Issue of dangerous trees raised by councillors

In the wake of the loss of life associated with Storm Ophelia, the issue of trees along public roads and in public spaces has become a topic of concern.

At Monday’s meeting of the Athlone Municipal District, Councillors Tom Farrell (FG ) and Paul Hogan (SF ) both raised the issue of dangerous trees in the locality.

Cllr Farrell called on the council to make safe trees in Ballymore which were damaged by the recent storms and have now become entangled in ESB lines.

Cllr Hogan asked the council to make safe trees between Ashley Crescent and Sarsfield Square.

“The last storm we had saw three more families lose people as a result of falling trees. I want to increase awareness to prevent this from happening again,” Cllr Farrell said.

Cllr Farrell is calling on the Department of Transport to introduce a dedicated week each year to ensure that trees around the country are in a safe condition.

Cllr John Dolan (FG ) supported his party colleague’s call. He said many people are unaware that the owner of the land a tree sits on is responsible for its condition. He said this needs to be made clear in order to encourage land owners to be more vigilant regarding the state of trees on their property.

Cllr Paul Hogan said two trees fell prior to the recent storms between Ashley Crescent and Sarsfield Square, and another two when the storms hit. He said it is imperative that the owners of trees at risk are contacted and told they need to be knocked without any delay.Director of services, Barry Kehoe said the situation at Ashley Crescent and Sarsfield Square will be examined as soon as possible.

In response to Cllr Farrell, he said a letter can be sent to the Department regarding the introduction of an annual week for ensuring the safety of trees in the country.

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