Judge refuses Kerry County Council warrants to enter lands on greenway route

A judge has refused to grant warrants to Kerry County Council to enter the lands of four men on the route of the proposed South Kerry Greenway.

The council had come before Judge David Waters seeking permission to enter the lands for the purposes of carrying out site investigation works.

James Moriarty of Drom West, Glenbeigh, James Sheehan of Curra, Glenbeigh and Patrick Murphy and Paul O’Shea, both of Gornagree, Kells had all refused entry to their lands.

The works sought by Kerry County Council on the lands included using an eight-tonne excavator to dig trial pits up to 4.5 metres deep and bore holes that would be drilled up to 10 metres at specific sites.

Council engineer Conor Culloo told the court that the site investigation works were desirable but not necessary; he said there is adequate information as it stands for the planning application but this additional information would bring certainty regarding costs and engineering considerations for the project.

Mr Culloo said the tests wouldn’t result in a change to the planning application nor change the proposed line of the 32-kilometre greenway from Glenbeigh to Renard.

Judge David Waters noted that entering and exiting the lands could cause more damage than the tests themselves and the information gathered would be marginal in nature.

He said his ruling is not a comment on the appropriateness or otherwise of greenways, the Compulsory Purchase Order or the behaviour of any of the parties.

He said it was not an easy case to decide.

Judge David Waters told the court it would be disproportionate to grant the warrants in all four cases and made an order for costs in favour of the landowners.

He said he would put a stay on the order for costs in the event of an appeal being lodged by Kerry County Council within 14 days.