Sinn Féin’s Tipperary General Election candidate Cllr. Séamie Morris has hit out at the manner in which posters from Tom Hayes have been nailed to trees around Clonmel. He says such disregard for natural life from supporters of the outgoing Minister is particularly disappointing as the Minister has had special responsibility for Forestry, and because some of the trees are ash.
Cllr Morris said: “Nailing election posters to trees is a regressive development in a modern election. Most of us have moved beyond thinking of trees as unimportant and near-inanimate objects. We have moved to understanding that trees provide more than just visual amenity. They clean the air, provide the oxygen we breathe, and are a key component in maintaining a healthy environment.”
“We have come to accept and care for the natural environment and show regard for trees in particular. It was therefore a major surprise – and disappointment – to learn that so many trees have been vandalised in this way. Hammering nails into trees stopped being acceptable decades ago.”
“Some of the trees are ash, an essential species for a hurling county, and a species that is already under threat from the Ash Dieback which has spread across Europe and is already in Ireland. That’s a fungus that spreads and kills the trees over time. It does this by damaging the layer of bark that transports nutrients to the rest of the tree. That’s also the layer that is most compromised by the hammering in of nails, such as Mr Hayes has done. There are 3 nails in many of the trees, and therefore 3 sites for infection.”
“I expect of Tom Hayes that he will now publicly take responsibility the removal of these posters, and for the cost of an inspection, health-check, and treatment of the dozens of trees involved by a qualified arborist. He must take responsibility for these acts of vandalism, and for putting this right. There is also at least one tree near Kilsheelan bearing a nailed-on poster of Jackie Cahill, and I expect him to take the same responsibility.”
“It may sound a little like a ‘hippy’ philosophy to have concern for trees as living creatures, but they are – no matter how it sounds – and we depend on them. The Irish people have for millennia had special respect for trees. Now there’s about a dozen trees on the Cahir road out of Clonmel that have been abused this way and have been harmed.”
“As we as a people have come to a better understanding of the complexities of our environment, and the importance of all the species in it, this is a sad regression. It could be that Mr Hayes membership of a party that has shown itself immune to consideration of the well-being of their fellow man has made him immune to such considerations for all other living things.”
Photographs 1-3 show posters of Tom Hayes nailed to ash trees on Cahir Road, Clonmel.
Photograph #4 shows poster of Jackie Cahill nailed to tree near Kilsheelan, Clonmel.