A former Mayor of Galway city has called for a “full inspection of all mature trees located in public areas” to ensure they pose “no threat to people’s safety”, following the recent Storm Ali, which resulted in several trees around the city being uprooted or damaged.
Galway City East Independent councillor, Declan McDonnell, warns it is “only the start of the storm season” and that other future storms could also result in the same kind of damage. As a result he is calling for the Galway City Council to undertake a complete audit of the trees to assess if they “pose any threat to people’s safety in the event of more storms”.
Cllr McDonnell says anyone with a tree in the street in front of their house is “probably a little nervous”, especially as even a falling branch could have consequences. “In my own area you have big, tall trees growing in places like Old Mervue, New Mervue, Castle Park, along the Monivea Road and in the grounds of Mervue United,” he said. “You have the same all over the city, especially in the longer established areas where the trees have dozens of years’ growth.”
The long serving councillor says he has been contacted by several people with real fears about the safety of trees in front of their houses. “If we are serious about protecting people,” he says, “we must carry out a serious, urgent examination to establish if action needs to be taken to make some of these trees safe.”
Cllr McDonnell also paid tribute to the work carried out by Galway City Council employees, as well as the emergency services, to clear fallen trees and branches in difficult conditions last week.