Kerry Council seeks clarification on river responsibility

CONCERN over the state of the water and banks in parts of the south-west is being passed from one statutory body to another.

Exactly who — if any single body — is in charge of rivers and the upkeep of their waters and banks is to be the subject of an enquiry from one local authority to the OPW and other Government departments.

Kerry Co Council disclosed it was inundated with complaints and enquiries as to who exactly had charge of some of the county’s key rivers.

Several motions expressing concern about the condition of rivers have, in fact, been moved at meetings.

The Flesk River is overgrown with weed and trees and a visible island has been created near the Flesk Bridge on the outskirts of Killarney. However, theNational Parks and Wildlife Service has advised clubs, such as Killarney Soroptimists who want it cleaned, that it is not in charge of the waters. As the river is in an area earmarked as a special area of conservation, it may be difficult to carry out works. Permission would also be required from Inland Fisheries Ireland, the club has been told.

Killarney-based Cllr Michael Gleeson said there was “much confusion” regarding rights and responsibilities of riverside landowners. “Just who is responsible for matters such as cutting branches was often the subject of dispute between landowners and fishermen,” he said. “There is an urgent need for clarity.” In particular, he wants to see which if any “body” had overallresponsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of the River Flesk and its tributaries, Cladagh and the Loo.

The council, it emerged, is to demand clarification from the OPW on the matter.


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