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ESB Must Review It’s Tree Cutting Policy

The ESB will have to review the cutting of low hanging trees close to power lines in the wake of the recent tragedy in County Limerick which saw a man lose his life after coming into contact with power lines while attempting to cut down a low hanging tree.
I want to firstly pass on my deepest sympathies to the family of the man who lost his life while cutting a tree in the Limerick area over the past few days. It has come to my attention that these low voltage cables are capable of sending a powerful shock through these low hanging trees which can cause serious injury or death. There is a responsibility on the ESB to cut all trees and branches close to low voltage power lines and believe that is not happening at the moment. I believe that contracts for this work were sent out but that the funding was not put in place for them to be carried out. The ESB have a responsibility to ensure that this work is done because farmers allow them on to their lands to erect poles etc.
I have also been made aware that the ESB have tendered for new work under a procurement system but now I have learned that they have gone back to the system which was in place in 2013. This is very unfair to the contractors who carry out this work all over the country. Many of these contractors spent a lot of money on the tendering process only to see the process scrapped which is very unfair. Safety is becoming more and more an issue, and rightly so too, but with additional legislation and rules, contractors are finding it very difficult to work with the 2013 system. We must put safety first and allow these contractors to tender in the proper way and treat them fairly,
Finally I would urge farmers all over the country not to touch trees under low voltage cables and to immediately contact the ESB to ensure that we do not have another serious accident or loss of life as we have seen in recent days.