GARDAÍ in Schull are investigating an incident in which it is alleged that five mature trees were illegally cut down in order to improve the sea view of local holiday homes.
Angry locals made complaints following the felling, last Thursday afternoon, of four elm trees and one oak tree, which were about half a century old.
It is understood that the trees were growing on land owned by the Office of Public Works (OPW) on a site shared between the Coast Guard and Schull Garda stations, both of which were built in 2006.
It is alleged that a professional tree surgeon – engaged by some holiday home owners – informed the gardaí of his intention to cut the trees. However, it was only later that the issue of authorisation arose.
One Schull resident told The Southern Star has the matter has led to tension between some locals and holiday home owners. It is believed holiday home owners alerted the OPW, signalling their intention to fell the trees, giving a deadline for a reply. The timeline of the events is being assessed and CCTV footage is also being examined.
The OPW said this week that it was aware that trees had been felled at the site and was ‘carrying out a full investigation’.