Huge trees are causing power outages in Leitrim

Donal O'Grady

Reporter:

Donal O'Grady

Email:

donal.ogrady@leitrimobserver.ie

Huge trees are causing power outages in Leitrim

Overgrown roadside trees are falling on power lines and causing outages

Huge trees covered with ivy along roadsides are falling onto power lines and causing disruption for homeowners and business- es, particularly in rural areas.
The matter was raised at the February meeting of Carrick-on-Shannon Municipal District by cathaoirleach Cllr Enda Stenson who queried the council's policy with regard to cutting down overgrown roadside trees near power lines.
He said power outages are occurring regularly due to fallen trees and referenced a recent outage in his home area of Eslin where four trees fell and left homes, farms and businesses without power for over 12 hours.
Cllr Stenson said such outages are “causing huge hardship and a lot of annoyance.”
He said the effect on small businesses was both “unsustainable” and “unfair.”
Cllr Stenson said many of these trees are huge and covered over with ivy which makes them more susceptible to being blown over during storms.
“There's an awful lot of dangerous trees around the country hanging halfway across the road and we don't do anything about them until they fall,” he said.
In reply to his motion he was told that any landowner can contact the ESB on 1850 372 757 or 021 2386555 regarding the problem. ESB will then arrange for a tree cutting crew to make an inspection and, if necessary, will aim to carry out the work within four weeks.
Cllr Stenson lamented that the council themselves can't do something about those trees.
He said that it is really a national issue and added that mature forestry plantations are also causing a problem.
Forestries that are now reaching maturity were not subject to regulation about their proximity to power lines when they were first planted.
“These trees are now 25 metres high and are not deeply rooted into the ground and are easily blown over during a storm,” he said.
He added that ESB crews with chainsaws have recently gone in and cut a number of trees in his area “but they can only do so much.”