Future of Hurley stick in doubt, but Cork company has the answer

12 March 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth

A Cork company could help eliminate the ash dieback disease that is killing ash trees in Ireland, according to Ireland South MEP Sean Kelly.

“Cork-based Treemetrics company now has the technology and expertise to help tackle this disease using their satellite and online technologies. Satellite imagery can identify exactly where dieback is occurring or likely to occur and that knowledge will help eliminate the disease in time, it is hoped,” the Fine Gael MEP said in Strasbourg. Ash dieback is a potentially fatal disease affecting ash trees which caused by a fungus that has spread rapidly across Europe.

The former GAA President said the Cork company could also prove beneficial in securing the future of the hurley stick:

“Not only can this home-grown company help with tracking the disease in a general sense, it could also prove useful to preventing the decline of ash trees which are needed for the production of hurley sticks. The production of our world-famous hurley sticks could well be impacted, not alone in terms of the cost of production but the volume of production too, as this disease increases its grip on ash trees. The company will require the support of landowners and local GAA clubs in identifying priority areas to check for the disease to speed up the search. When it is identified quickly – it can be treated and hopefully eliminated quickly.

“Therefore, it would make sense that the GAA looks into the possibility assisting Treemetrics.”

Mr Kelly has called on the GAA to assess how the association can work with the Irish company.

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