A new initiative from Clare County Council providing free apple trees has been met with “overwhelming” demand from the public.
Heritage Officer Congella McGuire said the initiative, which was part of the council’s Keep Well In Your Community in Clare project saw such a huge response they could not meet the demand.
“It was overwhelming. I didn’t anticipate the response at all,” she said.
Ms McGuire said thousands of people applied for the scheme but the council “only had a small number of trees relative to the demand.”
“When we tried to get more trees, it was too late. The garden were sold out. So we weren't able to source more for people.”
“We were disappointed we had to disappoint people.”
The Council received criticism from some Clare people due to the fact the initiative was limited to people who live within 5km of Ennis.
Ms McGuire said she understood the frustration but said they were limited due to restrictions.
“We can't encourage people to travel outside their 5k.”
Asked whether it might be rolled out beyond Ennis in the future Ms Mcguire said the council will consider it.
“We [also] got a lot of interest from community groups from charitable organizations, school groups and the like.”
“So we'll certainly look at that in the autumn, and this time next year and rolling it out across the county.”
Ms McGuire said the response gave the council an insight into what people are looking for.
“People are looking for something for their wellbeing and I think this ticked the box.”