Just when it appeared that the scourge of GAA Grounds the length and breadth of the country had been eradicated…news has broken today that Clare GAA will not be able to proceed with the development of a 200-space car park beside Cusack Park until a Japanese Knotweed problem is dealt with.
Most people connected with Davitts GAA Club will recall the titanic battle that ensued between the dreaded botanical pest and Davitts Head Groundsman (and toxic chemical specialist) John A. Noone in September 2011. The outbreak of the Japanese Knotweed at Davitt Park at that time put the new Clubhouse development under serious risk. For those who need to refresh their memories of the 2011 incident, click here.
While our friends in Clare employed a Northern Irish Company last year to try and eradicate the invaders, they have yet to come to grips with the problem. This is in stark contrast to the fortunes of Davitts, who are fortunate to have a Head Groundsman who is well versed in the principles of toxicology and has an arsenal of highly noxious chemical agents at his disposal. It took Noone just three weeks to obliterate his oriental nemesis.
Clare County Board Chairman Michael McDonagh said “We have to take the proper time to do it. The advice we’ve got is that if you just dig it up or ignore it or build over it, it’s basically infectious and will spread. People mightn’t have heard of it, but it’s quite a big problem and I believe it’s fairly serious in the UK [and in a part of South Mayo?]. The bottom line for us is that we’re not going to put in any car park until we have it cleared in full.”
While the Banner County’s building plans have had to be potentially postponed until 2020, the Davitts GAA development is currently in full swing. The differing fortunes between both parties has prompted preliminary negations between legal teams representing Davitts GAA Club and Clare Co. Board to discuss the possible secondment of Noone down to Ennis on a temporary basis. Initial reports from the negotiations indicate that Clare Co. Board are willing to provide Noone with the incentive of a high powered vehicle to expedite his journeys between Ballindine and Ennis.