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Tipperary County Councillors Stress Over Japanese Knotweed

Tipperary County Councillors, particularly those responsible for the Templemore/Thurles Municipal District don’t get out much anymore; what with recovering from the mental anguish they suffered during their May 2019 local election campaign; then their fear of catching the Covid-19 virus just 11 months later and now having to cancel foreign holidays; forced to instead, spend time on ‘Staycation; during their pending 2020 summer holidays here in boring old Éire.

Possibly because of the coronavirus, no councillors have been answering their emails, since election time. Possibly because, as you our readers will be well aware, computers carry the corona virus and numerous other viruses and malicious malware.

Of course, nowadays, local councillors and even politicians require a hell of a lot more education than what was needed in the past.
In a Tipperary media report, Tipperary Councillor and little known botanist, Mr Kieran Bourke, informed the monthly meeting of the Council, that Japanese Knotweed continues to be a “vast problem” down Carrick-on-Suir way, South of the county.

Pictured L-R. Japanese Knotweed used to camouflage fly-tipping – One failed attempt to assassinate Japanese Knotweed.
Pictures G. Willoughby

We learn that a contractor working on behalf of the Tipperary Local Authority, over the last four years, has eradicated this plant on sites listed for treatment. [Well not all exactly eradicated all, as just one picture shown above will attest.]

We learn that Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has allocated funding of €11,000 to the Tipperary Co. Council in April 2020, all part of the 2020 Invasive Alien Plant Species plan. We are aware that some 17 sites on national routes around Co. Tipperary were not fully eradicated, despite receiving treatment, between the years 2016 and December 2019, with some now demonstrating signs of re-growth. [Here is one of the few occupations where personnel can get paid consistently for failure. One other occupatin being elected as a Municipal District councillor.]

While we are not aware of what botanical scientific studies, if any, has ever been undertaken by Cllr. Bourke, we would like to highlight recent qualified research, same undertaken by Principal Ecologist Dr. Mark Fennell, latter employed at the engineering firm AECOM.

As part of many years of research, Dr. Fennell’s team looked closely for evidence of the threat by Japanese Knotweed. His team surveyed information supplied by invasive species control contractors and property surveyors and had access to residential properties where Japanese knotweed was known to have been located.

His findings and that of his research team had “found nothing to suggest that Japanese knotweed causes significant damage to buildings – even when it is growing in close proximity and certainly no more damage than caused by other species”.

Dr. Fennell further confirmed that fears regarding Knotweed growing through concrete were not borne out by any real evidence. “It would break the laws of physics if it could grow through concrete, and it absolutely cannot do that. What it can do is grow through cracks in concrete, but it can’t cause those same cracks.

Tipperary County Councillors stressed out, worrying about the growth of Japanese Knotweed, can now relax on holiday. Here in Thurles local residences use this plant very successfully to hide redundant vacuum cleaners and fridge freezers, dumping same in early spring to avoid detection. [See picture above.]

While Tipperary Co. Council, through their Department of the Environment, foolishly continue to waste money using employees to call, checking on homes in the hope that they may find people who have no recycling bins; those people with these bins tell Thurles.Info that worn-out 3 seater leather couches; armchairs of various descriptions; burnt out lawn mower engines and fridge freezers don’t actually fit into any of their green waste bin. The result is inevitably, with the lack of a Recycling /Waste Civic Amenity Site, local fly-tipping will takes place, latter encouraged by Tipperary Co. Council’s inability to solve a simple basic problem.

WEEE collection days in Tipperary postponed due to COVID-19 virus.

We noted Free WEEE Collection Days scheduled for May 2020 were postponed due to the COVID-19 virus until further notice. Free disposal was offered at Civic Amenity Sites on Friday’s from 8:30am – 4:30pm and for a half day on Saturdays.
Note these Civic Amenity Sites were named as Nenagh Civic Amenity; Roscrea Civic Amenity; Tipperary: Donohill Civic Amenity; Cashel: Waller’s Lot Civic Amenity; Clonmel: Carrigeen Civic Amenity.

Wait a minute: Question: “Where is the Thurles: Civic Amenity?” Answer: “There is no Civic Amenity in Thurles”. Haven’t we told you that time and time again.

Tomorrow morning, as usual TippFM radio will grant locally elected reps; community activists; politicians, etc. speaking time on matters which they believe will give the impression that they are working for the good of their community. Time now to ask the Question, “Who is holding up efforts to provide a Waste Civic Amenity here in Thurles”. Time now to ‘name and shame‘ those involved.

Meanwhile Tipperary County Council plan to spend €48,000 or €12,000 in each one of the four Tipperary Municipal District this year to attempt to eradicate this non-native plant.

Could we not use the control methods used in Victorian times? Could the council not purchase Nanny goats, latter who love and trive eating Japanese Knotweed? The ‘Resveratrol’, found afterwards in the goat’s milk could possibly assist in aiding cholesterol, blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, age-related cognitive decline and many other health conditions which this plant can help.

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