‘Next thing they’ll be asking to leave the middle of the road free for nests’ - Danny Healy Rae pushes for roadside ditches to be cut year-round
Roadside ditches should be cut all year round, according to Kerry TD Danny Healy Rae.
Speaking at a meeting on the Heritage Bill this week, Mr Healy Rae supported the Bill’s plan to allow for hedge cutting from August 1 each year rather than September 1, and added that roadside hedges should be cut all year-round for the safety of road users in rural Ireland.
“Roadside hedges should be cut all year round, full stop, for the safety of the road users. Birds are not so pushed to be building their nests on the roadsides where lorries will blow their feathers off of them to smithereens.
“It’s not fair. The next thing is, are people going to ask to leave the middle of the road for nests or for some insect or some other thing? All we’re asking for is fair play for people who are using our public roads. I make no apologies to anyone here asking for the hedges on roads to be cut all the year round.
“We’ll support you with the birds and the bees and everything else but you must be reminded that ground nesting birds are being affected by grey crows, by magpies, by mink, by badgers, by pine martens and there’s no talk in the world about doing anything for them.
"Who’s taking the pheasants eggs’? They’re being killed by other vermin and there’s nothing being asked or done about that,” he said.
At present, hedge cutting is prohibited from March 1-August 31, while the Heritage Bill is proposing that there should be more flexibility when it comes to the time-frame allowed for cutting hedges.
Alex Copland of BirdWatch Ireland told the meeting that August hedge cutting will decimate an already declining bird population.