Leitrim County Councillors have unanimously backed a motion calling for a ban on the use of glyphosate weed killers in all public areas in Co Leitrim.
Cllr Justin Warnock brought forward a motion calling on the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD, to ban the use of glyphosate weed killers in all public areas in the country's 31 local authorities.
However, after an online petition was started by the Chemical Free Leitrim group calling for an immediate ban on the use of these chemicals by Leitrim County Council, Cllr Warnock amended his motion to call for the immediate cessation of glyphosate use by the local authority.
Cllr Warnock acknowledged the massive support the online petition had received with “up on 1,400 signatures now in support of the ban”.
His motion was backed by Cllr Mary Bohan.
Cllr Warnock pointed out it is not just the County Council who are using glyphosates in weed control.
“There are a lot of people in towns and villages, groups who are using it and it is something we have to stop for everyone,” he said.
The use of these chemicals, he said, is putting our native wildlife and waterways at risk.
Senior Engineer with Leitrim County Council, Shay O'Connor, told the meeting that Council staff would now cease the use of glyphosates in public places in Co Leitrim. He said staff will also speak with local community and Tidy Towns groups with a view to also stopping their use of products containing this ingredient in public places.
Cllr Warnock also asked the Council to look for an alternative method of dealing with Japanese Knotweed, stating there are organic methods of treatment which have proven just as effective as glyphosates.
He also asked that his motion be forwarded to all other councils for consideration.