Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (1201)

Michael Harty

Question:

1201. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the volume of a product (details supplied) used over the past ten years in the Burren National Park; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44521/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Culture)

Glyphosate is the key ingredient in the product to which the Deputy refers. It is one of the most effective means of killing some of the most problematic invasive plant species, notably Rhododendron ponticum, Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed and it is an essential herbicide in the control of other noxious weeds. Glyphosate is not broadcast-sprayed on any of our sites. It is used for spot spraying, with weedlickers and for treating stumps. Information in respect of the volume of the product used within the National Park is not retained.

I am advised that the use of glyphosate within our sites fully complies with the EU Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive, which covers all aspects of pesticide use. The National Parks and Wildlife Service invasive species eradication programmes have, over many years mainly focussed on injection of herbicide into the plant, or application onto cuts made in the stems, rather than spraying, both of which greatly reduce the quantity used and human contact with the herbicide. There are other methods of removing smaller weeds being used in our sites, for example the Department is trialling hot water weed remover on some pathways in parks.