Saturday 24 June 2017

Council rejects proposal to plant trees over 'possible litigation' due to falling fruit

Stock photo
Stock photo
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Kerry County Council says the planting of fruit trees in the county could result in “possible litigation” due to fruit falling on roads and footpaths.

Cllr Toireasa Ferris (SF) brought a motion forward to plant more fruit bearing trees in Kerry villages and towns, but says she was shocked by the response of the Council.

“I presumed the response would be yes, we’ll take this into consideration, but in their verbal response they were talking about potential litigation because of apples falling onto roads,” Cllr Ferris told Independent.ie.

“One councillor even intervened and said that apple trees had to be cut down in an area of Tralee because people kept throwing apples at each other.

Cllr Toireasa Ferris (SF)
Cllr Toireasa Ferris (SF)

“To consider people suing on the basis that an apple fell on a footpath and someone tripped over it, well, it just shows how society is gone”.

Ms Ferris stated that she thinks the Council may have adopted a cautious approach due to the high amount paid out in compensation claims.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act to the Irish Examiner revealed that over €780,000 was paid out in public liability claims against Kerry County Council in an 18-month period, up until June last year.

In the Council’s written response, it said: “A fruit and nut orchard was planted last year in the town park and further fruit bearing trees will be considered for planting in Tralee Town Park; however, fruit trees are not considered suitable for planting along roadsides or along estate roads as fallen fruit can be hazardous and require increased maintenance.”

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