herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

'People power will win' - residents fighting for historic trees

General view of trees and cycle lane alongside Fairview Park, Fairview, Dublin
General view of trees and cycle lane alongside Fairview Park, Fairview, Dublin

North Dublin locals are at loggerheads with Dublin City Council (DCC) over plans to fell 62 trees to facilitate a new cycle path.

More than 2,300 people have signed a petition against the council's intention to cut down the 100-year-old trees along the path outside Fairview Park.

Earlier this year, DCC said any trees removed would be replaced by new trees.

Its proposed 2.5km cycle route would run from Clontarf to Amiens Street and provide a connection for cyclists from Sutton to the city centre.

However, local residents and public representatives are now battling to save the trees because of their historical significance.

Independent Councillor Nial Rin, who is co-ordinating the campaign, said he is determined to prevent the council from removing the trees
Independent Councillor Nial Rin, who is co-ordinating the campaign, said he is determined to prevent the council from removing the trees

Fairview resident Edel Leahy, who set up the petition, told the Herald that the campaigners won't back down.

"I use Fairview Park with my children all the time and the trees are such a nice feature," she said.

"When I first found out about DCC's intentions I immediately contacted my local councillors and highlighted the issue on Facebook.

"I was amazed and very grateful that so many of my neighbours signed the petition and were willing to show their support.

"These are very beautiful trees and have been alive longer than any one of us.

"We're certainly not going to let them get cut down without putting up a fight," she said.

The first six trees in Fairview date back to 1908 and were planted by the Irish Forestry Society.

They were named after the six city boroughs of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Derry, Belfast and Waterford.

Independent Councillor Nial Rin, who is co-ordinating the campaign, said he is determined to prevent the council from removing the trees.

"The fact that there is already a cycle path going through the park further adds to the questioning of DCC's rationale to proposing the removal of these trees. Everyone is in favour of more cycle paths, but not at this price," he said.

Cllr Ring added that he is sure "people power" will result in the 62 trees being saved.

In response, DCC said these trees are struggling to cope with their surroundings.

Restricted

"The trees growing closest to the carriageway are restricted in terms of space. These trees are mostly situated extremely close to the edge of the pavement and many are struggling to cope with competition for light," said a spokesperson.

"It is this row of struggling trees that is proposed to be replaced."

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