Tipperary Council defends decision to cut down nine trees in Fethard

Protesters claim it’s an ‘over-rigorous policy’ because of insurance concerns

Tipperary County Council has defended its actions in cutting down nine mature broad-leafed trees in the town of Fethard.

The council was strongly criticised by local residents for felling the healthy trees without notice recently. It prompted a protest rally in the town attended by some 200 locals.

The protesters claimed it was implementing “an over-rigorous policy” because of insurance concerns – and such practices were evident in other parts of the county.

The local authority is currently engaged in a footpath renewal programme in Fethard. A council spokesman said, “The purpose of this investment is to remove trip hazards and ensure that footpaths are safe to use. A total of €30,000 is being invested on this project on various streets in Fethard.”


The council released two photographs showing the current condition of some footpaths on Burke Street. “The condition of these footpaths has caused accidents, one of which resulted in serious injuries,” it added.

As part of the renewal works, it was necessary to remove a total of five trees on Burke Street and four trees on Main Street. “This is necessary because the species of trees and the growth of their roots has continued to damage the footpaths despite previous repair works undertaken,” the spokesman said.

The trees that had been removed would be replaced by younger trees selected for an urban setting and planted in a manner and location to prevent a recurrence of the problem.

“The County Council does not carry out formal consultation on projects of this scale, as it is essentially a series of small footpath maintenance works at various locations in the town. Informal contact has taken place with some of the residents,” the spokesman said.

The council plans to undertake further significant investment in roads and footpaths in Fethard in 2019, similar to previous successful completion of road surfacing and footpaths. “In addition, a new public park at Burke Street is under construction which when completed will open up further views of the historic town walls,” he added.

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan is Environment and Science Editor and former editor of The Irish Times