Butchery of roadside trees could be causing damage

February 26th, 2024 8:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

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EDITOR – Well done to Emma Connolly and tree surgeon Ger O’Sullivan for highlighting the state of our trees in The Southern Star a fortnight ago edition. As a tree worker myself, I can confirm Ger’s observations.

There are probably a number of contributory factors to this. I strongly believe our treatment of roadside trees and hedges is one of these factors. Flail mowing and careless, hasty chainsaw work, is leaving millions of splintered stems along thousands of miles of roadside all across the country.

A large horse chestnut in Glandore village which has died. Our reader believes he may have spotted a contributory factor. (Photo: Anne Minihane)


This, combined with our warm and damp climate, provides a perfect habitat for fungal pathogens to flourish. In trees near my home I have tracked rot from an initial wound all the way back into the main stem. It seems we are seeing other diseases emerging in addition to ash dieback.

It is hard to write about this without getting upset. I do not understand how we can be so callous and brutal in the way we treat living organisms on whom the health of the land and ourselves depend.

Apart from anything else, it looks horrifically ugly. It is hard to imagine tourists wanting to come here and look at butchered landscapes. Anyway, it looks very much as if our chickens are coming home to roost.

In a effort to counteract this on my own land I have begun experimenting with herbal pastes and biological charcoal in an attempt to boost plant and soil immunity. It would be wonderful if we could all direct our efforts towards restoring the underlying health of entire ecosystems.

John Baker,

Please, let us all remember that Ireland is not full!

EDITOR – The population of Britain is 67 million people – the population of Ireland is five million. Britain is 1.7 times the area of Ireland. Ireland is not full! In 1848, the Irish were dependent on the potato crop. We have come along way from that. Apple Corporation and Eli Lilly have come to Ireland. The so-called ‘real Irish’ are descendants of migrants from Europe centuries ago. DNA tests have proven we share the same DNA as the now ‘East Europeans’. Our health services and other services are full of once-migrants.

Michael Hallissey,

Netanyahu and his war cabinet must be stopped

EDITOR – The world has watched the actions of the Israeli government – using its armed forces of a heavily-armed army, navy and airforce – attacking Gaza in what they describe as their efforts to destroy Hamas. These actions continue to lead to the deaths of unarmed innocent men, women and children in addition to the deliberate destruction of property and expulsion of population.

The United States of America identifies itself as a ‘peacemaker’ while providing Israel with the military equipment to continue to kill unarmed civilians. The United Kingdom, France and Germany – themselves former colonial powers who may well have cases to answer for their actions in the past – sit by and refuse to condemn the current Israeli actions.

Perhaps it’s time for ‘people power’ to declare Benjamin Netanyahu and his war cabinet to be terrorists because their actions, I suggest, cannot be considered as actions of a democratic State.

Michael A Moriarty

We’re redefining the family to separate it from marriage

EDITOR – In the upcoming referendums we are being asked to delete reference to the ‘home’ and to hand over to the courts a hot potato, that of redefining the ‘family’, as they interpret the phrase ‘other durable relationships’.

The human rights implications of cutting our understanding of family adrift from being founded upon marriage has strangely escaped comment. Each of our relevant human rights codes have an article which specifically links the family to marriage: The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, #16; the Charter on Fundamental Rights of the EU, #9; the European Convention on Human Rights, #12; The European Social Charter, #16.

These assert the right of the family to social, legal and economic protection. In the same way as our capitalist economic system threatens the environment, it is also dismembering our families.

Currently home break-up is the major cause of homelessness, while our birth rate has fallen unsustainably, such that we, as a people, are no longer replacing ourselves. Redefining the family so that it is cut off from its natural moorings (marriage) is merely an unwelcome distraction.

Last month’s Supreme Court’s unanimous (7:0) decision in the John O’Meara case, where he was awarded a widower’s pension, despite the State’s opposition, demonstrates that politicians cannot predict how the Supreme Court will interpret vague phrases. It also shows that the real problem is not the wording of our Constitution, but that the legislature has failed to honour our Constitution’s wording.

Gearóid Duffy,
Lee Road,

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