15 February 2022
By Elaine Murphy
The Green Party in Cork has welcomed confirmation that glyphosate weed killers will be banned from use in public areas in the city.
Last November, it was confirmed at a meeting of the city’s environment committee that use in green areas would stop from January 2022. However, a report was being waited on to confirm the success of alternative methods on city roads and footpaths.
At last night’s meeting of Cork City Council, the success of this trial was confirmed by officials. Use of glyphosate will now be discontinued in parks, roads and footpaths in the city. Glyphosate will continue to be used in a limited number of circumstances, such as the treatment of Japanese Knotweed.
Welcoming the news, Green Party councillor, Oliver Moran, said the decision reflected the position of councillors from across parties and the concerns of residents:
“The overall context of this decision is in responding to the biodiversity emergency declared in the city in 2019, but there are concerns too about the cancer-causing effects of the chemical. This decision puts Cork City Council at the forefront of responding these concerns in Ireland.
“Over the past three years, the Parks and Recreation division have undertaken trials of alternative approaches. While these alternatives are more environmentally friendly, they will also require a shift in expectations from the public about how weeds are managed in public spaces. For example, the control of vegetation around trees will discontinue in many areas. Instead, the plan will be to create wildflower areas around groups of trees and to reuse mulch from tree pruning to suppress weeds.
“That shift in expectation is part of a wider movement that is recognising the biodiversity emergency we’re in and how we respond to it. It’s very positive news that everyone in Cork is embracing that movement and are willing to put our city at the forefront of it.”