Cut down all road­side trees to save lives

New Ross Standard - - NEWS -

CLLR LARRY O’BRIEN called for all road side trees in the New Ross dis­trict to be cut in the wake of four deaths na­tion­wide dur­ing Storm Ophe­lia.

The mat­ter arose dur­ing a dis­cus­sion about over­grown hedges on nar­row coun­try roads around the dis­trict. Cathaoir­leach Cllr Wil­lie Fitzhar­ris asked if the coun­cil’s ground team can act as ob­servers.

Cllr O’Brien said four peo­ple died dur­ing the storm who shouldn’t have died be­cause of trees.

‘ Trees should be cut. You might say they are gor­geous but trees are killers. They should be well back in (from the road). There should be no mas­sive trees on any road. Along a mo­tor­way you won’t see any trees. What’s more im­por­tant to see a tree grow­ing at the side of a road, or to save some­one’s life.’

Cllr John Flem­ing said the prob­lem is so bad that the coun­cil should start stick­ing yel­low no­tices on trees to be cut down. Ex­ec­u­tive En­gi­neer Abra­ham Dunne said the coun­cil has been proac­tive in no­ti­fy­ing farm­ers in­form­ing them that they need to cut their hedges. ‘16 land own­ers have cut their hedges. We brought in a tree sur­geon for Cherry’s Road. It’s hard for our staff to say which tree is danger­ous bar­ring there is a hang­ing branch.’

‘I put my arms un­der a tree it was so wide just af­ter the storm,’ Cllr O’Brien said.

‘ Tree hug­ger!’ de­clared Cllr John Flem­ing.

‘We have spent 20 minutes on dead wood,’ Cllr Michael Shee­han said.

Cllr Michael Whe­lan said a certin time of year should be ded­i­cated to hedge cut­ting.

Cllr Larry O’Brien.

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