Council losing battle against invasive Japanese Knotweed which destroys buildings

Japanese Knotweed

County council officials in Cork are receiving near-daily reports of increased infestation of an invasive plant that can destroy buildings.

Officials said the problem of Japanese Knotweed was “becoming a bigger issue the whole time”.

They said County Hall was unlikely to be able to battle the plant with just its own resources.

Very few towns and villages in Cork are free of the plant which, if cut, multiplies rapidly.

Treatment processes can take up to four years to destroy the weed.

The need to tackle the knotweed was raised at a council meeting over a year ago by councillor Marcia D’Alton, an environmental engineer.

It was decided then to set up a special working group to tackle the issue.

However, the working group will only convene its first meeting next week.

Mayor of County Cork, Seamus McGrath, said he was disappointed the working group had not met.

Councillor Derry Canty said: “The sooner this committee reports back, the better. Something radical will have to be done.”

He said the knotweed was growing along approach roads to Ballincollig and was now spreading into the town’s regional park.

“People are very concerned about this,” said councillor Daithi O’Donnabhain.

Council officials said they tried to deal with infestation when reports were received, but their gardening section was inundated and suffered from diminished resources.

One official said it was unlikely the council could continue on its own to battle the knotweed.

“We usually spray the knotweed every September, but it can take three to four years to kill it off,” an official said.

Mr McGrath, who had sought a report on the infestation, said he was concerned about the number of areas where the plant was now manifesting itself.

The mayor said additional funding may have to be sought to tackle the worsening problem.

More on this topic

Knotweed a potential point of contention for neighboursKnotweed a potential point of contention for neighbours

Cork Council wants powers to access private land as owners ‘failing to’ eradicate knotweedCork Council wants powers to access private land as owners ‘failing to’ eradicate knotweed


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