Outspoken Fianna Fáil Cllr Michael J Crowe has come out fighting in support of his view that some trees are causing difficulties for residents in the city and defended himself against charges that he is the reincarnation of Oliver Cromwell or an idiot.
A recent story in the Galway Advertiser headlined ‘I’m sick of trees says Crowe’, carried Cllr Crowe’s call for the Galway City Council “to clear away all the trees that surround Galway Hibernians’ pitch in Bohermore”. In the same article Cllr Crowe said: “I am sick of trees all over this city causing annoyance at one level or another for residents.”
“And I am,” the Bohermore based councillor said in a statement to the Galway Advertiser this week. “I speak of trees right outside people’s homes, which residents feel are too big, too tall or too wild. They, like I, don’t want them felled but simply tidied up. It is an ongoing battle with Galway City Council to even get a small job like this done.”
However Cllr Crowe’s views led to a ream of letters from the public condemning his stance and labelling him a “redneck”, an “idiot”, and comparing him to the notorious Oliver Cromwell.
“I have my differences with many political opponents and disagree with people on various issues from time to time,” said Cllr Crowe. “A word for those same letterwriters last week, next time make your point but leave personal insults out of it. Just because you disagree with someone does not necessitate you resorting to name calling such as “Redneck, Idiot and Cromwell”. The sad thing is in this case you simply did not understand the gravity of the problem.”
Cllr Crowe said the best way to describe the problem is as follows:
“Imagine close to your house there is a small forest of trees. They have only been there for about four years. When they were first planted they looked lovely, nice and small and actually added to the amenity value of the area.
“As the years past the situation changed. The tress grew wild and almost out of control. People used the cover of the tress to dump in. This dumping included old washing machines, broken bottles and tin cans, black bags containing food and soiled nappies.
“The council cleaned it up and took away all of these. A few months later it happened again and this time it also attracted a large number of rats. The council came again and cleaned it up. It happened again and again the council cleaned it and again it happened.
“Now imagine all the while your four-year-old is playing ball a few feet from this with his friends. Your mam has to walk by this daily on the way down to the shop. You are worried the rats might get in to your home. It’s gone on so long, what needs to happen, is these trees need to go or else it could have serious health implications for yourself.”
Many letters of support for Cllr Crowe from Bohermore clubs and societies were sent to this newspaper this week for publication on the letters page, but they arrived too late for inclusion.