Local authority urged to assist hedge-cutting ‘in exceptional circumstances’

County councils providing assistance to landowners in hedge-cutting under exceptional circumstances was a topic for debate in Co. Tipperary recently.

Nenagh Municipal District is currently being urged to assist in scenarios where hedges on roads need to be cut back to reduce danger to traffic.

Speaking on Tipp FM about the matter, independent councilor Michael O’Meara has urged the local authority to help out hedge-cutting in “really exceptional circumstances”.

The councilor said: “I’ve a case down in Portland whereby the farmers are willing to cut the hedges and the ditches. It’s a mature hedge so it needs some assistance from the council.

Now this is [a] really, really exceptional circumstance; and first of all its a question of traffic safety – these trees are along a road which in some ways is dangerous; there’s a turn on the road.

“So what we’re trying to do is get some assistance from the council in a very, very exceptional circumstance just for a few hours to get the hedges cut.”

However, the district has insisted that that the council does not have adequate resources to provide such measures.

Director of Nenagh Municipal District, Marcus O’Connor, explained: “It is the landowner’s responsibility to cut back hedges or to remove trees; there’s no ambiguity there.

“However, some of the councillors are making the case that, on some of the very busy roads – particularly around the Thurles-Nenagh road where there were particular difficulties – the council did assist with some traffic control.

But that would be very much the exception. We couldn’t be providing traffic control any time a farmer wanted to cut hedges or knock trees.

According to Tipp FM, the director said that, with insufficient resources, the council might as well “shut up shop” if this service had to be conducted.