Up to 150 farmers took part in a national IFA protest outside Kerry County Council headquarters today.
The group, who had travelled from all over the country in support of the Kerry branch of IFA, were protesting at the use of a Compulsory Purchase Order to acquire the lands needed for the South Kerry Greenway project.
Kerry County Council says it has attempted to acquire the land needed for the 32-kilometre route from Glenbeigh to Renard by negotiation over the course of many years, but this has not proven possible.
The CPO is due to be published shortly.
IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy was among those marching outside Aras an Chontae.
He believes Kerry County Council has by-passed the spirit of the recently launched national Greenways Strategy and that a co-design approach can get the project back on track.
Around 40 landowners of the total 170 due to be impacted by the project have taken issue with the CPO, the proposed route and what they claim is a lack of engagement.
Among them is Christy McDonnell from Foilmore:
Kerry IFA Chair Pat O’Driscoll says the IFA remains open to constructive discussions that give farmers a genuine hearing:
Kerry County Council says it has met with IFA representatives on a number of occasions and will do so again.
The council says the project is of major economic and tourism benefit to south Kerry which has been hit by depopulation and economic challenges.