4 April 2019
By Elaine Murphy
The Cork-based Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has raised the issue of tree felling in the European Union.
The Ireland South MEP was speaking following concerns brought to her by multiple constituents about a spate of tree felling in municipal parks, housing estates and other public areas across the country.
“Over the past number of weeks I have had numerous complaints from constituents right across Munster and South Leinster about tree felling happening in their areas,” she said.
“This has caused great upset among some people, especially as it has happened without warning or explanation.
“There may well be perfectly reasonable explanations for this but surely it is incumbent on local authorities to alert the public when works as contentious as this are required.
“Trees play a huge role in our environment and communities as carbon sinks, natural amenities and habitats for fauna, so it is only natural that people would want to know why they are being removed and are there plans for any more to be removed.
“It’s also crucial that local authorities, when removing these trees for whatever reason, have a plan in place for replanting similar or greater amounts. I have no doubt public concerns could be greatly eased if these plans were made available to people as well.
“To that end today I specifically asked the European Commission if it holds the view that felled trees should be replaced as a matter of course and does it agree that local authorities in Ireland should develop and implement a policy on trees based on the principles of sustainability?
“A lot of unease and upset could be greatly reduced with just a little more transparency and accountability from our local authorities.”