A greenway with the potential to be one of the world’s “most iconic” walking and cycling routes hangs in the balance, a county council meeting was told yesterday.
Farmers, backed by the IFA, yesterday protested at a Kerry County Council meeting over planned compulsory purchase orders.
Almost 95% of the 120 landowners have agreed to the sale of land on a former railway line in south-west Kerry.
Councillors Johnny Healy-Rae and Norma Moriarty proposed delaying the CPO process for another month to facilitate more discussions.
But the CPOs will proceed after the motion to delay was defeated, with 24 against, eight for and one absent.
The €4m project had suffered critical delays and a CPO action had previously been suspended at the request of councillors, county manager Moira Murrell had warned.
She pleaded with objectors not to let the investment be lost on the project, embracing Kells Bay and the Gleesk Viaduct.
Linking, at various locations, with the Ring of Kerry, the 30km route will include over 5km of innovative “marine greenway” with cyclists travelling by boat between Renard point and Valentia Island.
Around 30 people had attended a meeting of Kerry County Council to plead with the council not to proceed with CPO measures.
“The CPO is destroying the goodwill towards it,” said Denis O’Connor, a land- owner who supports the proposal.
Morgan Lyne said the project was “being soured” by the council’sapproach.
“No farmer’s holding should be severed or divided to facilitate this greenway project,” the group had said in a statement.
However, council management defended their move.
After a plea by Ms Murrell the motion to delay was defeated and the CPOs will go ahead.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved