South Kerry landowner group in favour of greenway project but won’t be bullied into it

The Greenway Information Group says it is for the South Kerry Greenway but won’t be bullied into it.

Today is the final day of An Bord Pleanala’s oral hearing on the proposed project.

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.

Jeremiah Coffey is a sheep farmer at Ballydarrig, Caherciveen.

Mr Coffey claimed the greenway would add 50 hours extra for one cut of silage on his land as it would make it more labour intensive; he also said it would mean he would have to move his animals more frequently.

Mr Coffey said there would be a greater difficulty in moving his sheep with the greenway as they have a mind of their own and could become nervous and bolt when people are passing on the route.

He said he was concerned about the use and longevity of wooden fencing along the greenway especially when it came to bigger animals; he claimed Kerry County Council told him there wasn’t a budget for concrete fencing.

Mr Coffey said the Greenway Information Group, of which he is a member, is for the greenway and wants to see it come to south Kerry but they don’t want to be bullied into it and want the community to come together.

He said he wants concerns of landowners to be listened to by An Bord Pleanala and wants to see the project done in a fashion that doesn’t destroy the lives of people living on the route.

There is a way forward for the greenway, he said, but it is not ploughing through people’s lands.