The current controversy over tree felling proposed by Fingal Co Co in Sherries and in a number of Co Tipperary towns earlier this year has highlighted Ireland’s poor urban tree protection.

Urban, village and neighbourhood trees are of multiple importance in the visual and environmental amenity of the locations in which they are situated, as habitats and refuges for bird life, and in mitigating traffic pollution and noise. There are many locations like the Malls in Birr and Westport and the 19th Century inner suburbs of Dublin where formal lines of tress are of major heritage significance as part of historic planning layouts.

Local Authority fear of insurance liability through Irelands “compensation culture” is now leading to undesirable tree felling. Liability claims for injury settlements in Ireland are multiple of that in the UK. In January this year Insurance Ireland, the representative group for the Insurance industry highlighted the high level of claims, settlements and awards in Ireland and the overdue need for reform [1].

The role of the Irish legal and medical profession in vetting insurance claims, and the legal costs to public bodies as well as property owners, and level of awards is widely criticised.

It is submitted that he current piecemeal and uncoordinated approach by Local Authorities on urban tree protection requires Ministerial intervention, because of the nationwide environmental and heritage impacts arising.

As an immediate action initiative is required to apply a nationally consistent policy to prevent the continued unnecessary removal of urban and village trees. An Taisce has requested a joint intervention by Minister for Minister for Housing Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy and Minister for Culture Heritage and Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan. [2] [3]


For further information, contact:
Ian Lumley, Advocacy Officer, An Taisce: +353 1 454 1786
Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce. Tel: +353 87 241 1995
email: [email protected]
An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland


  2. Letter to Minister for Minister for Housing Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy
  3. Letter to Minister for Culture Heritage and Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan