Wednesday 17 July 2019

Green councillor questions timing

A newly elected Green Party councillor has expressed his anger at the recent felling by Fingal County Council of mature trees in Skerries, the timing of which he said he suspects was made to coincide with the recent local elections.

Cllr Joe O'Brien was responding to the decision from the local authority to remove twelve mature trees from Church Street, a decision which was made following concerns over safety issues and a number of legal claims made by pedestrians against the council.

Cllr O'Brien, speaking last week, said: 'There was something very suspicious about the timing of this action by Fingal County Council. After I had learned of the plans on Sunday, I made contact with Fingal County Council on Monday morning, and asked them to postpone the felling and explore remedial work on the footpath and the tree roots that are genuinely causing a problem on the footpath.

'It would appear this fell on deaf ears. On Tuesday morning when I was in the city, I heard the news that the cutters were moving in. I managed to get the mobile number of Fingal County Council's Chief Executive and rang her before 9am. I pleaded with her to suspend the felling and she said she would look into it, but I did not get a call back and the trees were cut down.

'I have had no meetings yet with Fingal County Council since being elected on Sunday, and I suspect that this action was timed to coincide with the election count and the period of time before the new Councillors get introduced to the officials.'

Cllr O'Brien said he will investigate the circumstances surrounding the council's action, will 'insist' on the replanting of trees on Church Street, and will push for a revision of Fingal's Tree Policy.

Fingal Independent