of removed trees will be grant-aided.

“This could be catastrophic, but we must remain cool and calm, and be ruthless in dealing with it and work together,” Mr McEntee said when he addressed the Seanad on the disease threat this week.