THE scourge of Japanese Knotweed is making Skibbereen look ‘like a jungle’ and will devalue properties in the town unless it is tackled.
That’s the view of Cllr Joe Carroll who was speaking at a meeting of the Western Committee last week when he asked for Cork County Council to tackle the problem.
‘I went around the town last week to inspect the problem and was surprised to see the extent of where Japanese knotweed is in Skibbereen,’ he said.
‘It’s all over the place and if it gets into housing estates, it will devalue properties and more urgency by Cork County Council is needed to tackle it. Even if it comes into contact with parked cars, this can also spread it further afield,’ said Cllr Carroll.
Cllr Carroll identified several areas which have fallen victim to the plant, including High Street, Coom Road, Lough Ine Road, Baltimore Road, Deelish Pier, Riversdale, Castletownshend Road, Upper Bridge Street and Enda O’Donovan’s roundabout.
Councillors were told of a scheme that Offaly County Council have in place to tackle the problem and Cllr Michael Collins said it was a matter of urgency that Cork County Council investigate the scheme.
However, Aidan Weir, Director of Services for Roads and Transportation said the responsibility for tackling the weed rests with the National Parks and Wildlife Services.
‘It does need an awareness programme and a multi-agency approach to tackling the weed. We’re identifying it in places and the treatment isn’t difficult, but I would be concerned about hearing about it being cut, as this can spread it even further,’ said Aidan Weir.
Cllr Noel O’Donovan noted that Kerry County Council has put up signs warning people not to cut the plant as it will only lead to the spreading of it.
Cllr Kevin Murphy said it’s ‘a national issue and that all stake holders should come together to tackle this epidemic that goes so deep into the roads.’
Cork County Council has guidelines on their website for anyone who finds Japanese Knotweed on their property. They advise against strimming or cutting the plant, as tiny fragments can regenerate new plants, making it even more difficult to manage.
Eradication of the plant also requires planning and follow-up treatments.