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Council begins felling ahead of Tree Week

DUBLIN council chiefs have been slammed for setting a bad example by chopping down trees ahead of National Tree Week.

Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council authorised the felling programme at Moran Park in the town as part of plans for a new €35m central library.

However, the move has left local people "very distressed", with trees up to 150 years old among those removed.

"I was shocked, appalled and aghast. I could not believe these trees were felled. It was a very provocative move," Independent councillor Victor Boyhan told the Herald.

He added that it was undertaken "quickly", before there could be "any reaction".

Mr Boyhan said: "They'll argue they're getting ready for the library but we may decide we are not going ahead with the building. I'm somewhat annoyed that they pre-empted that decision." Local people have expressed their anger to him about the council move, he added.

The councillor, a horticulturist by profession, said mature sycamore and beech trees were among those felled.

"It was a really nice park with a lot of trees. It's now being pulled apart. I'm appalled by it," he added.

Mairead Mehigan, chair of the Dun Laoghaire Association of An Taisce, said residents were "very annoyed".

"I had dozens of people on the phone to me. They were very distressed. No one seems to know who gave permission," Ms Mehigan told the Herald.

Dun Laoghaire council did not provide a response to the Herald.

The council authorised the felling despite its support for National Tree Week.

Running from March 4 to 10, the event is an annual festival aimed at prompting people to plant more trees.