Felling of 300-year-old trees halted in dispute between neighbours
A judge has continued orders restraining further felling of trees on lands in Co Offaly amid allegations up to 300 trees in a heritage woodland where trees - some up to 300 years old - have been felled.
Gerard Doorly, Claremount House, Banagher, has taken proceedings against Ciara and Padraig Corrigan, purchasers in trust of lands adjoining his home.
They contend his case is without foundation and only trees deemed to be dangerous were felled.
Mr Doorly disputes their claims dangerous trees were felled in accordance with a notice from Offaly County Council and contends the tree felling began 33 days before that notice issued last April.
In sworn statements, he says the affected lands include a woodland of similar style, age and layout to Dublin's Phoenix Park. A draft report prepared for him by an arborist had said the damage to the lands includes the felling of some 16,089 square metres of oak, beech, ash, sycamore and hawthorn trees, some of which were between 220-300 years old, he said.
He says 55 oak trees, 66 beech trees, 139 ash trees, 23 hawthorn and 28 sycamore trees have been removed and 3.3 acres of forest floor was also "bulldozed to brown earth", removing some 220 years of flora and fauna and destroying a natural habitat for birds and indigenous wildlife.
The amenity loss has been estimated as some €140,000 while the value of the felled timber has not been estimated, he says.
He also says the surrounding area of Claremount Demesne has four areas designated as special areas of conservation, special protection areas and national heritage areas.