Traveller horse project blocked

Plans for the first Traveller horse grazing project of its kind in Cork have been reined in.

City officials have admitted that they have to go back to the drawing board after Cork County Council refused planning permission for the scheme on a 35-acre site on the northern banks of the River Lee near Leemount, on the western outskirts of the city.

County planners said the site is within an area under consideration as a route option for the Cork Northern Ring Road scheme and that the application was “premature” pending the final determination of the route.

Plans for the project emerged from a horse seminar in the city in March 2013 which heard evidence that such Traveller horse projects have reduced the number of impounded horses, reduced levels of antisocial behaviour, and reduced costs to local authorities of dealing with various horse issues.

A steering group which included, amongst others, representatives of the Traveller Visibility Group (TVG), gardaí, Cork City Council, the ISPCA, the HSE and Cork City Partnership, then set about developing plans for such a project in Cork.

The city council identified a site at Coolymurrahue which, it was hoped, would facilitate the grazing of up to 20 horses owned by 10 families.

Planning documents show that 96 public submissions were made opposing the project. One submission from the Clogheen Kerry Pike Community Association contained over 200 individual submissions from local residents objecting to the proposal.

A submission from 27 county councillors questioned the suitability of the site, noting concerns about possible flood risks, roads and traffic issues, and the impact on the scenic character of the area.

However, the project was supported by letters from the HSE, the Cork Traveller Women’s Network and Meitheal Mara which said it would be of considerable benefit to the Traveller community in Cork in terms of supporting cultural identity.

The city’s head of environment and recreation, David Joyce, said the project team is fully committed to the development of a successful horse project, and is due to meet next week to discuss their next steps.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

Related Articles

Latest: Watch the 'callout' video which prompted a major Garda operation in Cork

Tensions high as gardai called to disturbance between rival groups at Cork Halting Site

More in this Section

House fire upgraded to murder investigation 30 years later

Ryanair faces flight chaos if pilots ‘work to rule’

Taoiseach to spend €160k on reports assessing Government’s public image

New canon for former Ballincollig Gun Store

Breaking Stories

Customers in the West urged to turn off gas amid safety fears


Getting clean and lean: James Duigan on the simplicity of changing your food habits

Ask Audrey: You’re 9 on the Crazy Scale, where 1 is sane and 10 is flying with Ryanair

Get out and enjoy: What's on offer for Culture Night?

Upper crusts: Eight sourdough breads tested

More From The Irish Examiner