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Final chapter in tree felling controversy as home is demolished


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Final chapter in tree felling controversy as home is demolished Final chapter in tree felling controversy as home is demolished

The house at the centre of a controversy over trees being felled in Salthill Park a few years ago has been demolished to make way for a new home.

Two members of the family who were brought up in the single-storey home were convicted of cutting down five mature trees in front of their dwelling, as was the contractor hired to do the work, after a two-day hearing at Galway District Court, in 2018.

Roy Colgan (then 63), of Charnwood, Park Avenue, Salthill, was fined €1,500 and his sister, Denise Colgan (58), of the same address was fined €1,000. Both were ordered to pay €2,000 compensation to Galway City Council for the loss of trees.

Their actions in 2016 caused  considerable controversy in Salthill at the time, and the felled trees have remained since at the foot of the small hill which they had overlooked.

The five-bedroom Colgan house, with views over Salthill Park and Galway Bay, was subsequently sold in March last year for more than €1.8m, having being described by the selling agents as “a home of distinction on one of the most incredible sites in the heart of Salthill”.

Owner Barbara Smyth was granted planning permission by Galway City Council to demolish the 264 square metre bungalow and build a replacement 429 square metres two-storey dwelling. Demolition work has been completed in recent days, closing a chapter in the controversy and clearing the way for the construction of a new home.

Judge Mary Fahy said that after hearing all of the evidence in the 2018 District Court hearing, claims made by the Colgans that the trees had been a magnet for antisocial behaviour and that they were under siege in their home by gangs of youths who congregated under the trees to drink, were “grossly exaggerated”.

She said they had not obtained permission from anyone to fell the trees, which were in a public park and were a public amenity for the benefit of the people of Salthill and the public in general.

Pictured: The felled trees in Salthill park with the demolished house in the background and (inset) the house as it was before being sold for €1.8m.






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