28 May 2022

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Govt meeting needed on 'crisis' facing hurley-makers due to ash threat

Govt meeting needed on 'crisis' facing hurley-makers due to  ash disease threat

Joe Canning

Action is urgently needed on the crisis facing hurley makers a Labour TD has said, on the day that renowned Canning Hurleys closed their doors for the final time due to a lack of ash supplies. 

The ash dieback disease is causing a shortage of ash wood supplies. In addition to this, ash is supplied from Ukraine and this source is now cut off. 

Concerns over the supply of ash materials was the reason cited recently as the closure of Canning Hurleys was announced. 

They said the shortage of supplies, and also concerns over not being able to produce quality hurleys, led them to take the painful decision to close their business. 

Labour Agriculture Spokesperson Seán Sherlock TD has now called on the Government and the Ministers for Agriculture to  convene a meeting of stakeholders on the crisis facing hurley-makers in the country.

As Canning Hurleys in Galway close today due to a lack of ash supplies, Deputy Sherlock said "we cannot afford to lose the hurley-makers that are the bloodstock of the sport".

Deputy Sherlock raised the matter as a Priority Question to the Minister today in the Dáil saying: "The Canning Family is synonymous with the game of hurling and their closure today is a hammer blow for the sport. Government must intervene to protect hurley makers in this country and to ensure that a process is put in place to support hurling.

“Speaking in the Dáil today, I asked the Minister of State to convene a meeting with Croke Park, Teagasc, Coillte and the Irish Guild of Ash Hurley Makers as soon as possible. I note that meetings have taken place 'several times' as the Minister of State said.

“However, I asked that she would consider reconvening a meeting at the earliest possible opportunity as a matter of urgency to deal with supply issues. One of the supply lines comes from Ukraine and that makes the issue particularly urgent. We cannot afford to lose hurley-makers. They are the supply lines, bloodlines and bloodstock of that sport.”

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