Companies sought to deal with eradication of rhododendron in Killarney National Park

Companies are being invited to tender for a contract to eradicate rhododendron in Killarney National Park.

The invasive species has spread across thousands of hectares there.

An updated plan to manage rhododendron in the park has been finalised by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

The news of the contract to eradicate the rhododendron has been welcomed by Kerry Independent TD Deputy Michael Healy-Rae.

 

Minister for Arts and Culture, Heather Humphreys says an updated Strategic Rhododendron Management Plan has been finalised.

The department has issued a Request for Tender, inviting suitably qualified companies to submit a bid to be included on their Rhododendron Ponticum Eradication and/or Maintenance programme for four years.

€700,000 has been spent eradicating rhododendron in Killarney National Park since 2011, and €240,000 has been budgeted for this year.

Minister Humphreys says her department has invested heavily in tackling the invasive species, the control of which is difficult, costly, and labour intensive.

In the past, some 3,000 of the over 10,000 hectares in Killarney National Park were affected by rhododendron, but the department says 2,000 of that, involving some 40 different sites, is under effective control.

The details from Minister Humphreys were released in response to a Dáil question from Kerry Fianna Fáil TD, John Brassil.