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Mayo GAA pitch cited to County Council as breaching pesticides guidelines.

category national | environment | press release author Friday May 21, 2021 23:02author by foie - Friends of the Irish Environment Report this post to the editors

Press Release - Friends of the Irish Environment - May 19th 2021

Call on GAA to quantify pesticides use for International Bee Day
Mayo GAA pitch cited to County Council as breaching pesticides guidelines on International Bee Day

The environmental charity Friends of the Irish Environment [FIE] have written to Liam McCarthy, the GAA President, citing the use of pesticides at a Mayo GAA pitch and asking him to quantify the use of pesticides on GAA grounds and to ensure users have been trained to the standard required by the legislation.

PRESS RELEASE
FRIENDS OF THE IRISH ENVIRONMENT
WEDNESDAY 19 MAY 2021
FOR INTERNATIONAL BEE DAY 20 MAY 2021

Call on GAA to quantify pesticides use for International Bee Day
Mayo GAA pitch cited to County Council as breaching pesticides guidelines on International Bee Day

The environmental charity Friends of the Irish Environment [FIE] have written to Liam McCarthy, the GAA President, citing the use of pesticides at a Mayo GAA pitch and asking him to quantify the use of pesticides on GAA grounds and to ensure users have been trained to the standard required by the legislation.

The GAA became official supporters of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan last month to mark World Earth Day 2021 [1]. It has been promoting to all its units a new ‘Pollinator-Friendly Management of Sports Clubs Resource’ [2], developed recently by the National Biodiversity Data Centre. The initiative follows on from the GAA’s Green Club 2020 pilot program involving 45 clubs and two regional grounds.

However, a photograph provided by FIE of the pitch at Kilmovee Shamrocks GAA Club in County Mayo shows the use of pesticides beyond the fenced boundary of the pitch down to the water edge on both sides of a boundary watercourse. ‘Regardless of Pollinator Friendly Plans’, FIE Director Caroline Lewis said, ‘under the 2019 Irish National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides, minimum buffer zones of 1 metre are required to protect watercourses [3]. We have reported the matter to Mayo County Council and are awaiting their response’.

Ms Lewis said that their organisation was receiving a growing number of complaints from distressed residents across Ireland about the use of pesticides, and that a rural ‘mind-set’ persisted that required roadside verges and public spaces to be kept ‘weed free’. ‘The legislation states that ‘a person shall not apply a pesticide in areas used by the general public or by vulnerable group’ unless there are ‘no viable alternatives and appropriate risk management measures were put in place’.

‘The GAA is in the perfect position to help reverse this mind-set and quantifying the use of pesticides at each of their clubs and ensuring proper training when unavoidable would provide a benchmark for genuine reductions’, she said.
ENDS

Contact: Caroline Lewis: 353 087 2176316 / 353 (0)27 74771

PHOTO: https://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/images/Media/GAA_Weedkill_Photo.jpg
LETTER: https://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/35-papers-today/pesticides/17982-letter-to-gaa-on-international-bee-day

NOTES
[1] https://www.gaa.ie/stories/gaa-becomes-official-supporter-of-all-ireland-pollinator-plan/
[2] https://www.gaa.ie/my-gaa/community-and-health/green-clubs-sustainability/
[3] Irish National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides (Plant Protection Products) February 2019, 4d (4)

Related Link: https://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/press-releases/17983-call-on-gaa-to-quantify-pesticides-use-for-international-bee-day
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