ONE of the tallest trees in Ireland has become the latest casualty of Storm Darwin.
The Grey Poplar Tree was almost 140ft tall and stood proudly on the grounds of Birr Castle Demesne in Co Offaly until Wednesday, when it was sent crashing to the ground by the gale force winds that swept the country.
Champion tree hunter Aubrey Fennell believes the 42-metre tree was the tallest of its kind in Ireland and Britain
"It was about 6.3m in girth. We have a lot of trees in that girth, but this one was like a chimney stack. You had to see it to believe it, and spend time with it," Mr Fennell said.
He compared the shape of the 200-year-old tree to "a wine glass" and said that it had a "huge, huge crown".
"Just like the film 'Avatar', where the great 'home tree' got toppled, it is like the Irish equivalent."
In a cruel twist, the impressive tree had been recently announced as a contender for the European Tree of the Year.
Mr Fennell said "even though it is gone, we need to remember it".