Letterkenny Councillor Jimmy Kavanagh is sowing the seeds for a potential project to manage overgrown trees in local housing estates.
The Fine Gael councillor has this week suggested that Donegal County Council should explore ways to secure funding for tree cutting in residential areas.
Cllr Kavanagh told this week’s meeting of the Letterkenny-Milford MD that trees are one of the most common issues brought to him by the public.
Cllr Kavanagh said some residents in local estates, including Glencar estates Slieve Sneacht Meadowbank, Ashlawn, have raised fears over dangerous overhanging trees. He said the issue is ‘not going to go away’ as more storms arise in winter and summer.
“Something will eventually happen – someone will be killed or a household will be destroyed,” Cllr Kavanagh warned.
The Council said it cuts hedges and trees on land that is under their ownership and responsibility, where it is required for health and safety reasons on work sites and at locations where an immediate hazard has been identified e.g. poor visibility at a junction. These works are programmed taking into account the hedge cutting season and cutting of trees is only considered as a last resort and private landowners have the responsibility to ensure that trees are not a hazard to road users.
In light of the response, Cllr Kavanagh put forward a suggestion for the council to explore LEADER funding options for a programme. He said there may be an opportunity to apply for interterritorial project funding with Mayo County Council, who are experiencing the same issues.
“We can also put an environmental aspect to this,” Cllr Kavanagh said, referencing the objections to the removal of trees in front of Letterkenny community centre. “You could build in that for every tree that had to be removed that was dangerous, you could plant two or three in an area that was safe.”