Farmer claims proposed cattle holding pens on greenway won’t work

A farmer has claimed that holding pens for cattle along the proposed South Kerry Greenway won’t work.

Kerry County Council is seeking permission to construct a 32-kilometre walk and cycleway from Glenbeigh to Renard; it is also seeking approval for a Compulsory Purchase Order for the lands needed.

Today is due to be the final day of An Bord Pleanala’s oral hearing on the scheme at Manor West Hotel, Tralee.

John Anthony Moriarty keeps suckler cattle and grows silage on his farm at Droum Lower; it’s proposed the greenway will cut through his best field.

His barrister, Michael O’Donnell accused the council of slavishly following the old railway line; however the council said Mr Moriarty said the only option he would be happy with would be along the N70 Ring of Kerry road
Mr Moriarty said he didn’t believe that holding pens for cattle being proposed as a mitigation measure by the council would work.
Agronomist for the council, Diarmuid O’Sullivan said moving cattle into the holding pen and across the greenway shouldn’t take long; the gates beside the pen would block the greenway while the cattle move across.
Mr Moriarty, who has around twenty animals, said the problem would be getting the cattle into the pens while there are people passing on the greenway.
He said there is a wilder side to some animals, especially when it comes to strangers who may be cycling and wearing coloured clothing.
The council said cattle grids were deemed unsafe for cyclists on the greenway as bikes could slip and it came up with the holding pens, which it will provide if landowners want.
Responding to a question about effluent from the cattle, agronomist, Diarmuid O’Sullivan said the animals should only be in the pen for minutes; he told the hearing he doesn’t have any of those holding pens on his farm.