Kildare County Council has been accused of ignoring dangers posed to the public by fallen trees because of safety concerns.
It’s emerged that the Fire Service does not respond to reports that trees have fallen on to public roads.
Chief Fire Officer Celina Barrett told a council meeting that she “can’t take a decision that would endanger staff.” She said, however, that “we’ve people trained to use chainsaws” in the event of staff coming across a fallen tree.
County Manager Michael Malone explained that downed trees will be dealt with during daylight but it’s not possible to do this work when it’s dark and the procedure is to close the road during the hours of darkness and deal with it in daytime.
“We have to comply with health and safety legislation,” he said.
But Cllr. Darren Scully said if the council’s hands are tied it should employ a tree surgeon on a 24 hour basis. ““We’re not giving the service to the taxpayer,” he said.
Cllr. Colm Purcell said ESB repair crews are out in all weathers fixing lines and “I’m sure cutting down trees.”