Preserving Trees in Limerick

Gluaiseacht Member Joins Forces With Neighbors To Protect Ancient Trees

Gluaiseacht member Mark O’Connor took on the mantra of environmental activists everywhere “think globally act locally” when he got together with local residents in campaigning to protect three massive rare urban trees. These trees, comprising a pair of Monterey Cypress and a unique giant redwood, had become famous over many generations in their locality. When local people learnt of the felling of some of the younger trees they gathered together to confront the developers of the site. The felling of these trees was found to be directly in breach of the conditions of this developments planning permission. Following pressure from the local residents and subsequent mediation with the developer and the council, a commitment have been given by the developer that all felling will cease until this matter is resolved with the council.

There have been meetings and communication with a variety of parties including:
- Willie O’Dea, Minister for Defence
- John Gormley, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
- Mary Coughlan, Minister for Agriculture
- Limerick City Council planning office and environmental section
- Highfield and North Circular Road Residents
- Casey’s Tree surgeons of Mallow, carers for similar specimens at UL
- Brother Anthony Keane, carer of the woods at Glenstal Abbey.

The current position is that in any new submission for planning permission that the big three detailed in this story are to be retained. The matter is still outstanding. That these trees were ever considered for felling says something about the current planning process. They are a nationally important natural heritage.

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