Renmore walkway closed to protect security of barracks

Cllr Terry O'Flaherty

Cllr Terry O'Flaherty

The closure of a pathway adjacent to Dún Uí Mhaelíosa in Renmore is in order to protect the security of the barracks and its personnel, concerned residents who had traditionally used it as a walkway, have been told.

Military authorities have been blocking free access to the walkway around the perimeter of Dún Uí Mhaelíosa, citing security concerns following an increase in the numbers of people using the facility after Galway City Council improved and extended a walkway from the Liam Mellows walks towards the barracks in Renmore Avenue.

Yesterday, Independent city councillor Terry O’Flaherty expressed her disappointment on behalf of the small number of residents at the effective closing off of a pathway next to the army barracks, which has been used by walkers for many years.

Local residents who approached Army personnel about the issue were told that access was to be restricted to people using this walkway, except for all those who need to access the Pitch and Putt course on the seafront side of the barracks, and that the gate would remain locked otherwise.

“A small number of local people are disappointed with this new development,” Cllr O’Flaherty told the Advertiser last evening. “Particularly all those who have been using this facility for decades. Despite this long use, there was no advance notice or reason given for this decision,” she said.

“However, in the past two weeks, I have received a number of calls from people who have been told by the person at the barracks gate that they are under strict instructions to allow only those who are availing of pitch and putt, and when I went there myself I was told the same thing.”

Cllr O’Flaherty contacted the Army authorities in Dún Uí Mhaelíosa, to make a case for their neighbours in Renmore who have been using this walkway down through the years.

In an email-ed reply, a spokesman for the Army authorities in Renmore said that he understood that the closure of the military road may have caused frustration among members of the local community, but it was crucial that the safety and security of all involved was prioritised.

“Unfortunately, recent works undertaken on behalf of Galway City Council have substantially increased the numbers of individuals accessing the military road, which has prompted a thorough Security Audit and Health & Safety Audit.

“These audits revealed significant risks associated with allowing members of the public to access the military roadway. Not only does this pose a threat to the security of the barracks and its personnel, but it also endangers the safety of individuals themselves, especially considering the presence of a live firing military range and the passage of large heavy vehicles on the narrow military road.

“The purpose of the gate in question is to control unauthorised access to military property, and its closure is necessary to mitigate risks and safeguard personnel, equipment, and sensitive information.

“I want to emphasise that this decision was made after careful consideration of the security implications and in accordance with our duty to protect military assets and personnel,” it concluded.

 

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