Landowner says South Kerry Greenway CPO is “toxic”

A landowner has told the South Kerry Greenway oral hearing the CPO for the project is toxic.

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.

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

James Sheahan, who is a cattle and sheep farmer at Droum Lower and Curra, said he is more concerned now about the proposed greenway since the hearing began.

He said he’s terrified of compensation claims that could be brought against him.

Mr Sheahan said he has always kept the door open with Kerry County Council but he objects to the Compulsory Purchase Order, which he described as toxic.

He said he told council engineer, Tom Sheehy to do away with the CPO and he may make more headway with him and his neighbours.

Mr Sheahan said you could expect anything from the British but when Kerry County Council did this to its own people then it lost support.

He said there are many more people opposed to the CPO than the Greenway Information Group but they don’t want to show their hand.

Mr Sheahan said they are not insular people and he couldn’t stress enough the upset and lack of sleep this has caused.

He said whatever understanding he had with the council was destroyed when the council took him and three other landowners to court earlier this year seeking warrants to access their lands; the application was denied.

Mr Sheahan said the case gave the impression to the whole county that the four landowners were against the project, it severed friendships he has had since he became an adult and said smart comments have been passed about him in the community.

Mr Sheahan said he doesn’t care what people think of him, his gut tells him the whole thing is wrong.

He received a round of applause from the public gallery following his evidence.