I welcome the announcement of a €79.5 million package for farmers affected by ash dieback by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue TD today.

“I welcome this scheme, but I will need to see the detail of the scheme and the level of compensation on offer to farmers and foresters.

Grants for farmers and landowners under the scheme are expected to cover the costs of felling, clearing, and re-establishing the sites impacted by ash dieback, that’s where the focus will have to be when examining the scheme.

Pension funds and investors in forestry have been devasted by this fungal disease, their investments have wilted, and growers have lost confidence in the sector too.

The package set to be approved by the Government today needs to substantially cover clearance costs and recompense farmers and foresters for the loss of expected timber yields and restore confidence in the sector”.