A LOCAL resident of Castleross in Dundalk has branded the cutting of a hedge just off the Castletown Road as “environmental vandalism”.
Mark Fitzsimons says the move by the council which saw the hedge cut down to its stumps has left an ugly scar on the area and says the Town Council have effectively “butchered” the natural habitat.
“This was a thick, bushy hedgerow of native trees, mainly hawthorn which, as I can personally testify from living beside it, supported a very extensive wild bird community. The hedgerow also provided a noise barrier from the traffic on the Castletown Road.”
Mark, who is also a member of the Louth Environmental Group, has written to the council to complain, and he has been told that it was cut because the hedge was a potential source of anti-social behavior.
“I’ve been told that the destruction of the hedgerow was because An Garda Siochana had perceived the hedge to be enabling anti-social behavior.”
Town Clerk Frank Pentony told the paper: “This has nothing to do with anti-social behaviour. A child was knocked down last year after running out of a gap in the hedge and it was felt that visibility was effected by the hedge. It’s not finished yet, there is more to be done, with a fence which is set to be put up.”
Yet the cutting of the hedge is also now a source of fear for the Castletown Community Group, who believe the hedge could be a potential danger to children who could fall and injure themselves.