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Councillors vote in support of diversion to the Tralee-Fenit Greenway

Sep 23, 2020 13:09 By radiokerrynews
Councillors vote in support of diversion to the Tralee-Fenit Greenway Councillors vote in support of diversion to the Tralee-Fenit Greenway
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Tralee Municipal District councillors have voted in support of a diversion to the Tralee-Fenit Greenway. A special meeting took place in the Council Chambers

Tralee Municipal District councillors have voted in support of a diversion to the Tralee-Fenit Greenway.

A special meeting took place in the Council Chambers this morning, as Kerry County Council sought approval from Tralee MD councillors for a 700-metre diversion at Bawnboy.

All councillors acknowledged the importance of the project, the tourism benefits it would bring and the need for the project to be completed without any delays.

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The ten-kilometre Tralee-Fenit Greenway is due to be completed next year and this change will not result in any delays, according to the council.

Kerry County Council proposed a diversion which will now take in Bawnboy and Ballynahoulort; it received 176 submissions, the majority objecting to the proposed change.

The council had previously declined to comment on why it is proposing the diversion, but the group Friends of Tralee-Fenit Greenway said it was led to believe it was due to a business refusing to vacate the section of railway line.

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Martin O’Regan of the business in question, Southwest Pallet Production told Radio Kerry previously he’s always been 100% committed to the greenway and that he wants it to follow the rail line.

He said he’s happy to relocate and that he’s not holding up the project.

During today’s meeting, senior engineer with the council, Tom Sheehy said the landowner was willing to move, but said the cost was prohibited and couldn’t be borne by the council.

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Sinn Féin’s Deirdre Ferris was the only Tralee MD councillor to vote against the proposed change; she said it was a very difficult decision to make and stressed that she was not against the greenway proceeding.

Mayor of Tralee Labour Cllr Terry O’Brien said it was a very exciting project and would be game changer for the town, adding no one wanted this issue to pop up but this decision had to be made.

Independent Cllr Sam Locke and Fine Gael Cllr Jim Finucane outlined the need to progress the project with the funding that was secured, stating it was a crucial part of infrastructure for the area.

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Fianna Fáil councillors Mikey Sheehy and Johnnie Wall outlined the importance of the greenway, stating this was the only way to ensure it progresses on time.

Sinn Féin's Cathal Foley also expressed his concerns regarding the change and noted that it had always been dream of his that the project would be realised.

Director of services with the council, Michael Scannell said this change will see part of the route on the Tralee-Listowel line, which will provide investment into the future regarding the next element of greenways.

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