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Sunday 4 December 2016

New hedge laws a 'no-brainer' - Ó Cuív

Published 29/11/2016 | 14:00

Éamon Ó Cuív. Photo: Frank McGrath
Éamon Ó Cuív. Photo: Frank McGrath

Allowing farmers to cut hedges in August is a "no-brainer", Fianna Fáil deputy Éamon Ó Cuív has said.

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Speaking to the Farming Independent, the FF spokesperson for arts, heritage and regional and rural affairs said the proposed changes "certainly go far enough".

"Obviously it's a no-brainer to allow people to cut hedges in August where there is any danger to human life on road sides. That's a given.

"But we'd also be suggesting that there should be pre legislation so the committees can hear the various views," he said.

The Galway West TD said he would be willing to listen to why the Farm Contractors of Ireland association want all roadside hedges to be maintained throughout the year.

As for whether the proposed changes will be in place for this coming spring, Mr Ó Cuív said he is "totally opposed to rushing legislation".

"I can't see that it will be in for this spring. We have to listen to all the arguments and it's only appropriate that the Oireachtas committee will have time to examine and make comment," he said.

RSA

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Despite all the reasoning that hedge-cutting should be allowed in August on a pilot basis to facilitate better land management and road safety, the Road Safety Authority has not yet reviewed the proposed changes.

"The Road Safety Authority is unable to comment until we have reviewed the proposed changes," a spokesperson for the RSA said. However, the state agency welcomes any initiative that makes the country's roads safer.

"We would recommend that if a roadside hedge is causing an obstruction to any road user then it is important that it is maintained"

"The Minister for Transport, has written to city and county managers asking them to ensure that landowners and occupiers deal with any dangerous vegetation that may present a danger to road users," she said.

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