herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

'We'll chain ourselves to Fairview trees to save 49 from axe'

Edel Leahy, from Marino, with her daughters Jane, 3, Aoife, 8, and Karen, 6, beside a tree next to fairview park where the council want to remove for a new cycle path. Photo: Damien Eagers
Edel Leahy, from Marino, with her daughters Jane, 3, Aoife, 8, and Karen, 6, beside a tree next to fairview park where the council want to remove for a new cycle path. Photo: Damien Eagers
Christy Burke

Three Dublin city councillors are threatening to chain themselves to trees in the north inner-city to save them from the chop.

Mannix Flynn, Christy Burke and Nial Ring, who are Independent representatives, say they will do whatever it takes to prevent 49 trees in Fairview from being cut down by the city council.

Backlash

The move comes as part of the council's preparation for a segregated cycle route in the area. 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, these plans have been met with a backlash from a number of locals and councillors.

In correspondence sent around between councillors, after an email from an angry local, Mr Burke said he would do everything he could to stop the plans going ahead.

"I'll chain myself to the trees in ­September if I have to," Mr Burke said.

Mr Flynn and Mr Ring both backed the stance. "Absolutely, this is completely ridiculous," Mr Flynn said. "I said I would join Christy in occupying the trees, we'll actually strap ­ourselves around the trees.

"Hopefully it won't come to that. This is about where people live and about being informed," he added.

An online petition was set up in recent weeks, which has almost 12,000 signatures - with Mr Ring insisting that the disdain for the idea indicates that the plans will "be dead in the water" but said he will do "whatever it takes to stop it to be honest".

Edel Leahy, who set up the petition, told the Herald that she uses Fairview Park and the area around where the trees are every day with her children. Since looking into the history of the trees, Ms Leahy said a letter had actually been sent to a local school in 1977 from Dublin Corporation, regarding some of the new trees.

The letter asked the children to give the trees a chance to live and grow.

Shocked

"I was really shocked and thought it wasn't true when I heard about the plans," Ms Leahy said.

"These trees and their maturity are just really, really beautiful. The more I researched, the more I realised they are part of our heritage.

"Some of them were planted as far back as 1908," she added.

The city council has cited that the trees are struggling to cope with their surroundings as one of the reasons for axing them.

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