Property developer destroys ancient beech trees in Drogheda.
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September 21, 2008 at 2:02 pm #710169sparky16Participant
Re. The destruction of ancient beech trees at St. Mary’s Villas, Drogheda by Eugene O’Connor of Keal-Ryan Properties
I’m absolutely gutted about those trees. They were absolutely magnificent, a glory of the town. It sickens me that somebody could destroy something so beautiful just to make a quick buck.
Some questions people might like the answers to:
Why did Drogheda Borough Council not put a Tree Preservation Order on the trees, instead of just planning objective status (a pious wish, and no more, it seems)?
Eugene O’Connor says he has a tree surgeon’s report? Can he produce it? Who wrote it?
Ditto his alleged advice from his insurance company? Who are they? How do they feel being associated with this scandalous act of barbarism?
What tree-felling company carried out the destruction?
If a reputable tree-felling company did this job, why didn’t they think it was suspicious that they were asked to work in the very early morning? Also, did they see a tree surgeon’s report?
Do people know that he was refused planning permission for the site last year, and that the trees were one of the reasons why. http://www.pleanala.ie/casenum/221329.htm (Check out the attached reports etc – the mature trees are mentioned a lot)
Will the company who put in his planning application that was refused, “GVA Planning” of Seagrave House, 19-20 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2 want to put in a new planning application for the site, and be associated with such a rotten act of greedy vandalism? Would any architect, for that matter?
How will Drogheda Borough Council treat any new planning application he or anyone else puts in for this site?
Do people know that he threatened to dig up a historic square in Dublin (Belgrave Square), that he bought on the sly, unless they bought him out at a healthy profit? http://issuu.com/niallsmart/docs/test/34 and http://www.dun-laoghaire.com/news/archive/newsold2.html.
September 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm #803532AnonymousInactive
Welcome to Ireland.
September 21, 2008 at 6:42 pm #803533AnonymousInactive
Irish born and bred, me.
Somehow expected better. Thought those dark days were receding into the past.
I can imagine emigrating some day – not for economic necessity, but sheer disgust.
September 21, 2008 at 10:45 pm #803534AnonymousInactive
Personally, I think the planning authority and ABP should continue to act as though the trees were there and continue to refuse their felling because of their virtual townscape presence. Alternatively, they should tell this developer he is untrustworthy and they cannot believe a word that comes out of his mouth. The people of Drogheda should demand that he publishes all of his ‘advice’; it’s a bit like the ‘dangerous building’ or the ‘insurance fire’: a cynical scam pure and simple.
September 22, 2008 at 10:53 am #803535AnonymousInactive
Drogheda Borough Council are meeting tonight, and may discuss it. Not sure if there’s anything they can do. We’ll see.
Looking at it, it seems to me that there are four ‘parties’:
1) The people who care, and want to do something about it. (The good guys)
2) The people who don’t care enough, and feel they can’t do anything about it anyway. (The indifferent / defeated)
3) The people who publically condemn such acts, but block any attempt to do anything about them. They cry crocodile tears, and then: “It’s time to let bygones be bygones, and move on…” etc. (The cynics)
4) The people who are actively hostile. “It’s private property. The man has a right to do what he likes with it…” (The opposition)
To me; party (2) have no place in politics, although they represent a large constituency; party (4) at least have the virtue of being open.
Party (3) are the real cancer in Irish politics.
September 22, 2008 at 2:06 pm #803536AnonymousInactive
Having noticed the missing trees from the train sation myself you’d have to ask the question why the trees were cut down at 6:30am on a Saturday morning – the Archer’s Garage of trees methinks
Hes cut down trees on the site before and stuck up a big ‘Come on Drogheda United’ sign on the site which he keeps trying to redevelop – he should be fined to fuck – Drogheda deserves better than shysters like this, following on from the illegal destruction of the original grammar school in the 80s.
Will the council do anything? Will they fuck
September 22, 2008 at 8:45 pm #803537AnonymousInactive
September 23, 2008 at 2:21 pm #803538AnonymousInactive
Try this – (bad image, sadly)
Gives an idea of the sap in the treeline – and the size of the trees felled.
September 23, 2008 at 4:25 pm #803539AnonymousInactive
Gap in the treeline – can’t type – apologies.
BTW – it seems that trees may indeed be listed in a local development plan for retention / preservation, but without a specific Tree Preservation Order the listing’s virtually useless. To get a Tree Preservation Order the council need to do a survey, I believe.
