Deputy Mayor slams ‘tree huggers’

by Gazette Reporter
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A FINE GAEL councillor has called for an unrgent review of the council’s tree management policy after a fallen branch damaged a car in Rathfarnham.

Cllr David McManus, who is deputy mayor of South Dublin County Council (SDCC), said the risks posed by “enormous and dangerous” trees needs to be addressed.

He said a vehicle parked on a public road near trees that are “twice the height of nearby family homes” crashed onto a car smashing the rear window.

He told Dublin Gazette: “In this instance, I am relieved that no one was seriously injured or even killed by this enormous, dangerous tree.

“The areas of Rathfarnham and Templeogue have massive trees that are unsuitable to the area. Residents are contacting me every week as these trees grow to exceptional heights and have deep roots that can create trip hazards on public footpaths and disrupt underground utilities.’”

Cllr McManus added: “I believe council policy is too rigid and needs to be more flexible to ensure dangerous trees are addressed.

“I feel the council are pandering to tree huggers that are only a vocal minority and will always complain any time a tree is pruned or removed for being diseased or dead.”

A review of claims against SDCC since 2015 showed €21,500 in costs for eight cases where property damage was claimed and where a tree was mentioned in the circumstances.

These figures do not include accidents involving trees which have occurred in storm conditions.

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