With the housing crisis, public sector pay disputes, cost over-runs on major construction projects, Brexit, and Fine Gael’s election prospects to worry about, ministers might be tempted to put An Taisce’s call for action to protect trees in urban areas and villages in the file marked Interesting But Unimportant.
How many votes, they will ask, are there in trees?
Despite the Green Party’s encouraging showing in last month’s local elections, sadly not very many, which might be why, as An Taisce highlights today, governments of this Emerald Isle have shown little, if any, interest in protecting urban and village trees, leaving them to the less than tender mercies of local councils who see them not as visual treasures, environmental amenities, and wildlife habitats but as insurance risks to be felled at the first hint of a costly liability claim.
Many centuries ago, ours was a land of trees.
They were and remain part of our heritage, and a government that says it’s committed to protecting our culture should act to protect these vital assets in our cities, towns and villages.