Only two prosecutions since 2010 for non compliance for hedge cutting

Over 2,000 complaints about hedge cutting to Kerry County Council have resulted in only two prosecutions. The local authority’s enforcement officer receives over 400 complaints annually. Independent Councillor Brendan Cronin requested a breakdown on enforcement actions taken by the council. Cllr Brendan Cronin  Although Kerry County Council has dealt with over 2,000 complaints about hedge cutting over the past five years, only two people have been prosecuted for non compliance. Since 2010, the council has initiated legal proceedings against eight landowners, who did not comply with notices. In four of these cases, the work was completed before it came to court, and in a further two cases the landowners had passed away. Director of Services, Charlie O’Sullivan, said this policy was reviewed in 2014 because of the expense involved in taking landowners to court. Mr O’Sullivan said the council would identify 10 locations where there are overgrown hedges and pursue these owners vigorously. He said where these were posing a danger to traffic and the owner wasn’t complying, the council would cut the hedges itself and then seek recovery of costs. Independent councillor Danny Healy-Rae said the council could not ask landowners to cut their hedges if it wasn’t prepared to do it on council-owned land.