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Hurling As We Know It May Be Under Threat From A Beetle

Hurling As We Know It May Be Under Threat From A Beetle
By Gavin Cooney

Is this the most irritiating Beetle since Ringo?

Hurling as we know it may be under threat, as The Guardian are reporting an academic anlysis that has claimed that all ash trees in the UK and Europe will be wiped out owing to a "double whammy" of a bright green borer beetle and a fungus that causes ash dieback.

Tree ecologist Peter Thomas has said that "between ash dieback and the emerald ash borer, it is likely that almost all ash trees in Europe will be wiped out, just as the elm was largely eliminated by Dutch elm disease".

The emerald ash borer is a beetle which originates from Asia, but it has already devastated ash trees across North America, and now it is encroaching upon Europe. Thomas warns that it is as close as Sweden:

It is only a matter of time before it spreads across the rest of the Europe – including Britain. Our European ash is very susceptible to the beetle and the beetle is set to become the biggest threat faced by ash in Europe – potentially far more serious than ash dieback.

It is quite a big beetle, originally from Asia, and can fly a long way. In the past, insect diseases have spread very quickly.

Drawing on the evidence from Denmark, Thomas believes that the dual threat could eliminate 95% of ash trees across Britain and Europe.


This could, of course, have serious repurcussions for hurling in Ireland. Hurleys are, of course, made of ash, and Ireland is forced to import the vast majority of the wood. A Teagasc report last year stated that Ireland imports 80% of its ash, so even if ash dieback does not reach these shores, the materials needed to manufacture hurleys may be in seriously short supply. The same report is optimistic that ash dieback will not affect Ireland, and believes that Ireland will be self-sufficient in providing ash for hurley manufacture by 2018.

We deeply hope he is right; the 'Clash of the Plastic' does not have the same ring to it.

To take your mind off this terrible possibility, here is another Beatle murdering, among other things, Norwegian Wood:




See Also: The Incredible Story Behind The 1916 All-Ireland Played Behind Barbed Wire In Wales

See Also: Teen Hurler Overcomes Immense Personal Grief To Play Crucial Role In Schools Cup Final Win

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