Oral hearing told South Kerry Greenway as vital as Adare or Macroom bypasses

An oral hearing has been told the proposed South Kerry Greenway is as vital as the Adare or Macroom bypasses.

Kerry County Council is proposing to build the 32-kilometre cycling and walking route from Glenbeigh to Renard.

The hearing, being held by An Bord Pleanala, resumed this morning following two weeks of evidence last month and is examining the greenway application and the proposed CPO for the lands needed.

June O’Connell, who is originally from Barr na Sraide, Caherciveen, but has lived in Dublin for 25 years, described the South Kerry Greenway as a piece of economic infrastructure that is as vital as the Adare or Macroom Bypasses.

She said the project is innovative, world class and is vital for the economic integrity of the region and means more families can settle in the area.

Ms O’Connell, who chairs a diaspora network, says landowners are important but they are not the most important people.

Morgan Lyne,a landowner in Gortnagree, Kells, told the hearing he is in favour of the greenway but said Kerry County Council’s unwillingness to listen to the concerns of landowners has soured the project completely.

He urged An Bord Pleanala to take these concerns on board and said landowners have to be accommodated, adding that the greenway has to be done with the goodwill of farmers.

Environmental campaigner, Peter Sweetman told the hearing Kerry County Council’s Natura Impact Statement, Kerry Slug Plan and Invasive Species Plan all have gaps.