Healy-Rae calls on Madigan to resign after hedge-cutting decision

Josepha Madigan, the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, is being called on to resign by independent TD Danny Healy-Rae, following her decision not to allow the cutting of hedges on public roads during August.

Yesterday, Minister Madigan revealed her decision not to exercise discretionary powers to allow hedge-cutting on roads (except if necessary for road safety), citing biodiversity as the main reason for her decision.

“I wish to condemn Minister Josepha Madigan’s decision not to allow the promised cutting of roadside hedges in the month of August,” said Healy-Rae.

This is another outrageous attack on the people of rural Ireland trying to travel on narrow country roads, whether it’s pedestrians; cyclists; cars; buses; and commercial and agricultural vehicles, where bushes, briars and trees are almost touching from either side.

“It’s disgraceful to think that this Government, supported by Fianna Fáil, has more appreciation for birds and biodiversity than the people trying to travel our roads,” he added.

“I’m calling on the minister to resign now,” the Kerry TD said.

‘Threats to biodiversity’

Announcing her decision yesterday, Minister Madigan said her decision “recognises the increased threats to biodiversity nationally and globally and follows a number of Government initiatives to protect and nurture Ireland’s flora and fauna”.

“Hedgerows are a very important wildlife habitat, providing food, shelter, corridors of movement, nest and hibernation sites for many of our native flora and fauna,” she explained.

The minister highlighted that cutting hedges along public roads would still be permitted for the purpose of maintaining road safety.

Minister Madigan said that she was “happy that this decision strikes the correct balance between the need to protect nature on the one hand and ensure public safety on our roads on the other”.