This seems to be a HUGE loophole.
Here’s the thing; can’t bring the trees back; the council may not be able to prosecute Eugene O’Connor or Keal-Ryan for this (‘they’re looking into it’), but, emails and phonecalls to elected public representatives can have an effect. It may be small to negligable, but anything’s better than doing nothing.
I’m going to email the Minister of the Environment, and Green Party leader, and highlight the lousy protection trees have (vis a vis Northern Ireland, for example). Not expecting miracles, but for minimal outlay of effort it’s worth a try.
September 23, 2008 at 4:34 pm #803540AnonymousInactive
I think the litmus test is St Stephens green…
( I can here the chainsaws now ) 😀
September 24, 2008 at 11:49 am #803541AnonymousInactive
Wouldn’t be a suprised if there was a mysterious fire here as well
September 24, 2008 at 2:02 pm #803542AnonymousInactive
A ‘mysterious fire’ would be par for the course for this guy, judging by his actions.
Article in Drogheda Independent today:
Question: If the trees were designated for protection under development plans dating back to 1999 at least – WHY WAS NO TREE PROTECTION ORDER IMPLEMENTED?
Shouldn’t be necessary, of course. I reckon there should be an automatic assumption that a mature tree can’t be cut down UNLESS expressly permitted.
September 25, 2008 at 10:15 am #803543AnonymousInactive
Probably the same reason the Dartmouth Square wasn’t bought by Dublin corpo – incompetence. Will heads roll in Drogheda Council? No, typical bureaucratic incompetence that something that could have been done with filling in a sheet of paper wasn’t done for almost 10 years. I think I shall now fire off a missive to Tommy Byrne – Dublin Road councillor
September 25, 2008 at 12:05 pm #803544AnonymousInactive
More from the Times
Council seeks legal advice on felled trees
DROGHEDA BOROUGH Council has sought legal advice on whether the felling of 17 beech trees by a property developer was unauthorised.
The council has confirmed none of the trees or woodlands designated for protection in the town development plan, which include the felled trees, have received that status.
The 300-year-old trees on Cromwell’s Lane were felled in the early hours of Saturday, September 13th. The landowner, Eugene O’Connor of Keal-Ryan Properties, had written to the council on the previous day saying he had been advised to remove them because of decay and on safety and insurance grounds.
Mr O’Connor has said he had legal advice that he “had a duty of care to have the trees removed as soon as possible, and if any trees fell on to the public road, I would be liable for any damage or loss of life or limb that would result.”
However, the council this week inspected the trees and found that of the 17, “four were dead, dying or dangerous. The remaining 13 trees which were cut down were deemed to be in good condition”.
A letter from the landowner stated a tree survey carried out for the company recommended “the trees be removed as they had reached maturity, some had started to split and evidence of decay was present on a number of trees”.
The town clerk, Des Foley, said that none of the trees or woodlands identified for protection in the current development plan are actually protected.
“We had no indication (in the letter) that they would be felled immediately,” said Mr Foley. “I am satisfied we acted with due haste”. He said it was “regrettable no tree preservation order was in place. It would have helped deter what did happen.
“We are currently looking at proceedings required to introduce a tree preservation order on all the trees and woodlands in over 20 different locations earmarked; there is currently no tree preservation order in the borough council area,” he added.
The council is also checking whether a tree felling licence would have been required and is taking legal advice “as to whether the felling of the trees constitutes unauthorised development within the meaning of the planning Acts”.
So he says he wrote to them the previous day (a Friday) before cutting them down at 6:30am on saturday – how kind of him to allow An Post less than a day to deliver a letter and allowing the council time to decide if the trees should be removed.
And cutting down trees because ‘they have reached maturity’ is the equivalent of killing someone who has reached 30 because you go a bit saggy after that – really this is the lamest excuse of the year
September 26, 2008 at 5:25 pm #803545AnonymousInactive
So, Eugene O’Connor of Keal-Ryan Properties lied about the condition of the trees, it would seem, or else was misinformed by Forest Enterprises Ltd,
I wonder that the Borough Council haven’t demanded a copy of this report. also any correspondance relating to ‘advice’ he got from his insurers.
The furore seems to have died down somewhat – which will delight him, no doubt.
What next I wonder?
Will the Borough Council find grounds to prosecute?
Will they move to protect the rest of the trees on the list?
Will the Minister of the Environment move to give mature trees real protection from devious scumbage?
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