Outrage as north Cork footpath closed for four years.
Work to resolve a closed off footpath on the side of a dangerous road in a North Cork town has seen a pushed further down the line which could spark a protest by locals.
Cllr Noel McCarthy asked a meeting of the Charleville/ Fermoy municipal district council what was happening to the footpath on the side of the N72 (Fermoy-Mallow) road near to the town’s Church of Ireland chapel.
The footpath, which runs to the northern side of the town park, is in danger of collapse and has been closed off for four years.
In the meantime mothers with buggies have been forced to walk out on the road to get around it, which is a major safety issue.
As the footpath is on the side of a national secondary road it is the responsibility of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), formerly known as the National Roads Authority (NRA).
For the last few years the county council has been trying to get it repaired.
However, there has been one delay after another, much to the anger of local councillors.
Cllr McCarthy asked council officials for an update.
He was informed by them that promised work on the footpath has not materialised.
They said that the approved contractor indicated late in the day that due to staff shortages they were unable to fulfill the contract and were withdrawing their tender.
Council officials said the second contractor on the list has indicated that they will be in a position to carry out the work and expect to be on site by the end of this month. “I’ll believe it when I actually see them with their shovels on site,” Cllr Frank O’Flynn said.
“First we were told that the work was supposed to start in July after many false dawns and then we get this,” Cllr McCarthy said.
He said patience was running thin and the local Tidy Town organisation had told him they will mount a protest at the site.
Cllr McCarthy told fellow councillors that the organisation’s members said they would mount this protest if the footpath work was not completed by the October Bank Holiday weekend.
“I’m demanding a meeting with TII because we don’t know if it will even be done in 2018,” Cllr McCarthy said.
The council’s senior executive engineer for the area, Brendan O’Gorman, said it was not a simple job to replace it.
He said the contractor that had pulled out had a number of major contracts going on around the country and was overextended.
Cllr Frank O’Flynn at a footpath which is awaiting refurbishment on the Mallow Road entrance to Fermoy.