Tony Brennan, Chairperson of Woodlands Park Residents Association in Rush has decided to chain himself to a tree in the estate. He is taking this drastic action, coinciding with the appearance of local authority workers, to let the County Council know, in no uncertain terms, that local residents will not stand seeing healthy trees being cut down in the estate.
He spoke to the County Leader and explained his reason for taking such action. “We got a notice through our doors some time ago from the County Council telling us that they were going to cut down 11 healthy trees in the estate because they were five metres from a street light.”
“I decided to chain myself to one of the trees as a protest and I will continue as long as necessary. This is a policy of the Council, voted in by councillors, so we put our own notice on each of the doomed trees, saying ‘Save Our Trees’. The children even put little hearts, pleading for the trees to be saved.”
Ironically this is National Tree Week and we asked them to prune the trees, but the Council refused, saying it was too expensive. We then offered to prune them ourselves, but this fell on deaf ears,” said Tony.
The Council maintained that the trees were blocking out the light, but the lights here are new and are a metre lower than the old ones. If they decide to follow through on their policy of cutting down every tree within five metres of a light, then I reckon they will have to cut down about 50 per cent of all trees,” he said.
One of the condemned trees is right outside the home of Elaine O’Neill and her children, Emma and Craig. Elaine said, “When we moved here 22 years ago, this tree was just a sapling with netting around it for protection. There was always a bird’s nest in the tree and the children put a bird feeder there. It gave us great joy as a family and now it is to be cut down. It’s a disgrace,” she said.