The Explainer x Noteworthy: How much weedkiller are councils using?

Reporter Anthea Lacchia and campaigner James Walsh tell Susan Daly about how almost all councils are still using pesticides.

By Laura Byrne Assistant News Editor

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“AFTER THE BIRTH of my own son, I could not stand looking at the sprayed kerbs and grass areas… I was having nightmares about it.”

Campaigner James Walsh is one of many parents concerned about the use of pesticides in public areas such as parks, playgrounds and road verges. 

Over the past few months at our investigative platform Noteworthy, we have examined pesticide use by public authorities and found that almost all councils are still applying chemical weedkillers.

Plant protection products (PPPs) – all collectively referred to as pesticides – include herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and biological controls.

A pesticide linked to cancer – glyphosate – continues to be the “backbone of weed control” for many councils across Ireland, with 19 confirmed as using products containing this controversial chemical in 2022. 

As part of the IN THE WEEDS series, reporter Anthea Lacchia also reveals that millions is being spent and thousands of litres of pesticide is being used on Irish forests and roads. 

This week, as a bonus episode of The Explainer brought to you by Noteworthy, Susan Daly chats with Lacchia about the investigation’s findings and hears from campaigner James Walsh about what actions could be done to reduce pesticide use.


This episode was put together by Susan Daly, Maria Delaney and producer Laura Byrne.

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