Cllr William Careyhas called upon SDCC to clarify the reasons behind the removal of mature trees in Corkagh park, this despite a commitment to retain existing mature trees?
In Feb 2022, councillors passed a Part 8 proposal with a budget of circa €5m, aimed at enhancing and upgrading facilities in the park. Included in this was “ Enhancements to the Fairy Woodland Trail including new play features; new seating; new pedestrian link from the lakes; retention and protection of existing mature trees”. In a recent communication from SDCC, councillors were informed that tree felling was due to be undertaken around the entrance to the park at St Johns Green/Grove. According to SDCC this was largely due to Ash-dieback disease.
According to Cllr Carey however, “at no stage were councillors made aware that the large mature trees were to be removed at the councils compound in the park”. Cllr Carey added, “What has been of particular concern has been the felling of the large Monterey Cypress”. I only learned of this when I was alerted through social media and the comments on the “Friends of Corkagh Park” facebook page. Shortly after which I began receiving emails and texts expressing outrage about the removal of this glorious tree.
In a communication from SDCC, they have suggested that a report from a professional Arboriculturist indicated that this tree was suffering with a fungal infection called Cypress Canker – 46 No. trees were planned for removal from Corkagh Park. 31 No. of these were small Ash trees at St. John’s Wood carpark, all suffering with Ash-dieback disease. The remaining trees were in poor structural and physiological condition, as per the Tree Survey, carried out by a professional Arboriculturist; as part of the Part 8 planning. The largest tree to be removed was a Monterey Cypress. According to the Tree Report, this tree was suffering with a fungal infection called Cypress Canker. This disease was beginning to cause die-back in some of its larger limbs, thus creating a risk to park users.
The Clondalkin Councillor further added that whilst he accepts the diagnosis from the arboriculturist, we do need to know how extensive was this disease in the tree and if any other action could have been taken to save the tree. Cllr Carey concluded by saying that, “councillors rely on the expertise that is provided through the management of SDCC, but it is incumbent upon the council to provide a full and detailed explanation when such a huge decision is being made. There are many people who have grown up in Clondalkin and walked beneath that tree, some would say it was iconic but sadly “it is no more”.