Warning from TD: Ash Trees Threaten Public Safety Near Roads

"TD warns of dangerous dead ash trees along roadsides posing serious risk"

The rural landscape in Ireland is becoming increasingly dotted with the stark silhouettes of dead ash trees, many of which line our roadways, creating a potential hazard, according to Fine Gael TD David Stanton. Addressing the Dáil, Stanton expressed grave concerns over the dangers posed by these lifeless trees, emphasizing the risk they pose to motorists and pedestrians alike. “If a tree were to collapse onto a road, particularly at night, the consequences could be catastrophic,” Stanton warned. He drew attention to the alarming sight of fallen trees and the havoc they can wreak, urging for urgent action to address this growing issue.

Stanton called upon Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, Martin Heydon, to intervene by directing local authorities to conduct thorough surveys. He stressed the importance of identifying dead trees that are at high risk of toppling during storms and ensuring their prompt removal by notifying landowners. Minister Heydon, in response, underscored the primary responsibility of landowners to safeguard trees, hedges, and vegetation on their property from posing a threat to public safety. He outlined the obligation of landowners to take proactive measures to prevent trees in roadside verges from becoming hazards, potentially causing accidents or obstructing roads.

Heydon acknowledged the challenges faced by farmers and landowners, particularly in light of the prevalence of ash dieback, in addressing the removal of dead or dying trees. He emphasized the importance of landowners recognizing their duty to ensure the safety of trees bordering public roads, advocating for both visual and physical inspections to assess their condition. The minister highlighted the collaborative effort required between local authorities and landowners to mitigate the risks posed by decaying trees along roadways.

However, Deputy Stanton raised concerns about the financial burden that farmers may incur in addressing this issue, noting the potential dangers associated with felling dead and decaying trees. He emphasized the need for caution in removing these hazardous trees, underscoring the importance of prioritizing public safety. Stanton called for a proactive approach to eliminate the looming threat posed by dead ash trees, urging for swift and decisive action to prevent potential accidents.

The issue of dead trees along roadways presents a pressing concern that demands immediate attention and concerted efforts from both authorities and landowners. As the debate continues in the Dáil, the safety of motorists and pedestrians remains paramount, with calls for proactive measures to address the risks posed by these silent sentinels of decay. The looming specter of fallen trees serves as a stark reminder of the need for vigilance and collaboration in safeguarding our rural landscapes and ensuring the well-being of all who traverse our roads.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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