Councillors angry as Greenway extension plans are delayed

Councillors are angry that their engineers are still awaiting permission from a major retailer to allow them to progress ground investigation works needed to extend the Greenway from White Gates to the marina.

This stretch of Greenway is complicated because it involves constructing an underpass beneath the Dublin to Galway railway line.

As part of this, ground investigation works need to be carried out on a section of land belonging to Dunnes Stores at Montree, for which the council requires the retail giant’s permission to undertake. However, after making several attempts to communicate with the retailer, there has been no response, even though councillors believe that the store will benefit from the extension of the greenway.

Executive engineer, Deirdre Reilly, informed Monday’s meeting of the Municipal District that she met a representative of Dunnes Stores at Easter last year, and that she has since passed on all the information requested of her at that meeting.

She told councillors she has been communicating with the same representative since then, and that the individual is required to bring the issue before the company’s board before any agreement can take place. However, and despite her best efforts, Ms Reilly has not been able to progress the issue further.

Irish Rail had agreed to close the Dublin to Galway line for a period of time next spring in order to facilitate the underpass works. As a result of the delay, however, Irish Rail will now not be able to facilitate the closure of the line until October, 2018.

Councillor Frankie Keena (FF ) said the news is “extremely disappointing”. He said the development of the cycleway is something positive for the entire town, and something that Dunnes Stores will also benefit from.

Director of Services, Barry Kehoe, further informed the meeting that plans for a passage of the Greenway through St Vincent’s Care Centre have also hit a stumbling block. The HSE have objected to a Compulsory Purchase Order on a section of land at St Vincent’s, and there will now need to be another public consultation process on the new plans for the passage, which will begin on October 13.

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