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Families' fury as tree just misses children

A GROUP of children narrowly escaped injury in a Dublin estate when a horse chestnut tree fell in the play area of their local park.

The massive tree hit the ground just as local children left Mask Green in Artane at around 8.30pm.

Locals were relieved that no one was hurt but were angry that the tree had not been removed before then.

"The tree was rotten at the base and kids had lit fires there before so it was weak," said a local father who ran outside with his son when he heard the noise. "It was reported to the council about two years ago by the local residents committee."

Mum-of-three Lynda Collins was killed on February 3 when a branch of a tree broke in high winds and pinned her to the ground while she was crossing Waterloo Road in Dublin 4.

Less than a month later on Gardiner Street a tree fell down across the two lanes of roadway. No one was injured.

This latest incident, which occurred on a calm Tuesday evening, may not be the last. "Another tree across the green is a disaster waiting to happen," said a concerned resident. "Hopefully this warning will have caught the council's attention."

The Parks Department in Dublin City Council denied responsibility. "The portions of the tree examined in visual inspection did not indicate any problems or weaknesses," said a council spokesperson.