Storm Ophelia puts Longford landowners in the spotlight

Aisling Kiernan

Reporter:

Aisling Kiernan

Email:

aisling.kiernan@longfordleader.ie

Cathaoirleach, Cllr PJ Reilly

Cllr PJ Reilly

The matter of responsibility with regards to dangerous or fallen trees was discussed in detail during a recent meeting of Granard Municipal District.

Members said the problem in the county became more obvious following the devastation left in the wake of Storm Ophelia back in October.


Cllr Paraic Brady (FG) said that after Storm Ophelia passed a number of trees had fallen in the area and it was time that a plan of action in respect of these matters was put in place.


“I want to make landowners aware that if a tree falls or becomes dangerous on their property, then they are responsible,” he added.
“Landowners need to take responsibility for any damage or harm caused by a tree.”


Cllr Brady went on to say that he wanted trees that were dangerous in his municipal district to be taken down.


Meanwhile, Cllr John Duffy (FG) pointed to the fact that it was miraculous that there hadn’t been deaths in the county during the storm considering the number of trees that fell.


“Having said that,” he added, “it is important that landowners know that they are responsible for trees on their land.”


He continued, “I know in Longford that we have certainly planted more than our fair share of trees, but at the end of the day, this is all about safety and it should be the responsibility of the landowner.”


Cathaoirleach, Cllr PJ Reilly  (FF) said that while he agreed with everyone’s sentiments in respect of the matter there was a number of ways in which to deal with the situation.


“I think there should be a survey done with regards to decayed trees, those that are covered in ivy and those that are in a dangerous position,” he continued.


“If a survey was carried out, the local authority would be in a position to inform the landowner and they in turn could deal with the matter appropriately.”


A Council official then said that while the local authority had little to offer in terms of removing dangerous trees, it would certainly assist landowners who brought matters to their attention.


“Well, the last thing we want is for trees to be removed by farmers who go out and cut them down with a chainsaw,” concluded Cllr Reilly.

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