LOCALS in a county Limerick town are said to be “livid” after a number of large, mature trees were felled in an old graveyard without permission.
The trees in Teampaillin graveyard, which is located on the outskirts of Bruff, were felled in recent weeks causing extensive damage to an old stone boundary wall.
“I found it very distressing and I still find it distressing to go in there,” said one local who contacted this paper this week.
“One man just walked out of there and he was practically crying and you are talking about a well grown man. He couldn’t believe it. He wouldn’t get cross easily and neither would I,” the woman continued.
According to the local, there is widespread anger over the incident. “There are other people there and they are livid - they are saying the graveyard has been desecrated. There were mature trees, hanging in over the graveyard. It was the most peaceful graveyard to sit down in and relax in the shelter.”
“The wall is all broken down now. They were supposed to build it up but it hasn’t been built up so if there are any horses or animals around they will go in and ruin all the graves. There are a lot of people complaining. They took all the branches.”
The matter has been brought to the attention of Limerick County Council who have responsibility for the graveyard.
“There were trees felled there without our permission and they did knock parts of the boundary wall to the graveyard,” confirmed Michael Griffin, administrative officer. “They would have cut them at the trunk. Normally, you would require a tree felling licence which you would get from the gardai. Even if it’s on private property, you can’t fell trees without a licence.”
When asked if the people in question were apologetic, Mr Griffin said they were.
“They have written to us. The person who felled the trees would have been under the understanding that the person who asked him to do that work had the authority to do it and now that person didn’t. That person was concerned enough to write to us and give a commitment that they would make good the damage and that they would plant trees in another community area.”
Mr Griffin said that as far as he is aware those who felled the trees sold the branches for firewood “but really they were under the impression that they were rotten and maybe dangerous so instead of incurring the cost of felling the trees that they considered a danger, they said they would recoup the cost of felling the trees by selling firewood. They did on behalf of someone else,” he explained. “Naturally, if the trees fell inwards it would have been more traumatic because they would have knocked them into the graveyard but they knocked them out, damaging the boundary wall,” said Mr Griffin who said he wasn’t aware of any damage being caused to graves.
While Mr Griffin did not have a figure on how much damage was caused he said it was “a time consuming” job to restore the wall.
The council, he said, would not be imposing any further penalty once those who requested the works to be carried out “make good the damage caused”.
“Certainly, we want the wall properly repaired and they have given a commitment to plant trees in a community area”.